Cholent Masala

I heard somewhere that once you get to Wednesday, you can start wishing people a Shabbat shalom.  While that helps get through hump day, for sure, by the same token, I think it means that, now that it’s Wednesday, I’ve kind of missed the boat on writing about last Shabbat.  Nonetheless, I proceed…

Friday night, 11/11/11, was the Gershman Y 20s and 30s Shabbat dinner.  Heymish had services first at the Y, which were followed by the dinner, and it was wonderful that 1) the dinner sold out, 2) so many grad students were there, and 3) there were people there who aren’t the usual suspects at Center City Jewish events.  And even though the Grad Network was co-sponsoring, I didn’t feel like I had to be “on” all night, and I really enjoyed myself.

Best of all, when I got home from the dinner, my parents were here!  (In addition to being very happy to see them, they brought with them the promise of sleep, in the form of early morning babysitting.  What a gift!!)

For lunch on Saturday, I finally tried something that Marc and I have been talking about for ages: cholent masala.  If you’ve been paying attention, you know about our obsession with chana masala, Indian spiced chickpeas, and it seemed a short step from making it in a crockpot to making it in a crockpot and letting it cook for 20 hours.  So Friday afternoon, I threw a bunch of things in the crockpot and turned it on.

It smelled amazing all through the night, but it gradually smelled less like curry and more like plain old cholent; seems like the spices all cooked away overnight.  But Marc re-spiced it before lunch, and it was really good!  Plus, even though it’s Wednesday, and even though I thought I made a totally reasonable amount, we’re still eating leftovers.

Cholent Masala
(draft one: I expect there will be future attempts)

2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bag of dried chickpeas
2 cans stewed tomatoes with liquid
1 can ginger ale
2 white potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
water to cover

lots of curry powder
red pepper flakes and/or sriracha
ground ginger
ground cumin
salt

Put everything except the spices in the crockpot and turn on low for 20 hours (presuming you’re making this during the time of year when Shabbat starts in the middle of the afternoon…)  Try to sleep through the tantalizing smell.  Before you serve, add spices and taste until it’s just right.  (I know there’s a halachic [Jewish legal] issue about adding ingredients while something’s cooking, so use your best judgment.)

I also thought I made a reasonable amount of baby food green beans.  Actually, I thought I made a puny, pathetic amount, and I couldn’t believe I’d dirtied a pot and the blender and the strainer for the tiniest little pile of green puree ever.  But actually, I made the same misjudgment as for the cholent, and made far more than Aliza could possibly eat.  Turns out one spoonful of the stuff goes a long way: all the way into her hair, eyes, eyebrows, between her fingers, on her pants, and all over me.  Yum.

After a brief afternoon break where everyone fell asleep except me, it was time for Tikvah’s first ever minchah (afternoon) service, followed by seudah shlishit (third meal), learning, singing, maariv (evening service), and havdalah (the service that ends Shabbat).  Marc was in charge of food, and we had yummy little pre-made sandwiches, lots of varieties of potato chips, and sandwich cookies.  Cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches might be on my new short list of grab and go meals.

Thanks for everyone’s votes and comments about next year’s blogging potential.  And Shabbat shalom!  It is Wednesday, after all.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Cholent Masala

  1. Pingback: Blogstravaganza Shabbat Part 2 | 25×52

  2. Pingback: Blog Siyyum | 25×52

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