Posts Tagged ‘Purim


Purim Rolls – Ojo de Haman – Haman’s Eye

Barbara Bensoussan, author of The Well Spiced Life, shows us how to make Ojo de Haman in the following video:


Ojo de Haman – Haman’s Eye

Makes 6 rolls

  • 1 large challa dough to be divided*
  • 6 hard boiled eggs


* Basic Challah Recipe

(from page 37 in The Well Spiced Life)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet) dissolved in 1/2 cup very warm water along with 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups flour, preferably high gluten
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing the challah, sesame or poppy seeds for garnishing if desired
  • Cooking spray and corn meal to grease the pans.

Place flour, sugar, salt, and wheat germ in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to blend. Add the yeas-and-water mix (it should be foamy after five minutes) and process another 5-10 seconds. Combine an egg and 1/3 cup cup of oil and water into a small bowl; now dump this into the processor and continue processing until the mixture forms a ball around the blades of the machine – this may take 20 to 30 seconds (if you have a plastic dough knife for your machine use it, if not, a regular steel blade will also do the trick. Check the dough; if it seems tough and dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water, if it seems too wet and won’t come together, add more flour., 1/4 cup at a time.

Let the dough process to a medium-low speed for one minute. Voila! The dough is done. Place into a greased bowl, turn it once, cover it, with a plastic bag, and let it rise until doubled, about  1 1/2 hours (may rise faster if kitchen is hot).

Punch it down and repeat the rising (it’s not absolutely necessary to do two risings, but I think it makes a smoother loaf). The rising may go faster than the first. When doubled again, punch down the dough.

Enjoy gentle reader, enjoy!

A freilachn Purim – Chag Purim sameach!!!



Almond and Sesame Seed Brittle – Boulokunio

While we Ashkenazim eat Hamentashen (see here and here) on Purim, Sephardic communities have some very interesting foods for the occasion.

From Stella’s Sephardic Kitchen by Stella Cohen

Almond and Sesame Brittle

Detail from photo by: Marc Hoberman, on page 211

Detail from photo by: Marc Hoberman, on page 211

Toasted cinnamon seeds, honey and almonds make a deep-golden, chewy treat. Popupar at any celebration, this ancient confection is traditionally offered over the Festivals of Purim and Hanukkah (Feast of Lights). These petite treats, not unlike the nut bars that are popular today are utterly addictive.

5 cups hulled sesame seeds
1 tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
1 tablespoon blanched spit almonds, toasted

For the syrup:

1 1/2 cups clear honey
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar

SPRINKLE 1 cup of sesame seeds with a pinch of flour and toast lightly in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Shake the pan often and stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process, 1 cup at a time, with the remaining four cups of sesame seeds.

HEAT the honey, water and sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens and reaches the soft ball stage *. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a very large, heatproof bowl.

ADD the almonds and 3 cups of sesame seeds and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon. Spread the hot mixture onto an oiled worktop. Sprinkle in the remaining two cups of sesame seeds, working it a little at a time into the mixture. Dampen your hands with cold water and roll into four ropes about 1 inch in diameter. Cut diagonally into 1 inch sections using a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Allow to cool at room temperature until hardened.


* The soft ball stage is reached when a small drop of syrup forms into a little ball at the bottom of a cup of cold water. It will flatten and feel soft and pliable.

To store: Place the brittle between layers of baking paper and store in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



We Gotta Live Together

Jews come in many varieties, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, religious, secular; each group is further subdivided, but we all have one thing in common… We are all Jews! In spite of our strong disagreements, whether political or religious, in spite of differences in minhagim or nussach of prayer, we are all Jews! To the world at large, we are all one. You doubt it? Look at Jewish history throughout. Especially look at Hitler, yimach shmo vezichro, and his murderous Nazi henchmen. They didn’t care if we wore a shtraimel, a hat, a yarmulkeh or sported no head covering at all. Hitler didn’t care where, or even if, we prayed. In the interest of a mythological Aryan purity, the Nazis went went back six generations to see if there was a drop of Jewish blood so they could add more individuals to the roster of those they wanted to exterminate. Why? Because to them, whether one was an Eastern European Ashkenazi or a Greek Sephardi from Salonika, whether a world famous scientist, or a well known doctor, a renowned author or academic, or just a lowly – previously unheard of – shoemaker, we were all – without exception – verdammte Juden.

This week we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Anna Frank‘s death in a concentration camp, you would have thought that after the horrors of WWII, the world would have learned its lesson. Well… it obviously learned nothing or forgot it too soon! Look around you, religious and ethnic hatred are rampant and at heightened levels. Antisemitism in Europe is once again approaching the infamous levels of the late 30s. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Starting on Wednesday evening through Thursday, we celebrate Purim. In the Hebrew year 3404, Haman – King Achashverosh‘ Prime Minister – decreed the Final Solution that was to annihilate every Jew in all 127 lands ruled by the Persian Empire. On the following year 3405 (356 BCE), on the 13th of Adar the Jews were victorious against their enemy. Today 2370 years later, Israel once again faces the same existential threat from Haman‘s spiritual heirs, now it is the Persian satrap, the Supreme Leader of Iran and his murderous fanatics. Just as we did then, we will emerge victorious again! We must realize that regardless of differences in degrees of religious observance or lack thereof, regardless of the hue of our skin, regardless of religious customs, regardless of social status, regardless of the cultural influences that mold the individual, we are all Jews; far too many people around the world still consider us verdammte Juden. WE GOTTA LIVE TOGETHER , in peace and harmony for only then will we be invincible!!!



Purim in Providence, RI

I spent the weekend visiting family and friends in Providence, Rhode Island, in anticipation of Sunday’s Purim Parade. In spite of the cold, a fair number of families showed up for the yearly event.



The crowd gathering…


Children and adults alike dressed up for the occasion in very distinctive costumes, such as the Alice in Wonderland‘s Mad Hatter accompanied by Hulk Hogan (as bodyguard?).


Pluto and the Cookie Monster…


Garfield the Cat…


…a cute little kitten (one of my granddaughters)


The parade got under way with a uniformed marching band, under the asuperb direction of musical phenomenon Fishl Bressler (atop a truck), leading. Among the participants were the town’s Rabbonim, Rosh Yeshivos and the Rosh Kollel.  A non-Jewish Scotsman, with kilt and all, proudly played the bagpipes.

Though it barely lasted an hour, due to the brutal cold, the parade brought out the comraderie and the mirth of Providence’s frum community. It was my first attending the parade and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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