Matar Paneer Practice for Our Indian Pop Up Night and a Cookbook Giveaway

Indian Matar PaneerFolks, we are in the period known as “The Nine Days“.  Historically it is a time of mourning for the Jewish people, and traditionally many of us do not eatINDIAN POP UP meat. We used this as an opportunity to do a test cook for our upcoming Indian pop up night at Ezras Israel Synagogue. Please join us on Sunday the 29th of July for this culinary adventure.  Rachel and I spent pretty much the whole day this past Sunday shopping and cooking. We made a rice dish, an eggplant dish, a paneer (Indian firm cheese), and a lentil dish. Below is the recipe for the paneer dish and Rachel also posted a recipe for the eggplant dish: Baingan Bharta an Indian Eggplant Dip and Cookbook Giveaway

Before we get to the recipe, a tip to all our readers: be sure to check out our cookbook giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Kosher paneer can often be found in Costco, but unfortunately mine did not have it in stock. I ended up finding it at my local Restaurant Depot, in 5 pound blocks. I realize that might be a large amount for most people, as this recipe calls for a third of a pound for 4 servings.  Doing some quick math, 5 pounds would make about 60 portions.

Matar Paneer roughly translates to: peas with cheese. I put my own spin on this Indian classic by adding roasted red peppers for some sweetness and color.  If you don’t like peas, a common variation on this recipe uses spinach instead of peas. The Paneer cheese I was able to get my hands was extremely firm and does not melt. It also could use some help in the flavor department.  In those ways it is very similar to tofu.  For those reasons I suggest cutting the paneer in fairly small cubes and marinating it for at least an hour to overcome some of the blandness and soften it up a bit.

0 from 0 votes
Indian Matar Paneer
Matar Paneer With Roasted Red Peppers
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A twist on a vegetarian North Indian classic. Great as a main dish or a side. It can be ready in about 15 minutes in case you have a surprise vegetarian guest, using things that can be kept in your freezer and pantry. 

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, vegetarian
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1/3 lb Paneer Cheese About a cup
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Whole Cumin Seed
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Leaves
  • 2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmic
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Sugar
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • 1 Sliced Green Chile Pepper Jalapeno will work (optional)
  • 1 Handful Cilantro
  1. Turn your oven broiler on high and put the red pepper (on a lined sheet pan) in until the skin starts to blister, turning to make make sure you get some color on all sides. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the top and the seeds and slice into strips.

  2. Dice the cheese in to 1/2" cubes and marinate it in 1/2 the crushed tomatoes and the chopped garlic.

  3. Add 1/2 the olive oil to a heavy saute pan and place over high heat. Add the paneer to the hot pan. Cook on each side until it starts to brown, about one minute per side. Remove the cheese from pan to a plate lined with a paper towel.

  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the oil to the pan along with cumin seeds and fenugreek. Once the cumin begins to darken, add the water, the rest of the crushed tomatoes, turmeric, and coriander to the pan and simmer for five minutes.

  5. Add the peas, pepper strips, and the optional jalapeno to the pan and saute until they just begin to soften. Season with the salt and sugar.

  6. Turn off the pan and add in the paneer, and mix it into the vegetables.  Move to a serving bowl, top with the cilantro, and serve immediately.

We are also running a give away for the next few weeks.  Enter for your chance to win a copy of the incredibly popular (and beautiful) new cookbook Millennial Kosher by Chanie Apfelbaum of the excellent blog Busy in Brooklyn. I can honestly say Chanie is one of my favorite kosher food bloggers out there.

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Baingan Bharta – Indian Eggplant Dip!

I’ve been on a MAJOR okra kick right now, which works well in this Indian classic. You’re probably thinking, “wait, isn’t this an eggplant dish”.  And you’d be right.  But first let me back up and profess my new found love for okra first.

I know okra gets a bad rap – that weird, slimy texture is not to appealing to a lot of people and unless you’re a gumbo aficionado, most people just aren’t on the okra train. To be honest, I had okra for the first time only a few years ago (I know, for a vegetarian, you’d think I’d have tasted every vegetable on the face of the earth, but we just didn’t grow up with it at all)!  Granted what I had was the fried okra with garlic aoli at Milts BBQ for the Perplexed, here in Chicago, but honestly, what can you fry that ISN’T good?  But I was searching for a low-carb “chip” alternative that wasn’t zucchini.

All I do is slice the okra down the middle, trim the tops, drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle a ton of spices (just anything I have on hand – onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, hot paprika, rosemary, really…anything goes) and roast at 425F for about 20 minutes and you get crispy, crunchy and not-at-all-slimy okra chips!  Ahh, my mouth is drooling already just thinking about these!  Dipped in spicy guac, it’s the perfect snack food for me!

So what better way to incorporate my new favorite ingredient than into some Indian food! And no, this dish is primary accented with peas, not okra, with eggplant as the star of the show, but isn’t the fun of cooking to make it your own and experiment?  After all, okra is a common staple in Indian cuisine!

So, here we are in – in the midst of “the 9 days” before Tisha B’Av, which means it’s time to be meat-free (and that’s every day, in my world).  And while some are cooking up a dairy-lovers paradise in their kitchen, Daniel and I wanted to mix it up a bit and bring a warming, yummy vegan Indian dish to you!  And speaking of Indian food…this recipe is a sneak peek to what you’ll get at our upcoming Pop-Up food event on July 29th, 2018!

