The traditional Jazani foods have special taste and flavor and many Jazani families are renowned for their skill in preparing such dishes, especially in the villages and rural areas. The grandmothers with the participation of daughters and granddaughters use the Tannour (oven), Al-Murakkab (another kid of oven) and Al-Maghashat (earthenware cooking pot) - traditional appliances that use firewood - for baking bread or cooking traditional Ramadan dishes.
Work in preparing the traditional dishes starts after the Asr prayer and goes on until close to dusk. The women begin by kindling the firewood in a unique atmosphere and bring the requirements for cooking, like the sour bread and special dough for preparing Lahouh (a kind of traditional sour bread).
Children, especially girls, are keen to learn the skills and help the family. The custom of cooking traditional dishes at home has been inherited since olden times and many families are still safeguarding this heritage and tradition. Among the manifestations of Ramadan are the preparation of foods in earthenware utensils, drinking coffee from an earthen coffee pot known as Al-Jabanah and water from another earthen pot called Al-Zeer.
Meanwhile, local meat, Al-Hayyasi, Al-Hulbah and fresh Muloukhiya daily from the farm, are cooked in earthen cooking pots locally known as Al-Maghashat. Other traditional foods baked or cooked in traditional earthenware include sour bread (Al-Aish Al-Hamidh), Lahouh and Al-Marsah. These dishes are eaten during dinner while Al-Mafalit is eaten during Suhoor. Other Jazani traditional Ramadan foods include millet bread and Al-Maftout.
Yusuf Jaber, a resident of Jazan, said these dishes have “pulled the carpet from under” dishes and meals prepared in restaurants including foul, samosas and porridge (Shourbah). People now vie with one another to prepare traditional dishes and take pride in preparing these dishes.
They are keen to pass on the skills in preparing such traditional foods from one generation to the other. The elders make sure to instill in the young generations the love for these traditional dishes and how to prepare them. Not only this, but every families present Ramadan foods to the neighboring families at sunset everyday during the holy month.
Some people still prefer to take Iftar collectively in the courtyards of mosques. This brings together the young and old at one eating mat (sufrah). Love, harmony and social solidarity prevail. Such collective Iftar meals are attended by relatives and other people including travelers and wayfarers.