Okay I have an interesting question and I figure some of you out there might have some ideas. I'm the education director of a Jewish Sunday school and we are looking for recipes for foods eaten traditionally at Chanukah by Jewish communities around the world. What I'm hoping for is that some of you out there might be able to send me recipes or stear me to links to recipes for dishes belonging to cultures outside of central Europe. So does anyone have a recipe they would like to share? They need not be kosher, just interesting. While I adore latkes and sufganiot I'm hoping to find something a little more "exotic."
This site has a lot of recipes that are not your typical Ashkenazi fare in the International section. I don't know whether any of it is specifically food for Chanukah, though.
In the Holidays, Chanukah section there are several non-Ashkenazi recipes as well.
The idea of foods for Chanukah is that they be oily to symbolize the oil for the Maccabee's lamps during that Biblical seige where they only had enough for 1 day but there was a miracle and the oil lasted 8 days. Thus greasy potato pancakes - latkes.
I made kasha varnishkes for a pot-luck recently and they made a big hit, were easy to make, and can be quite unctuous given enough oil (or even better, butter for a dairy meal).
You can multiply the amounts for a big crowd:
2 cups (buckwheat groats/kasha)
2 large or extra large eggs, well mixed.
3 1/2 cups boiling water
6 T butter (or olive oil - not extra virgin)
1 big or 2 medium onions - minced & lightly browned
1/2# bow tie noodles - cooked al dente
S & P
Toast the kasha in a big frying pan with a little olive oil. Add the eggs, mix until dry. Add water and cover. Simmer about 15 minutes until water is absorbed and kasha is done. If excess water, drain and return to pan. Add butter (or oil), cooked noodles, S & P to taste, and onions. Mix.
Another nice dish for a crowd that's easy is Tsimmes.
No specific amounts - to taste:
Simmer until done: 1" chunks of carrot, sweet potato, yams, apple, plus apricots, pitted prunes, honey and salt to taste.
(any mixture of the above that appeals to you - but carrots are a must)
This is a side dish, not a dessert.
Hummus (NOT Hamas) and Babaganouj (eggplant dip)
are nice appetizers for a party, and are easy.
You need a food processor.
No amounts, just add olive oil slowly - you want a mayo-consistency for both.
Roast more eggplants than you think you'll need at a high temp. until they implode & char, or if you can't wait, until they collapse. Scoop out the inside (discard the skin) and add to processor with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt. Then slowly add olive oil.
Hummus: In processor -
Several cans drained chick peas/garbanzos,
garlic, lemon juice, salt, tahini. Slowly add olive oil.
Serve with Tam Tam crackers and pita.
Raw veggies are also nice to dip.
Sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, sliced red & green bell peppers, canned black or greek style olives, vinagrette dressing.
re: Niki Rothman
Just a reminder that the buckwheat groats (Kasha) must be whole, otherwise you will have mush.
Also in our family we use lots of thinly sliced onion, maybe two large spanish onions and at least a pound of sliced mushrooms browned to-gether in oil, salt and pepper, and unfortunately more oil than you suggest.
We pour this mixture onto the hot kasha, and toss in the bowties.
Your version is healthier, I am sure.
Eastern European cooks never worried about these things.
I have never heard of butter in this dish, nor would I personally try it. It just wouldn't be the same dish that my mother and grandmother used to make.
Kosher board is a good suggestion. Also, check out The Book of Jewish Food, by Claudia Roden. Many non-Ashkenazic recipes with history and folklore.