In case you missed it, Daniel and I will be doing the cooking and food demos for the first International food pop-up at EzrasINDIAN POP UP Israel!  You can register for the event here!

This may sound intimidating but not to worry, we’ll go through it together!  Though hard to pronounce, this Indian eggplant dish called “Baingan Bharta”  (BANG-IN, BARTA) is similar to baba ghanoush so it’s a perfect appetizer to make for a party, Shabbat meal or even a picnic, since it’s mayo-free!

This chunky dip would be great served with naan (Indian flatbread), pita, crackers or simply scooped up with some warm challah!  The warm aromatic spices will make your kitchen smell like a spice market! And if you’re not a fan of okra, just substitute the traditional peas in this dish, or frozen spinach instead (just make sure to squeeze out all of the water if you’re using frozen spinach, otherwise you’ll end up with a super watery dish)!  Also, if you love spicy food like me, feel free to add in some diced green chilies – but if you prefer it mild, then this recipe is perfect for you!

Hope you can join us at the Indian popup food event!

In the meantime, happy cooking everyone!

0 from 0 votes
Indian Baingan Bharta
Baingan Bharta
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + extra
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup okra, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt + extra
  • 1/2 lemon or lime, sliced
  1. To make the roasted eggplant:  Pre-heat oven to 425F.  Coat the eggplant with a bit of oil and salt and pierce all over with a fork.  Roast for 30 minutes, or until blistered and a bit charred (but not burnt). 

  2. Remove the stalk of the eggplant and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Using a fork, mash it well and place it to the side.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the cumin seeds, coriander and turmeric and cook for about 30 seconds until the spices get a bit darkened and warm and fragrant.  Add the onion and ginger garlic paste and cook for about 8 minutes.  (if you don't have ginger garlic paste - you can easily make your own:  just add some freshly peeled ginger and garlic in a blender with some olive oil and puree until a paste forms.  If you don't have fresh, just sub 1 tsp ground ginger and 2 cloves of garlic, minced). 

  4. Add the petite diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.

  5. Slice the okra in small pieces and add to the pan.  Cook for another 5 minutes until the okra is tender and a little crispy.  

  6. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has warmed through with the spices and tomato, onion mixture. 

  7. Scoop the dip into a big bowl, drizzle with some more olive oil, squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and top with fresh parsley. Garnish with more lemon or lime slices. 

  8. Serve hot with fresh naan bread, pita, or gluten-free crackers!

Smoke on the Water: Organizing a BBQ Competition In the Rain and Award Winning Ribs

Hang on folks because this one is a bit long (at least for my posts). If you like BBQ I promise it is worth it.  If you make it to the end your patience will be rewarded with an award-winning rib recipe (or you could just scroll down to the recipe, I won’t tell).

Back Where (Kosher Competitive) BBQ (In Chicago) All Began

What you may or may not know is that Rachel and I have a competitive kosher BBQ team called 5 Dudes and a Vegetarian.  Here is a little history how that came to be. In 2014, I competed in my first kosher BBQ competition at Anshe Emet Synagogue in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. I assembled a team, developed some recipes, watched some YouTube videos, and came up with a plan.

Kosher BBQ Competitions KCBS Style5 Dudes and a Vegetarian

I am going to pause here and provide a little background on the format of kosher BBQ competitions established by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS):

Teams compete in four categories, chicken, beef ribs, turkey, and brisket. They are judged by six judges on taste, tenderness, and presentation. Judges score entries on a scale of 2-9, with the lowest judge’s score dropped. The scores are then tallied and the winners are announced. In order to keep everything kosher the competition provides all of the equipment, meat, and ingredients.  Usually, there is prep time Thursday night or Friday morning ahead of the event. At this point meat, ingredients, and utensils are given out and access to a kosher kitchen is provided.  The event swings in to full gear Saturday night, where the teams are provided a smoker and a grill, and start cooking, drinking, and having an all around good time.  The teams pit-masters tend their fires throughout the night until it is time to turn their hard work in to the judges.

Now back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Prep was on Friday afternoon at Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed, who was co-hosting the event.  My teammates and I spent a good few hours blending a myriad of spices, trimming meats, and simmering sauces.  We had a different rub and sauce for each meat, which I have since learned is definitely NOT the way to go, but that is a story for another time.  There were close to 20 teams, which made for some close quarters, while working on little 4-top restaurant tables.   While this wasn’t ideal it did make for great camaraderie between the teams.

If I had to pick the thing I like the most about competing in kosher BBQ competitions, it is relationships I have developed over the years with other teams.  I have met a lot of awesome people and made some great friends.  I want to call out one specific person who I met on my BBQ odyssey, Mendel Segal. Mendel Segal, currently the pit-master at Backyard BBQ and Brew in Surfside, FL, was helping organize the event.  At the time he was the executive director of the Vaad Hakashruth of Kansas City, and is responsible for bringing competitive BBQ to the kosher world.  He has encouraged me to indulge my BBQ obsession, and guided me along the way.

Time to Kick the Tires and Light the Fires

Now let’s fast forward about thirty hours. We showed up Saturday night at Anshe Emet  to cook (and drink) through the night. To be honest, despite all of the planning and research I had done, I made lots of rookie mistakes, but again that is a story for another time. The weather was perfect, the crowd was great, and a good time was had all around. To be honest I don’t remember how we did in three of the four categories, but we did take home a third place trophy for our BBQ Baked Beans (this was early on, so they did beans instead of turkey).

