Grandma Sally Makes Keskesoon

Here’s something you should definitely put on your Shabbat menu for tonight: Keskesoon is not a complicated dish. In fact, it’s really just a pasta dish with chick peas in it. But no one makes it better than Grandma Sally, which is why we invited her to our kitchen JUST to make her specialty.

As you will see, the ingredient list isn’t so extensive. You probably have everything on hand, except maybe the teeny pasta, which you will find in most supermarket pasta aisles. Never seen it before? You probably just glanced over it because you prefer little stars in your soup than these crazy peppercorn shaped pastas. These are much better. The secret to this dish is toasting the pasta before adding the water. It adds a nutty flavor that you don’t ever associate with pasta, but just works. It also makes some of the kernels browner than others, which makes it prettier on the plate, of course.

Keskesoon was always a Friday night and holiday staple in my Grandma’s house. We ate in in our chicken soup instead of rice. We put sauce and meatballs (and eggy-surprise!) over it. We used it as a base for our Hamud, peas and kibbe, and kibbe mushroom. Basically, you won’t run out of ways to eat this stuff. Some people even enjoy it plain, and why not?

My family really only eats this with meat meals. We always make it pareve, and with oil. When I consulted Deal Delights (the red one) for the recipe, I was surprised to find how different their recipe is from ours! Theirs calls for about 6 tablespoons of butter, and baking it in a dish with grated cheese on top – keskesoon, mac and cheese style, sounds awesome. They also spell it keskasoon. I guess since it’s not an English word there is no one proper way to spell it. One day I will have to try that version, but for now I’m sticking to our traditional way of eating and spelling. How does your family make keskesoon?

Keskesoon, recipe adapted from Grandma:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box acini di pepe pasta, #44
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Salt

Directions:

1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil.

2. Open the can of chickpeas. Drain and rinse.

3. When the oil is hot, add the pasta. Swirl and mix, making sure each piece is coated in oil. Stir constantly until toasted.

4. Add the water and the chickpeas.

5. Bring to a boil, then lower, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed.

  • Danielle Toussie

    Remember when we used to have to bring lunch to school? And we used to bring this to school and no one knew what it was?

  • Danielle Toussie

    Remember when we used to have to bring lunch to school? And we used to bring this to school and no one knew what it was?

  • Adele

    Yea! Marc is always comments that you guys have it with meat whenever I make it with butter and cheese… which is always. I never had it non-dairy in my house. But Grandma’s kesskessoon WAS awesome.n nAlso, add some sauteed onions. :) thanks.

  • Adele

    Yea! Marc is always comments that you guys have it with meat whenever I make it with butter and cheese… which is always. I never had it non-dairy in my house. But Grandma’s kesskessoon WAS awesome.

    Also, add some sauteed onions. :) thanks.

  • Carol C

    what happened to the onions??? saute onions first then add the keskasoon to brown. Some even boil beef stew meat or veal yadiyim and add that water after browning the pasta, that is the way my mom and her sisters used to make it for friday night.

    • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ Stephanie

      sometimes we make it with onions (see photo above), but grandma never cooks with onions! grandpa didn’t like them.

      • Sshatzkes

        Neither does she :)nShe just saw the pictures. She flipped! She said “Oh my god I am so proud!” (I think she meant of you are all the recipes you have listed – she had her eye on the SY recipes – and not of herself :))

  • Carol C

    what happened to the onions??? saute onions first then add the keskasoon to brown. Some even boil beef stew meat or veal yadiyim and add that water after browning the pasta, that is the way my mom and her sisters used to make it for friday night.

    • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ steph

      sometimes we make it with onions (see photo above), but grandma never cooks with onions! grandpa didn’t like them.

      • Sshatzkes

        Neither does she :)
        She just saw the pictures. She flipped! She said “Oh my god I am so proud!” (I think she meant of you are all the recipes you have listed – she had her eye on the SY recipes – and not of herself :))

  • Michelledayan1

    We always ate it with spanach or kusa jiben (sp??) with yogurt on top. I never knew people had it with meat!

  • Michelledayan1

    We always ate it with spanach or kusa jiben (sp??) with yogurt on top. I never knew people had it with meat!

  • Jani

    Thank you for having this recipe here! I have been looking for it since I lost my Deal Delights cookbook. I forgot about toasting the acini di pepe, and that makes such a difference. But I too made it with orzo, like 1/2 & 1/2…and onions and butter.u00a0nAlso, I’m so glad I found your site for the other recipes too, I forgot about so many of my Syrian favorites, and now I have many new dinners to make! Thank you Grandma Sally. :-)

  • Jani

    Thank you for having this recipe here! I have been looking for it since I lost my Deal Delights cookbook. I forgot about toasting the acini di pepe, and that makes such a difference. But I too made it with orzo, like 1/2 & 1/2…and onions and butter. 
    Also, I’m so glad I found your site for the other recipes too, I forgot about so many of my Syrian favorites, and now I have many new dinners to make! Thank you Grandma Sally. :-)

  • rachel

    yeah, i agree with carol c. the sauteed onions were left out of this recipe! we call this israeli couscous and we eat it with everything too. in israel we cook it with the onion and in a broth and then toss it with oil after. its typically used as an alternative to rice or couscous. not so much in soup. typically with chicken schnitzel or with chunks of kosher sausages. sometimes as a tuna curry or cold pasta salad. i like to flavor it with garlic and cumin, color with turmeric while it is still cooking. or toss with pesto.