Childhood memory: In the late sixties, when I was 11 or 12, we moved to Rehovot. Next to the building where I lived was a private house where an older woman from Yemen lived. If my memory serves me correctly, at that time, Yemeni women still wore embroidered pants and traditional jewelry – gold discs and large amber beads.
At the “Beit Ya’akov” school, girls from Sha’araim, a Yemenit neighborhood, studied with me and told me about the Lachuh; maybe they even brought it to breakfast. I was curious when I saw the spongy, perforated flatbread. From an early age, I was hungry for ethnic recipes, something I got from my mother.
I remember standing next to the fence that separates the houses and asking her if she knew how to make Lachuch. It was not a polite way to ask her for some 🙂 but simply natural curiosity. The older woman who didn’t speak Hebrew nodded her head, and I forgot about it.
A few days later, when I cleared a plot of land in the yard to plant tomatoes, she approached the fence and motioned for me to approach her. This picture of the older woman in the traditional Yemeni dress is still fresh in my mind: without saying a word, she handed me a pile of spongy Lachuch with densely packed holes. I can’t tell you how happy I was!
Forty years passed until I reencountered Lachuch – in the local grocery store before Shabbat.
A few more years passed, and I started the blog. Then, the memory of my first mythical Lachuch came back vividly.
It took me several tries to create a version I would know it’s the one and only.
I watched a dozen videos and tried different versions until I finally managed to make a fusion from everything.
Lachuch is excellent with white bean soup; you can spread hummus or vegan Nutella on it, you can serve it as a roll with various fillings, and, of course, you can enjoy it the traditional way – with Yemenite soup and fenugreek – anything goes!
This recipe, which explains step by step how to make a Yemeni Lachuch that is always successful, is presented to you with love in memory of a sensitive, empathetic old lady who gave me something wordless without expecting anything in return.
Enjoy, and let me know how it turned out 😋❣
RECIPELachuch – Yemenite Pancake
Six to seven Lachuch units with a diameter of about 19 cm (7.5 – Inch)
- ½ Tablespoon dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tablespoon semolina flour Optional: adds a subtle sourness
- 250 gram all-purpose flour or white spelt flour* see a note below
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ – 2 cups warm water* see a note below
- In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast with a quarter cup of lukewarm water and sugar and stir for a few seconds until bubbles form.
- Add semolina flour, flour, salt, and a cup and a half of lukewarm water to the bowl, and mix well until you get a uniform and smooth mixture similar to pancake batter.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside for an hour until large bubbles form in the batter. In winter, the process can last an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half. Do not mix the batter.
- Lightly spray a non-stick pan with oil or grease it with an oiled paper towel. Use a pan about 26 cm (10 inches), while the bottom is about 20-21 cm (8 inches).
- Pour about ½ cup of the batter. Tilt the pan gently to the sides to allow the batter to spread on the bottom. If it doesn't cover the bottom, add 1-2 tablespoons.
- Place the pan on the stove while it's still turned off. Turn on medium-high heat, and cook for 3 minutes until the top is dry when you touch it. Large holes will appear at this point, which means you are on the track.
- Lower the heat, cover, and cook for another two minutes. Remove the Lachuch from the pan and let it cool on a clean towel* see a note at the bottom.
- Turn the pan over and run it under tap water for two to four seconds to cool it. Dry the pan with a kitchen towel.
- Remember: don't mix the batter – it will "break" the bubbles, which are essential for the typical holes and the spongy texture.
- It is important to cool the pan after each Lachuch – some even work with two to four pans, one after the other, to allow them to cool.
- The Lachuch can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week in a plastic wrap or bag. After you take it out of the fridge, heat it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
I enjoyed it with a vegan tuna salad.