From there on I was officially hooked. Since then we have competed in kosher competitions in Kansas City and St. Louis.  This year we are hoping to compete in Dallas, Boca Raton, and Phoenix.  The Chicago competition lasted one more year and then fizzled out, that is until this year.

Bringing BBQ Back to the Windy City

I was determined to bring kosher competition BBQ back to Chicago (and compete in it at the same time), but I knew I could not do it alone.  I reached out to the organizers of the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival.  Back in 2014 their event was the week after the Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition.  Their event has been running for decades. They have large outdoor event logistics down to a science. When I approached the organizers about incorporating the Kosher BBQ Competition in to the Jewish Festival they were very excited about it.

BBQ SmokersTo be honest, I don’t know how I could have done it with them.  The festival took care of the fundraising and logistics such as tents, lighting, water, refrigeration, and port-o-potties.  I was also able to obtain ten smokers and ten grills from the organizers of the original Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition. That helped us over the major hurdle of finding equipment, but at the same time that became our maximum number of teams.

Help! I Need Somebody, Help!

Having someone else worrying about logistics freed me up to concentrate on the BBQ competition and its culinary related tasks. One thing I learned the hard way is that putting on a BBQ competition is way more work than you could possibly imagine. Only attempt this if it is truly your passion.  If you just think it will be something fun to do, or if you are on the fence, do not attempt it.  Also, get trusted help, and more of it than you think you need.  Even with the help of the fine folks from the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival and some occasional help from friends* this was still way more work than I expected.

Below is just a small list of things I needed to attend to:

Building a website (

Promoting the event on social media

Registering teams

Purchasing equipment

Buying ingredients

Ordering meat

Coordinating with KCBS

Coordinating with the festival

and so much more…..

One day I’ll write a book about organizing a BBQ competition but suffice it to say it is a lot of work.

Who’BBQ Prepll Stop the Rain

While most things went fairly smoothly, but there were some minor issues and one big one. Prep went well Thursday night and the logistics came together nicely on Friday.  The teams arrived fairly promptly on Saturday night and started cooking. All was going well until about 3:00 AM when it started raining buckets.  Luckily we were under a tent, but we definitely were not on high ground and the tent flooded.  It rained on and off through the night and the next morning, leaving the grounds a muddy mess.

As I stated earlier, the greatest thing about competition BBQ are the relationships you make.  When you have less than ideal conditions, like crummy weather, it serves to strengthen those relationships.  Teams help each other out and everyone just tries to laugh it off together. My team was in the area that was flooded the worst and the team next to us went out of their way to help us move our smoker out of the mud.  To be honest, most of the cooking was a bit of a blur but the overall camaraderie really did make an impression on me.BBQ Rain

At the end of the day my team took home a first place trophy for our ribs (see recipe below), and third overall.  I would be happy with those results at any competition. The fact that I spent most of my energy organizing the event and not competing, made those results that much sweeter.

Check out Rachel’s take on the competition here: 2018 Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition!

BBQ Ribs Trophy

*Thank you to  Robert Feiger, Ryan Gottesman, and Elliott Fliegelman for all your help with the manual labor. Thanks to Debbie and Dennis Burg for the use of you power washer. Thanks to Eli “Moose” Greenberg for help with the refrigeration situation. Thanks to all the teams for coming out and staying even when the weather got rough. Thanks to the fine folks of the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival for welcoming us in to their event. Finally, thanks to Steven Weinberger for everything.





4.5 from 2 votes
BBQ Beef Ribs
Award Winning Ribs with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Coal Lighting
15 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 5 mins

This is my award winning rib recipe that took first place in the 2018 Chicago Kosher BBQ competition. The recipe includes instructions for cooking on a smoker or in an oven.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: BBQ
Keyword: BBQ
Servings: 5 Bones
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 Rack Beef Back Ribs 5 Bones
  • 2 Cups Apple Juice In a spray bottle
Spice Rub
  • 1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Galic
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Paprika Smoked if you have it
  • 1/4 Cup Celery Seed
Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinager
  • 1/2 Cup Spice Rub
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Juice
Optional Special Equipment if You are Smoking Your Ribs
  • 1 Smoker
  • 2 Logs Apple Wood For flavor
  • 2 Logs Cherry Wood For flavor
  • Charcoal/Propane/Electricity/Wood For fueling your smoker
Spice Rub
  1. Add the kosher salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika and celery seed to a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the spice rub for the sauce.

Rib Preparation
  1. Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs.  This isn't 100% necessary but makes for a more tender rib and allows for better smoke penetration, if you decide to smoke the ribs. Then trim any loose bits of meat and fat as they will just burn during cooking.

  2. Sprinkle the ribs liberally with the spice rub on both sides.

Smoking Instructions
  1. If you are going to smoke the ribs, fire up your smoker to 250°F and put in a log each of apple and cherry wood. Place the ribs on the rack concave side down. 

  2. After about an hour add the other 2 logs. If you see spots on the ribs that start to look dry spray with the apple juice.

  3. Cook until the tender, about 3 hours. A skewer should slide through the meat with almost no resistance.

Oven Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to to 250°F and the put the ribs on a foil lined sheet pan.

  2. Bake until the tender, about 3 hours. A skewer should slide through the meat with almost no resistance.

Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
  1. Add the ketchup, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and spice rub to a medium pot. Place the pot over medium heat and simmer, stirring constantly until all the solids are are dissolved.

  2. Lightly brush the ribs with the sauce and place back on the smoker or in the oven  for 5 minutes to set the sauce.  Slice and serve immediately.

