Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our Incredibly Cultural Vegetarian Yom Kippur Break-Fast

As far as food traditions go, there are only a few days a year for which I have requirements. 
  1. Mac & Cheese and cookie cake for my birthday
  2. Matzah Ball Soup for Passover
  3. Bagels & Lox  with a hearty helping of kugel on the side for breaking the fast after Yom Kippur

I'm a girl with simple needs.

...Tal may or may not have started counting my shoes, purses, and lip glosses as I typed that…

Anyway, when I started to plan our 2 person break-fast last week, I realized that it was going to be a challenge to satisfy those simple needs this year. Indian flavors and Eastern European Jewish cooking don't exactly share a center circle on the venn diagram. 

There are a few foods that are traditionally eaten at the Jewish new year for a variety of symbolic reasons, and while I couldn't prepare them in the style to which I'm accustom - there was really no reason not to find creative ways to incorporate them.

I did hours of recipe research (stop judging me, after 24 hours of fasting the meal has to be DARN worthy)  and in the end,  our holiday meal didn't taste anything like what we're used to but it was delicious, vegetarian and steeped-in-tradition to boot!

This is how we incorporated carrots, honey, and pomegranate in our Turkish, Moroccan, Indian, Vegetarian Yom Kippur Break-Fast  2012:

 Baingan Bharta (Roasted Eggplant)

I felt that it was important to include an Indian dish at our holiday meal this year. This is adapted from the cook book Pure & Simple: Homeade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine by Vidhu Mittal.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tbsp  oil of choice other than olive ( I used sunflower)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into medium sized cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped green chillies
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • Salt to taste

Puncture the eggplant with a fork several times, then coat the outer surface with oil. Roast over the stove-top flame until the skin starts to peel, and the eggplant feels soft. Set aside to cool.

Once the eggplant has cooled, remove the skin and cut the eggplant  into bite sized cubes. Cut the tomatoes into similarly sized pieces.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan; add onion, ginger, and green chillies. Cook until the onions are light brown. 

Add the eggplant, tomato, and spices (including a bit of salt) to the pan. Toss to coat.

Cover the pan, stirring occasionally until eggplants are cooked through. 

Put 3/4 of the eggplant mixture into a food processor. Puree.

While the frying pan is still hot, add peas to remaining  eggplant & tomatoes. When peas are heated, combine the two eggplant mixtures.

Garnish with cilantro if you're so inclined.  When it comes to cilantro? I am NEVER so inclined.

Finally, I adapted this recipe for  Pumpkin Honey Rice Pudding:

  • 1 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice
  • 1 12-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 4 cups skim or low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar (or white if that's what you have)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 3/4 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine the rice, milks, sugar, honey pumpkin, spices, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the rice mixture just to a simmer; watch it to make sure it doesn't boil over. Turn the heat down to low and stir the rice mixture well. Cover the pan most of the way and simmer the rice pudding gently for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

When the rice is tender, remove the pot from the stove. Cover the pan and let the rice pudding cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

This was delicious warm after our dinner, and still delicious cold; when I ate it again for breakfast this morning.

May the new year be rich and sweet, and may your tummy always be filled with food made with love. Shana Tova!

No comments:

Post a Comment