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Oct 26, 2013 07:40 PM

Your most unusual cholent ingredienr?

I make a vegetarian cholent with the usual suspects, and add extras like seitan cubes, veggie dogs, tofu, pieces of veggie burgers, whatever we have. I'm always looking for something unusual to add to it, like the oatmeal I started using a few years ago hecause I figured it would thicken it and add fiber.

This week we are thinking o f adding beer and some new veggies, like maybe a parsnip or celery root. What do you add to cholent that's unique or that takes it from merely good to over the top delicious?

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  1. My bobbe's cholent was vegetarian, and she used to put prunes in it to give it a vaguely meaty flavour.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zsero

      I second the prunes. I used to buy the best veggie chulent at a monthly street fair on Emek Refaim. There was a mystery ingredient that had a meat flavor and texture. When the lady told me it was prunes, I really didn't believe her at first.

      Also, sun-dried tomatoes, in oil or not, add wonderful flavor. A little goes a long way.

    2. beer and pepsi are always very popular add ins, i splurge on expensive meat and will sometimes add in veal ribs or veal sausages. i'll usually start off the cholent by rendering out some beef fry - i find that it adds a really nice smoky flavor. in a pinch, though, i will use liquid smoke.

      1. Here are the not-so-normal fixins in my usual cholent:

        * Jack's Gourmet Mexican Chorizo
        * Matzo Meal (hat tip to Ari W.), which I put on top of the liquid and before 1/2 of the chorizo and the kishke
        * 2 bottles of beer + Dr. Pepper for the rest
        * Lentils
        * a handful of Quinoa (also thanks to Ari W.)
        * Lamb (though I'd love tips for a cut I should seek out that isn't so boney)

        2 Replies
        1. re: tamarw

          No reason to run from bones. My usual chulent includes marrow bones as extra bones. Remember, bones are what you use for stock. By including bones you're effectively making a stock in your crock pot rather than having to pour in stock as your liquid.

          1. re: avitrek

            Agreed for flanken (which I use all the time) but not with lamb, because lamb has so many piece-y bones that it can be a dangerous surprise. I don't want anyone to choke on my account.

        2. It's not for me to say, but my take on the OP's question was that she was asking about veggie cholent.

          2 Replies
          1. re: queenscook

            I'm actually notsyre that I mwpeant to specify only veggie cholent, though that's what will give me the most help. Hearing about the meat, though, I still might be able to take away a dew ideas.

            I'm intrigued by some of the above ideas, including the matza meal and soda. Definitely going to try the prunes this week, but as for the Dr Pepper, do you use regular or would diet work?
            Looking forward to Shabbos! :)

            1. re: Miri1

              Any Dr. P works well, its the only soda with a real umami kick. For my wife's veggy cholent, we use pitted dates that soak overnight in coffee. The result after cooking overnight is a faux sausage with a very beef like texture. Make sure when make a veg cholent that you add in some time of oil to make up for what would normally be kicked in by the meat ingredients. Otherwise I've found that you cholents will dry out and resemble sludge.

          2. haha, i use all the pardes leftovers(sliced tongue, braised bacon etc)..... curry powder, beans, onions & garlic. one of my kids is a vegetarian so i put the jachnoon on the side & make schug for it. i realize this doesnt benefit you at all as a vegetarian. sorry. i will give you my secret though. i dont use a blech or a crockpot, i set my oven to 175 & put all my ingredients in cold or frozen, in a tightly sealed pan. except for cooked beans. and i use very little liquid. sometimes none.