2018 Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition!

Go team!!

The rain boots are dry, the stench of smoke has dissipated and showers and laundry and done. This could only mean one thing – the BBQ competition has wrapped up!  This year, we had the unforeseen pleasure of working in muddy, and VERY swampy conditions (the giant puddle was affectionately known as “Lake Q”).

It’s been 3 years since there was a Chicago Kosher BBQ competition and this year, with the incredible help and organizing (and kick-off, I should say) from our very own Daniel Peikes, the ‘Q became part of the Greater Chicago Jewish Arts Festival!  And it made sense – why not include it into a Jewish arts fair, where you know you’re going to get lots of people coming by to check it out.  Granted, it wasn’t a total wash out, but the rain did prevent a lot of people from showing up, but needless to say, the BBQ event is NEVER cancelled – this is a “rain or shine” event!  We don’t stop because of monsoon conditions.  BRING IT ON!

This year was no different.  Same 4 categories – brisket, ribs, chicken thighs and turkey.  Sanctioned by the KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society).  Yes, it’s a thing.  Prep on Thursday night at Congregation KINS went well – I was in autopilot, making the rubs and sauces (and of course, through a bit of miscommunication, I added 1 CUP of cayenne to our brisket rub, instead of 1 TBSP.  Yup, it was spicy, but we mellowed it out with some more brown sugar and apple juice).  Almost-major crisis averted.

Although this was my 6th Kosher BBQ competition, I felt a bit anxious knowing that one of our teammates was out for the BBQ season, due to a broken foot (get better soon, Debbie)!  And she’s our “chicken queen”, so I felt a good amount of pressure to take her place on that task.  And it’s been a few years since I’ve prepped the chicken.  But once I got back into the rhythm of trimming off the knuckles, removing the rib bones and cleaning the skin, I ended up with 12 beautifully portioned (and all equal in size I might add) chicken thighs.  So that’s what I did for 2 hours that Saturday night – what were you all up to? 🙂

The next few hours were a bit of a blur.  A few zzzz’s (maybe a half hour), thunder, lightning, rain, mud, MORE rain, driving home to get my rain boots (best decision I made that day, so yay for dry feet), smoke, more drizzle, and finally…it’s time for turn-ins.

The brisket smoked for 10 hours, and rested.  The ribs and turkey smoked for 3 hours, and chicken smoked for less than that, with rub and sauce.  The ribs were looking good – nice smoke ring and adding Mendel’s sweet BBQ sauce really made the difference.  Tender, juicy, sweet, smokey and a bit spicy (so I’m told, since obviously I didn’t taste any of the meat, haha).  7 portions are plated, spills and drills were wiped away carefully, and brought to the judges.

Now, we sit and wait.  And by sitting and waiting, I mean, getting as much of our stuff packed up as we can.  Oh I love being efficient!  And here we go – results are in!

As much as we just hoped to get everything cooked and submitted on time, results were…

#1 in RIBS!


Honestly, it was shocking.  This is the best we’ve ever placed and with a good group of competition around us (and even though the ribs weren’t great quality), hey, this is our first, first place win!

Overall, it was a good competition with great company.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect and sure there are some things that could have been tweaked or organized better (not Daniel’s fault, just a lot of details to work out with the Arts Festival on it), but my favorite part of these BBQ competitions are the camaraderie and friendships that come out of this.  I’ve made some close friends through these events and it becomes a big family and feels like a family reunion when we all get together every summer.  There’s no ego here, always great sportsmanship and everyone helps each other out.  I offered my friend Mordy (who came here last minute by himself and of course swept the competition), with any help he needed, even though my team was short a person too, so I made his foil squares for his turn-in boxes.  It’s easy, I know, but something that you can easily forget!  We all give each other advice and truly, we all want each other to do well.  The congratulatory hugs at the end are honest and heartfelt.  THAT’s why I love doing it.  This underground world of Kosher BBQ, a level playing field competition where everyone’s a winner (yea, yea, so cliche, but so true).

Who knows…maybe you’ll see our team, 5 Dudes and a Vegetarian at the Dallas BBQ competition in October!

Until next time… this is Rachel signing off!

Check out some highlights from the event!

Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup

Why a cream based soup this week? I’m glad you asked. Saturday night begins the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, on which many people have the tradition of eating meals that contain dairy and are Potato Soupdevoid of meat.  Strict Jewish law prohibits eating dairy and meat at the the same meal.  For many people that means dishes like cheese lasagna, sweet blintzes (Jewish crepes), and cheesecake for dessert, but for me it has has always been an excuse to bust out the butter and heavy cream, taking the opportunity to trade the traditional chicken soup for something a little more rich and decadent.

One of the great things about this soup is that it does not require hours of simmering as it uses cream and milk instead of stock.  You do need to be careful to cook this soup over a low flame and stir it often, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir. This soup, like many thick soups, can easily burn on the bottom if you are not careful.

5 from 1 vote
Potato Soup
Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A velvety rich soup, great for any special occasion. 

Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 12
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 12 Medium Russet Potatoes Peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 Medium Leeks Sliced and cleaned. Leeks can be sandy so make sure to clean them well.
  • 6 Medium Zucchinis 4 peeled and sliced into rounds, and 2 sliced but not not peeled
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 Cups 2% Milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter Split into two 1 tbsp pieces
  • White Pepper To taste. Black pepper will ruin the beautiful white color of this soup.
  • Kosher Salt
Special Equipemnt
  • Immersion Blender
  1. Fill a large heavy pot 2/3 with salted water.  Add 10 of the potatoes and put over high heat.

