Always hungry for new recipe ideas, I was thumbing through my copy of Veganomicon when I fell upon a recipe for vegan Cholent.

Cholent is a stew simmered over a very low flame or in a slow oven or crock pot for many hours (up to 24 hours or more) and served by Jews on Shabbat. There are many variations of the dish, which is a standard of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens. In Hebrew, cholent is called chamin (“hot food”).


I decided to make a batch, and though I did not intend to follow the exact recipe, I absorbed some of the guidelines and proceeded. In my cholent (pictured above) were potatoes, carrots, yellow squash, fennel bulb, sweet potatoes, and an interesting meat substitute called Karfu, a sort of gluteny, seitany spongy slab made from unseasoned wheat gluten.

I heated olive oil and butter, added asafetida and black pepper, then fried chunks of the Karfu till a little browned, then added pomegranate molasses, tamari, vegetarian oyster sauce and ketchup.

Then came the chopped vegetables, water, a tiny sprinkle cumin powder, coriander powder, sweet paprika, ginger, a smidge Spanish smoked paprika, a few flakes of dried mixed herbs, salt, a fine misting of raw sugar and then the lid. I stewed the mixture for an hour or so until it was all very tender. Finally I added a few tablespoons of a prebrowned roux mix of butter and flour, which formed a smooth gravy.

It was quite spectacular.
Posted by Kurma on 8/7/08; 8:16:04 AM

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