View Full Version : Dishing up flavour of an Iraqi childhood

08-28-2011, 07:34 AM
Linda Dangoor's family left Baghdad when she was just 10. But she took the tastes of her childhood with her.

More than a half-century after going into exile, the London-based ceramicist has published Flavours of Babylon, a cookbook fondly recording the culinary traditions of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities.

Food writer Claudia Roden, who was born in Egypt, said the recipes represented "the secret cuisine of a vanished world" and were not ones that could be found in a restaurant. "You have to be invited to someone's home to taste them," she said. "Now you'll be able to cook them yourself."

Chicken kebabs with saffron and pepper and sambousak - half-moon pastries filled with chickpea paté - were some of the examples served to guests at the launch reception at London's Jewish Museum last week.


Roasted beetroot & baby spinach salad with walnut dressing

Preparation Time
20 minutes
Cooking Time
60 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)

6 medium (about 2 bunches) beetroot, ends trimmed
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
100g (1 cup) walnut halves
60ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves
100g goat's cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 200C. Place the beetroot on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from oven and set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Wearing rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel beetroot and cut into wedges.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Add the vinegar to the walnut mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the baby spinach leaves and beetroot among serving plates. Sprinkle with goat's cheese and drizzle with walnut dressing. Serve immediately.

08-28-2011, 08:59 AM
Jewish Style Cholent (Beef Stew)

Cholent Was Born Of Necessity for Jews during Passover.
The dietary Laws forbid cooking during Pesach,
no cooking is allowed,they are not allowed to start a fire.
So they slow cooked Sealed Oven dishes ahead of time and ate
them when Passover. ended..

The recipe for this slow-cooked dish of beans, brisket,
and vegetables was inspired by one that András
Singer serves at Fülemüle, his restaurant in Budapest.

1/2 lb. dried lima beans
1/2 lb. dried kidney
2 tbsp. schmaltz (chicken
or goose fat) or canola
1 2-lb. piece trimmed beef brisket
Kosher salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 lb. beef marrow bones (optional)
2 cups roughly chopped whole peeled
canned tomatoes
1/2 cup pearl barley
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled and quartered
4 whole eggs (optional)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into
1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into
1" pieces
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

1. Put beans into a 4-qt. saucepan and cover with 2" water.
Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
Skim any scum from surface and drain beans; set aside.

2. Heat oven to 325°. Heat schmaltz in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Season brisket with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning, until well browned,
about 8 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate. Add garlic, onions, and paprika to pot
and cook, stirring, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved beans,
the beef, marrow bones, tomatoes, barley, potatoes, eggs (in the shell), parsnips,
carrots, and 8 cups water to cover; season with salt and pepper and bring liquid to a
simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Bake until beef is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

To serve, transfer beef to a cutting board and cut into pieces.
Remove eggs; peel and chop.
Divide beef and eggs between 6 serving bowls and spoon stew into bowls.
Garnish with parsley.
Passover Cholent

This fantastic cholent comes from Julie Schorr of Silver Spring, Maryland.
We discovered this recipe both from the web and from our mutual friend
Eudice Greenfield of Skokie, IL. I've added paprika, but this is up to you.
It turns out that the Schorr children and my children have many connections -
it's a small and wonderful world!

5 lbs. red potatoes, peeled, grated (in a food processor)
5 onions, peeled and grated
2-4 pounds Boston Roast or similar lean cut of meat
3 lbs. small potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, paprika to taste

Yield: cholent for 10-12

Preheat oven to 225°F. Combine grated potatoes and onions.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and optional paprika.
Place mixture in a roasting pan. Nestle the meat in the center of the potato mixture.
Surround meat with small scrubbed potatoes. Cover pan with heavy duty alumninum foil.
This is not an error; do not add any liquid. Bake overnight (18-24 hours) at 225°F.
This is very flexible, both in terms of amounts and spices.
The meat will be very tender and a bit brown.
The potato/onion mixture will be creamy and the small potatoes
are soft and delicious.
Restaurant Fulemule Budapest Colent

Andras Singer serves six types of solet at his Fulemule restaurant:
solet served with eggs, with goose leg, with smoked meat and eggs,
with goose liver and onion, with mixed meats and a non-traditional-sounding
Mexican solet with chili.

He provided this basic recipe, which of course can
be varied to suit individual taste.