  2. Boil the potatoes until they easily break apart with a fork, then remove from the heat, drain off the water, and set the potatoes aside. 

  3. Put the pot back over low heat and add 1/2 the butter (1 tbsp), the leeks, and a heavy pinch of salt. Saute until the leeks start to brown. 

  4. Add the other half of the butter and the peeled zucchini rounds.  Brown the zucchini on both sides.

  5. Add the potatoes back in to the pot along with the cream.  Place over low heat and simmer until until the zucchini is soft.  Make sure to stir often to prevent the bottom from burning.

  6. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  Slowly incorporate the milk until your desired consistency is achieved.  You may not need all 4 cups.

  7. Add in the remaining 2 potatoes and the unpeeled zucchini slices and place back over medium heat. Simmer until you can easily insert a knife into the potatoes, again stirring often to prevent the bottom from burning.

  8. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Serve immediately, or freeze for the future.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s Shavuot Recipe: Dairy-free maple cinnamon custard

Dairy-free Maple Cinnamon Custard

I have to give credit where it’s due, so I found this original recipe in “Easy Dairy-Free Ketogenic Recipes” by Maria Emmerich – it was so easy to follow, I just tweaked it a tiny bit to make it my own.  I adjusted the flavors a bit and the cooking time and temp and I’m happy with how these turn out.  And I love that you can adjust the flavors as you like!  You could add in lemon zest and juice for a lemon custard topped with a fresh lemon slice for a pretty presentation, or add in some fresh blueberries Dairy-free maple cinnamon custardor raspberries for a fresh springtime berry custard.  YASSS!

So thank you Maria for the original recipe, I’m obsessed!  SO obsessed in fact that I made a batch last Shabbos as a “last minute” dessert (I mean, it’s just my husband and me, who exactly am I trying to impress here?).

Needless to say, if you’re a big dairy or cheesecake fanatic, Shavuot is always the holiday for you! And being a pescetarian, it’s nice to opt out of a heavy meat meal.  But when you want a break from too much dairy, and want to opt for something a big lighter – and something that won’t spike your blood sugar, check out these custards!  And I just love the presentation with the ramekins (you can always pick some up at the Dollar Store I’m sure, or you may be able to find disposable foil ramekins too).

Wishing you all a Chag Sameach!



PS – how adorable is this vintage-style bird serving tray? I got it years ago at Macy’s and I love it so much!! It’s such a cute presentation for a Shavuos meal!

0 from 0 votes
dairy-free maple cinnamon custard
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Servings: 4 servings
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups dairy-free milk, such as almond milk I like the brand Califia Farms
  • 1/2 cup Swerve granulated style you can use regular sugar if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp maple extract I like the brand Fronteir - you can find it at Whole Foods or on Amazon
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp (plus more) Swerve, confectioners style
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Spray 4 ramekins with coconut oil spray or coat the ramekins with a little bit of coconut oil using your hands (just so it doesn't stick as much) and place on a baking sheet.

  2. Add all ingredients except the Swerve powdered sugar to a blender and blend for 10-15 seconds until fully mixed.

  3. Pour in the custard into each ramekin and carefully place in the oven.

  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly in the middle.

  5. Wait until cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes) and dust with the powdered Swerve. 

  6. Serve, warm or cool.  And try it topped with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream!

Don’t forget to check out Daniel’s Shavuot recipe: Cream of Potato Zucchini Soup

A Tale of Two Tamales: A Lesson in Leftovers

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo this week, I challenged Rachel to make tamales.  I decided to go fairly traditional for mine, with just a slight twist on the flavors.

TamalesWhat are Tamales?

A tamale is a filled corn flour dumpling, usually wrapped in a corn husk (which can be found in most major grocery stores) and steamed, originating from Central and South America.  Some cultures use sections of banana leaf instead of the corn husks when making tamales, but they can be hard to find and are very perishable.

This weekend I made a simple roast chicken for dinner Friday night and pulled beef for lunch on Saturday.  My kids, like many, complain about eating leftovers.  What can I do to reinvent these proteins?  Tamales! While  tamales are often filled with shredded pork, there is no reason you couldn’t use beef, poultry, fish, or even vegetables for your filling. Included are two filling recipes that make great use of leftover chicken and pulled beef.

I have broken this down to 3 recipes, plus a bonus recipe.  The first recipe is for the tamale dough, assembly, and cooking.  The other two recipes for the chicken and beef fillings and the bonus recipe is for a jerk seasoning that is used in the chicken filling, but can be used to season a myriad of things.  Feel free to play with the filling recipes and adjust them to your liking.  These go great with my fermented hot sauce.

Tamale Dough, Construction, And Cooking Instructions

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Husk Soaking Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

Tamales are a delicious steamed  dumpling that hails from Central and South America.  It is usually made from a corn flour dough that is wrapped around a filling.  The filling is traditionally some sort of meat, but could be vegetables or even fish.  Tamales make a great snack, side, or even a small meal, especially when served with some salsa and guacamole.  Don't forget the hot sauce and beer to wash it all down.

Course: Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: tamales
Servings: 24 Tamales
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 3 1/2 Cups Corn Flour (Masa) Not corn meal, this is much finer
  • 4 oz Schmaltz or Vegetable shortening Or lard if you are not kosher
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 4 Cups Stock Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable depending on your filling
  • 1 Cup Filling See recipes below
  • 24 Dried Corn Husks
Special Equipment
  • Butchers Twine
  • Large Pot With a Steamer Basket
  1. Put the corn husks in a large bowl and pour 5 cups of boiling water over the husks. Let soak for an hour.

