Friday, May 7, 2010

Vegan Cholent

What on earth is cholent you ask? Wikipedia says that "Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: חמין‎) is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath.) Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish religious laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a slow oven or electric slow cooker until the following day."

Here's how I describe it, "Yummy, healthy stew that you eat in traditional Jewish homes on Shabbat. Rarely made without flanken, a cut of red meat, which sure makes it delicious."

Well, now that I've set myself on a sort of different path, I decided that it might be fun to try out a version of this traditional stew without the meat. I had heard rumors that it could be quite good that way. After tasting it, I have to admit, it is awesome without the meat. We're having guests tonight for dinner (more on the rest of that meal later) and I'll be serving it, proudly!

This picture does not do it justice. It's yum-oh!

Vegan Cholent
makes enough for a crowd

4 large sweet potatoes (or white potatoes)
3/4 cup barley
3/4 cup beans--adzuki, navy, pinto, kidney or a mix
1 large plus 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
3 big squirts catsup
2 Tbsp onion soup mix (I used a healthy one that I got at Whole Foods, not Lipton's, so if you use a Lipton's type soup mix, reduce the salt)

Put all ingredients into a crock pot. Add water to cover plus one inch. Set slow cooker to high for 4 hours, then set to low (if you are going to be cooking it for more than 6 hours on low, I would set the crock pot to the "warm" setting after 10 total hours of cooking).


Jessica said...

I think you can also get a bag of beans called "Cholent Mix" at Boris' or other Kosher markets. Looks great Wendy - will try it for sure on the next cold day!!!

Wendy said...

Jessica-You are totally right. But it's not complicated if you just keep dried beans and barley around all the time. Since it's cold right now, go for it! Randy didn't even know it didn't have meat in it until he went for his second helping.

Lori said...

The cholent was delicious! I have put left overs into single serving containers and in then freezer. This way with our crazy schedules we can pull it it out when needed. In also added double the amount of beans....the more the merrier! Lori

Wendy said...

Yeah! When you reheat it, you will probably need to add some more water or broth to loosen it up a bit--it tends to get very, very dense after the first day. Did your kids try it?

mothersson2002 said...

Dies it matter what size the potatoes are cut?

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