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Pareve Cholent

I'm a big fan of pareve cholent. The problem is, it's expensive. Usually $4.99 a pound. But I can't figure out what they put in there to give it flavor. Aside from beans, potatoes, and oil, what else can I put in to give it flavor?

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  1. IMO the flavor comes of the cholent from the aromatics, spices and seasoning you place in the cholent - so lots of onions and garlic -

    some things you can do to make the cholent insteresting Find a nice pareve kishke, cook eggs with the cholent - I believe this is a sephardic tradition

    1. You might want to try using pareve sausage like the Tofurkey brand or Yves brand. If you want try something healthier, try tempeh (available in health food stores).

      1. My grandmother's recipe (going back to the '40s!) calls for a bunch of ginger. I bet you could try a version with cloves and cinnamon for a change, too.

        1. Just curious: Where do you get this 4.99 a pound, pareve cholent?

          1. I actually make parve cholent every shabbos. I use parve chicken soup mix.

            Schwartz's(On ave. L in Brooklyn) makes parve cholent on Thursdays.

            1. My bobbe a"h used to put prunes in her cholent, which was parve.

              1. As great as individual additions are, you have to remember to stick with a recipe. Use one you like and subtract the meat; I know it sounds too simple, but it is. As tasty as meat is, it isn't the end all that some make it out to be. Work with the traditional and try to beef up other things up for some added flavor and variety: fry the onions beforehand to pack some extra flavor; place two raw eggs (in their shells) in the pot as the first poster replied; I always like a sweet potato; diced and whole onions and sliced and halved potatos; whole garlic; and other twists on a traditional chulent.

                Resist the urge to overcompemsate with a lot of conflicting flavors (honey and extra pepper; bbq sauce and extra salt) or simple overspicing. Don't forget to taste it and adjust as it cooks.
                Good luck and share the final recipe and results!

                1. I've gotten the $4.99 cholent at Porges bakery, Avenue K and Coney Island Avenue.

                  1. Joan Nathan's recipe for cholent in Jewish Cooking in America is wonderful. I've made it without the meat and bones, and added a bit of tamari and some ketchup to compensate for flavour. I've also added carrots and sweet potatoes on occasion and reduced the number of white potatoes called for.

                    I've made it in the oven and in a crockpot, and it's failproof.

                    1. Pareve kishke works well. Also, consider adding smoke seasoning.

                      1. How do eggs add flavor if they're in their shells?

                        1. They don't add flavor to the whole chulent per se, but they add a whole dimension of variety, and once they get hard boiled together with the rest of the dish they are a great compliment. Once peeled they are usually a deep brown and packed with flavor; either eat it directly with the ready chulent or on bread (I love to eat it with [spicy] tomato dip).

                          1. I make a parve cholent almost every Shabbat and people are usually surprised that it doesn't contain meat. I take the time to saute the onions and I use more than I use in a meat cholent. I use prunes and portobella mushrooms. The mushrooms give it a very meaty consistency. If anyone wants the recipe, just email me.