  2. In another bowl add the corn flour, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine thoroughly.

  3. Melt the schmaltz/shortening and add it to the stock.

  4. Add the stock and fat to the dry ingredients slowly, you may not need all of the liquid mix, and knead until a clay like dough is formed.

  5. Place a corn husk in front of you with the wider end facing away from you.

  6. Place 2 tablespoons of dough on the husk and press in to a rectangle starting a 1/2" from the top and sides of the husk and should be about 1/2 the length of the husk.

  7. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of the dough rectangle and form in to a log shape. Avoid getting too close to the any of the sides.

  8. Using the husk, form the dough around the filling and and then roll the husk around the filled dough. 

  9. On the seam side fold the the bottom section of the husk up. and place upside down.  Once you have 3 tamales complete tie in to a bundle using the butchers twine, with the seams facing in.  Place the bundle in the steamer basket with the open side facing up.

  10. Add water to the pot, so it comes just below the steamer basket and bring it to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium and place the steamer basket over the water.  Steam covered for about an hour and eat immediately or allow to cool, wrap in plastic, and freeze.

Tamale Fillings

5 from 1 vote
BBQ Beef Tamale Filling
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This works great with cheaper cuts of meat like chuck, shank, or brisket.  Stay away from something like rib eye. Don't limit yourself to just using this for for tamales. It can be used in kreplach, egg rolls, or just put on a hamburger bun and eaten as a sandwich.

Course: Filling, Main Course, Sauce, Side, Snack
Cuisine: BBQ, Latin, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: tamales
Servings: 3 Cups of Filling
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 Cup Shredded Beef Leftover chuck roast, or pot roast work great. You could use brisket but stay away from the pricey cuts like rib roasts.
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil For sauteing
Special Equipment
  • 1 Medium Sauce Pan With Lid
  1. Add the olive oil to medium sauce pot and place over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until the onions start to brown.

  2. Add the garlic and bell pepper to the pot and continue sauteing until the peppers start to soften and the garlic starts to brown.

  3. Add the beef, BBQ sauce, and water. Turn down to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning.  Allow to cool before using as filling

5 from 1 vote
Jerk Chicken Tamale Filling
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey.  One note, do not use the entire recipe of jerk seasoning.  It is strong stuff, two tablespoons should be enough.  Don't limit to just using this for for tamales.  It can be used in won tons, crepes, or even ravioli.

Course: Filling, Main Course, Sauce, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Jamaican, Latin, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 3 Cups of Filling
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 2 Cups Shredded Roast Chicken No need to make fresh. Use leftovers or even store bought rotisserie will work in a pinch
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Jerk Seasoning See recipe below. Store bought can be used in a pinch.
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Special Equipment
  • 1 Medium sized sauce pot with a lid
  1. Add the oil, onions, and garlic to a medium sauce pan and place over medium heat.  Saute until the onions start to brown.

  2. Add the chicken, stock, and seasoning. Turn down to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Allow to cool before using as filling.


4.5 from 2 votes
Jerk Seasoning
Prep Time
5 mins
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Jamaican
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Juniper Berries
  • 1 tbsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
Special Equipment
  • Spice or Coffee Grinder
  1. Grind the salt, red pepper flake, peppercorns, cloves, and juniper berries, together in an electric spice or coffee grinder and pour in to a bowl.  Add all the other ingredients and stir combine. 

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s tamale recipe: Spicy Salmon Tamales

Spicy Salmon Tamales

Hello dear readers!  Boy do we have a special treat for you this week!  Since Cinco-de-Mayo is coming up (tomorrow! May 5th), the annual celebration of Mexico’s victory over France, what better challenge than TAMALES!  Now, just to make the record straight, there are so many varieties of Tamales – from Central American tamales that are wrapped in plantain leaves, to Mexican tamales, wrapped in corn husks – Daniel and I both used corn husks for our recipes, but by all means, experiment for your own!  Wouldn’t it be awesomely crazy if you made tamales using grape leaves stuffed with chicken and topped with Korean BBQ sauce?  Talk about the ultimate Greek/Mexican/Korean mashup!

I’ll admit though, this one took me some time to experiment.  Especially being gluten-free, and corn-free, I was a little hesitant on my attempt at making a dough, but after some trial and error I think I got something pretty solid here.  Not the prettiest looking tamales but they taste good so that’s a plus. 🙂

I first tried to make a “dough” using ground flaxseeds and chia seeds, adding in some hot water with some spices and hot sauce but it just didn’t turn out at all – more like a gloppy mess.  Even adding in almond flour, the dough just went “bleh” in the corn husks and totally fell apart.  On to round two!

This should have been a no-brainer but once I decided to go full on almond flour base, there was no turning back.  I do have a little tip for the veggie stock! Doesn’t matter if you use homemade or boxed, but I froze some stock in ice cube trays (or in my case, some cute square-shaped trays).  Then all I have to do is pop out a few cubes of stock, pop them in the microwave to defrost and you’re good to go!  I like having some on hand in the freezer if I just need a little bit but I don’t want to keep an opened box of stock or jar of homemade – this way I just use what I need and freeze the rest for later.  Definitely comes in handy (also, same tip is great for freezing pesto too)!