About 2 cups dried beans (Singer prefers dark beans)
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons goose, duck or chicken fat
(schmaltz is recommended, but you can
substitute cooking oil if you wish a lighter taste)
Singer's basic recipe calls for
1 1/2 pounds smoked beef brisket plus poultry legs --
1 or 2 turkey legs, or 2 goose or duck
legs. But you can vary this to taste.
Just make sure that you use at least
2 types of meat, and that one of them is smoked --
in Hungary it is easy to get smoked turkey or goose legs.
6 eggs in their shells, washed
(Note: make sure that the eggs are fresh, as
one bad egg could ruin the dish.
Some people recommend cooking the eggs separately;
others leave them out entirely.)
1 cup pearl barley, washed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, or to taste
About 2 teaspoons powdered mild Hungarian paprika (or to taste)
Rinse the beans and soak them overnight. Preheat the oven to 275.
While the oven is heating, saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of the fat
until they become soft, using a very large flameproof baking dish,
casserole or oven-proof pot. Stir about half of the drained beans into the onions.
Add the meat, the eggs in their shell (see note above) and the barley.
Cover with the remaining half of beans. Add salt, pepper, garlic and paprika,
to taste, plus the remaining 2 tablespoons of fat or oil. Cover everything with water.

Cover the casserole tightly, place in the oven, and cook for 6 to 7 hours until the
beans are very tender. (Check the solet after 4 or 5 hours and, if needed, add hot water.)
When the solet is done, turn off the heat, but leave the solet in the cooling oven
for another 2 or 3 hours. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
To serve, shell the eggs and quarter them.
(Some people prefer to leave them whole or slice them.)
Slice the brisket and remove the poultry meat from the bones.
(Some people prefer to leave the poultry legs intact.)

08-28-2011, 01:22 PM
Hungarian Sole't - Cholent
Serves: 8 or more

The Stew:
2-1/2 cups dry white beans, soaked overnight
1-1/4 cups barley
6 tbsp. oil, or veggie schmaltz
1 cup margarine
1 onion, big, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound smoked meat, or a piece of
shpondra (short Ribs Of Beef)
(250 grams) bones (optional)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
3-4 eggs, wash very well

The Kugel:
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1 cup margarine, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
1/3 cup water
1 grated potato and 1 onion cut into very small pieces (optional)

First of all, boil in a lot of water the beans. When it boils,
add 1 tsp baking soda, and continue to cook for a another 10 minutes.

At the same time, wash the barley and boil it too in a lot of water
just for a minute. Drain both barley and beans, and wash well in
running water. Put each in a bowl for further use.

In a frying pan warm up oil and margarine; fry onions until nice gold in color.
Put in a big saucepan the meat, beans, barley. Add the onions and the
fat in the frying pan, and on top put the eggs.

Add the salt, black pepper, and paprika. Cover with water until it just covers all.
Put on the stove and bring to a boil. While waiting for it to boil, prepare the Kugel:

Put in a bowl, flour, cornmeal, mix. Add pieces of margarine, salt, pepper and paprika,
and mix by hands until all is well blended. Make a big dumpling and put on top of all.
Preheat oven on high. Transfer the Sole't into oven the minute it boils. Lower heat,
and bake overnight, or 6-8 hours on low oven heat. If it needs more water, add
only 1/3 cup each time. You can add more salt and pepper to your taste.
Enjoy, and sleep well after it.

Poster's Notes:
The Hungarian sole't comes without potatoes, but with a lot of beans, barley,
and of course with a piece of smoked meat, and paprika. To the sole't you
add a kugel that is made with regular flour, cornmeal, and paprika that
gives to it a nice orange color.


Kugel (Yiddish: קוגעל; also קוגל kugl, pronounced IPA: [ˈkʊɡl̩]) is a baked Ashkenazi Jewish pudding or casserole, similar to a pie, most commonly made from egg noodles (Lokshen kugel) or potatoes, though at times made of zucchini, apples, spinach, broccoli, cranberry, or sweet potato. It is usually served as a side dish on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Basic Potato Kugel (Parve)

Potato Kugel, moist on the inside and crispy on the outside,
is a staple of Eastern European Jewish cooking.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
8 medium potatoes
2 onions
6 eggs
1/2 cup oil
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 heaping Tbsp. salt
1/2-1 tsp. pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celcius).
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, oil, flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Coarsely grate the potatoes and onion by hand or food processor.
Let stand 3-5 minutes.
Squeeze out excess liquid. Add grated potatoes to the egg-flour mixture.
Mix by hand only until smooth.
4. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
5. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until golden brown on top and a knife
inserted in the middle comes out clean.

YIELD: 12-14 servings.


Serve slightly warm or hot as a side dish with a meat entree
such as brisket or roast chicken