There is so much that can be written about dafina. For those of you who don’t know, Jews are forbidden to touch electricity/fire on Shabbat. Shabbat starts from Friday night sundown, to Saturday night sundown. This means that the Saturday (or Shabbat day) meal must be prepared in advance. Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews have each their traditional Shabbat day meals. The Sephardics call theirs dafina and the Ashkenazis call theirs cholent. They have some similarities in the ingredients they use, but they are very different in taste.
Pour in 1/2 c. of canola oil.
Mix all the above spices and stir them into the beans and chickpeas. This is your base. This will be the flavour of your sauce. You can always adjust the spices to suit your tastes. Don’t be afraid. If you like a little more spicy, add more cayenne pepper. If you like more of a robust flavour, add more cumin. Play with it.
Next, season your meat with the above ingredients. Place all the spices in a bowl and mix together. Then sprinkle it over your different meats and rub it in well.
Heat up a frying pan on medium heat with 2 tbsp canola oil. Braise all the meats on all sides. Your meat will not cook through. It will form a delicious crust on the outside of the meat so it will caramelize in the slow cooker. I’m getting hungry….The secret to braising meat is high heat, not to crowd the pan and don’t touch the meat. If you crowd the pan or your heat is too low, the meat will release its juices and it will boil instead.
Place braised meat over the chickpeas and beans.
Place the potatoes, sweet potatoes and onion halves around the meat.
Place the eggs delicately around. (No your eggs are not pre- cooked. )
Now using a large measuring cup, pour some water on the side of the meat (take care not to cover the top of the meat with water as it will cause all the spices to run off) and fill up your crock pot until it reaches half way up the meat.
Set the slow cooker on low and cover. Now you will start the rice and make the wheat.
In a rice cooker or on the stovetop place rice and pour in about 2 tbsp of canola oil. mix to coat the rice. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. The add about 1 tbsp. of ground turmeric. Fill the rice cooker or the pot with water and cook.
Once the rice is done, place it in a mesh cooking bag, tie it well, and place it over the meat in the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and allow dafina to continue cooking.
Fill the small crock pot with the wheat with water until the wheat is covered. Place on low and allow to cook with the large crock pot with the meat overnight on low until lunch the next day.