And in case you’re wondering – you can get dried corn husks at some grocery stores that carry Hispanic foods.  If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend Morse market (just around the corner from the Morse red line stop).  They have a TON of delicious ingredients, incredible prices and lots of random kosher finds too!  It’s definitely a hidden gem!

One little note though – when I folded up the sides of my husks, the dough didn’t quite wrap all the way around creating a nice little tamale package, probably because I didn’t add enough dough on the sides, but that’s okay.  It’s not perfect, things take practice, but as long as it tastes good, it’s good to go in my book.

Buen Provencho!  Enjoy your meal! 

Now…where is that pitcher of margaritas that I ordered?  😀

5 from 1 vote
Spicy Salmon Tamales
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
Tamale Dough
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened, but not melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp Franks red hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Salmon filling
  • 1 1/2 6 oz. cans wild caught Alaskan salmon
  • 1 3 oz. can fire roasted green chilies
  • 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed, plus more for serving
  • 4 tbsp hot salsa any brand (mild or hot) is fine, or homemade is even better!
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, sliced be sure to wash your hands after slicing!
  • 10 dried corn husks, soaked
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Place the dried corn husks in a large bowl and cover with hot (not boiling) water until softened (at least 1 hour)
  1. To make the dough, add all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and using your hands (your best kitchen tools) mix the dough until it come together.  I like having the coconut oil softened because it helps to bind the dough a bit better since there are no eggs.  The hot sauce give the dough the signature tamale color! Place the dough in the fridge to set up while you make the filling.
  2. To make the filling, drain the cans of salmon and add to a bowl.  Mix in the green chilies, lime juice, salsa, salt and pepper (you'll save the jalapenos for assembling).
  3. Remove the corn husks from the bowl, and wipe clean (if it's still a little damp, that's fine). 
  4. Flatten the corn husk on your cutting board, with the narrow side facing closest to you, and using about 1 tbsp.. (depending on the size of your corn husk), smooth the dough in the middle-to-lower section of the husk.  You want it in the middle section, not touching the sides, otherwise it'll leak out of the husk.
  5. Place about 2 tsp. of the filling on top of the dough and place a slice of jalapeno on top. 
  6. Using dampened hands if needed, fold over the sides, like you're folding a package.  The fold up the bottom and top over so the tamale is "sealed". 
  7. Place a steamer basket inside your pressure cooker (I used my instant pot).  Place all of the tamales, seam side toward the outside of the basket in the steamer.  Place about 3 cups of water inside the pot.  Seal the pot and press "manual" for 25 minutes on HIGH pressure.
  8. Use the pressure valve to release the steam, open up the tamales and sprinkle some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!  Careful, they'll be HOT!  These would be great dipped in a little avocado sour cream!

Don’t forget to check out Daniel’s tamale recipe: A Tale of Two Tamales: A Lesson in Leftovers

Ultimate Hummus Plate

HummusIn honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut and Israel’s 70th birthday I challenged Rachel to a chickpea (AKA garbanzo bean) challenge.  Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, the increasingly popular paste that Israelis eat like Americans eat peanut butter.  I realize in this challenge I am taking Rachel on on her own turf giving me a distinct disadvantage.  The only way to beat an enemy on their own turf with superior fire power, in this case meat and fried food.

Below are three different chickpea recipes that are each great on their own, but truly shine when combined on a single plate. The  smooth hummus, the crunchy chickpeas, and soft falafel balls with a crispy exterior makes for a great textural contrast.  To combine them simply spread the hummus in a thick layer on a plate and top with the ground beef and onions, falafel balls, and roasted chickpeas.  Serve alongside some fresh pita for a great appetizer or even a main course.  If you you have a vegetarian or a vegan in the house just simply omit the ground beef.

5 from 1 vote
Hummus With Ground Beef and Sauteed Onions
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Hummus with ground beef, an Israeli favorite, is great dish that can be eaten as main dish, side dish, appetizer, or snack.  You could use store bought hummus, but why do that when making it yourself is so easy and so much better.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Israeli, Jewish, Kosher, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings: 1 Plate
Author: Daniel Peikes
Hummus Ingredients
  • 15 oz Canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Skins removed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Ground Beef Ingredients
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Shawarma Seasoning This can be bought pre-made or you can make it yourself by blending coriander, sumac, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, cloves, and allspice.
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Special Equipment
  • Food Processor fitted with the "S" Blade
  1. Add all the Hummus ingredients except the olive oil to the food processor.  Process until a paste starts to form.  If the paste starts to climb up the sides of the bowl, turn off the food processor, remove the lid, and scrape it down with a soft spatula.

  2. With the food processor still running, slowly drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil.  Continue to process until the paste is completely smooth.

Ground beef with sauteed onions
  1. Sprinkle the ground beef with the shawarma seasoning, making sure the shawarma seasoning is well distributed.

  2. Take your largest, heaviest, frying pan and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put over high heat.  If you have a cast iron skillet, this is a good time to use it.

  3. Once the pan is very hot, crumble in the ground beef.  Cook on each side until nicely browned.

  4. Remove the ground beef, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.  Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions.

  5. Saute the onions until they just start to brown.  Remove the onions and combine with the ground beef.

  1. Spread a thick layer of the hummus on a plate and top with the ground beef and onions.  Serve immediately with pita on the side.

Recipe Notes

I call for canned chickpeas with the skins removed in this recipe.  I find that if you don't remove the skins from the chickpeas the hummus has a gritty texture.  If that doesn't bother you than you can use the chickpeas right out of the can.  To remove the skins, just lightly squeeze each chickpea between your fingers.  It is a bit labor intensive, but I think it is worth it.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Soaking Time
1 d
Total Time
1 hr

A great fried treat.  Excellent in pita with all the fixings or at side dish or snack all on its own.

Course: Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Israeli, Kosher, Middle Eastern
Servings: 24 Balls
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 16 oz Dried Chickpeas (1 Bag) Do not substitute canned
  • 1 Cup Chopped Scallion You can use the white and green parts for this recipe
  • 1 Cup Fresh Parsley Stems removed
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Stems removed
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Optional
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Vegetable Oil For Frying
Special Equipment
  • Food Processor Fitted With "S" Blade
  • A Large Heavy Pan to Fry In Cast iron skillet if you have it
  1. Pour the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water.   Allow to soak overnight.

  2. Add all the ingredients, except the frying oil to the food processor.  Process until a thick paste is formed.  Do not over-process or it will get too thin. 

  3. Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1 inch in diameter.

  4. Put your frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to come 3/4 of inch the way up.  Make sure the heat is not too high, otherwise the outside of the falafel will burn before the inside is cooked.

  5. Fry on each side until dark brown.

5 from 1 vote
Roasted Chickpeas
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A great crunchy snack.  You can eat these on there own, as a salad topping or as part of a hummus plate.  Feel free to play with spices here.  If you don't like curry powder use garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  If you are using canned chickpeas as I did, just be careful about adding too much salt as, most canned chickpeas are already seasoned. 

Course: Side Dish, Snack, Topping
Cuisine: Israeli, Jewish, Kosher, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 15 oz Canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Drained
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Thai Red Curry Powder Can be bought pre-made or blended from chili pepper, garlic, lime peel, galangal, coriander, lemongrass, black pepper, cumin, fennel, mace and shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
Special Equipment
  • 1 Sheet Pan Lined With Parchment Paper
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

  2. Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, making sure they are completely coated.

  3. Spread the chickpeas out on the sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.

  4. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.

  5. While still hot, toss the chickpeas with the Thai red curry powder and the paprika.  Serve immediately or store in a resealable bag or container once cooled.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s chickpea post: Chickpea Curry

Chickpea Curry

Chickpea CurryIt’s a new week, so that means a new food challenge!  This week’s ingredient is CHICKPEAS!  Or, as I knew them growing up, “garbanzo beans”.  The humble legume made famous in falafel and hummus.  The earthy, creamy beans that are full of fiber!  And although I’ve opted out from eating them lately due to my decision to eat a low-carb, high-fat way of eating, luckily for me, my husband does eat them and as long as I don’t put anything green in a chickpea dish, I think we’re golden.  Okay, maybe a little sprig of cilantro.  But that’s it!  🙂

Deciding what to make for this challenge wasn’t too challenging! I’d already experimented with some vegetable curries and kormas (a creamy vegetable dip of sorts, popular in Indian cuisine) but in the end, I’m going with a non-threatening chickpea vegetable curry.  At least I don’t think it’s too scary to make!  You can really just dump a whole bunch of ingredients – chick peas, onions, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, spices, tomatoes – into a slow cooker or a pressure cooker and just let it ride.

So that’s literally what I did.  Let the cookware do all the work for you!  Seriously, aren’t slow cookers just the best thing ever?  One thing to note – feel free to use canned chickpeas (rinsed) but if you want to use dried chickpeas, by all means!  Just make sure you soak them for at least 4-6 hours or up to overnight, then do a clean rinse, drain, and you’re good to start cooking.  Soaking beans helps remove the indigestible sugars that wreak havoc on your tummy and cause well…major farting.  And I’m guessing you might want to avoid that, especially if you’re making this for a date night!

And there you have it!  This yummy, stick-to-your-ribs, warming bowl of comfort food would be great served with either regular rice or cauliflower rice!  And don’t forget the naan on the side to mop up all of that savory and spicy tomato coconut sauce!  And feel free to add in other ingredients like lentils or barley or farro!  You could do half chick peas and half lentils. Yum!  And by the way, your kitchen will smell heavenly (and I speak from experience).

Let’s dig in!

5 from 1 vote
Chickpea Curry
Servings: 4 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed You can use dried too - just use 1 cup, soak overnight, rinse and drain
  • 1 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder I just use a sprinkling of each spice
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ginger feel free to use ginger root, just peel and dice 1 tsp. It's good to keep fresh ginger in the freezer to have on hand if you need it
  • 1/4 tsp hot paprika you can use regular too, or smoked, if you have it
  • 1/4 tsp shawarma seasoning totally optional but I like to mix some of this in, even though some of these spices are included in the mix
  • 1 tsp salt if you're using canned chickpeas, I would use 1/2 tsp of salt, since the canned beans contain a good amount of salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful sliced pickled jalapenos optional
  • 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • 1/4 lemon wedge optional
  • 1 cup white rice or cauliflower rice
  1. If using an instant pot/pressure cooker, add all ingredients into the pot.  Press "beans/chili" and cook for 1 hour.

  2. If using a slow cooker, add all ingredients (5 qt. probably will work best) and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours. 

  3. Serve the curry on top of white rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with pickled jalapenos, chopped cilantro and squeeze a fresh lemon wedge (if using), for an extra boost of flavor and acidity.  Serve warm.

Don’t forget to check out Daniel’s chickpea recipe: Ultimate Hummus Plate