November 30, 2007 at 6:03 pm (Jewish, Other, Root vegetables, Starches, unrated, Vegetable dishes)

I’ve never been a big fan of Tsimmes. The carrots often seem completely extraneous. However, a friend of my mom’s brought this dish to a potluck and both my mom and my sister really enjoyed it. So my sister suggested making it for Thanksgiving. The recipes originally comes from a series called The Chosen Cookbook Series: More Best Recipes from Jewish Cookbooks. The title of the volume is Jewish Cooking Made Slim, The original recipe was published in Sharing our Best Canton Chapter of Hadassah, Canton, Ohio.

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 6 ounces pitted prunes (or 6 oz. dried fruit bits)
  • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks in their own juice
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300 F. Oil a 2 quart covered baking dish.

Peel carrots and sweet potatoes and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Bring 1 cup water to a boil and cook carrots fro 15 minutes. then add sweet potatoes and cotinue boiling for 10 minutes or until vegetables are barely tender. Drain vegetables, reserving liquid. Arrange carrots and sweet potatoes in baking dish.

Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Add reserved vegetable cooking liquid to pineapple juice, to equal 1 1/2 cups. Cook prunes or dried fruit bits in this liquid, simmering 20 minutes for prunes or 10 minutes for dried fruit bits. Then add pineapple chunks and brown sugar. Dissolve cornstarch in lemon juice and add to fruit, stirring until fruit looks glazed.

Spoon fruit over carrots and sweet potatoes. COver and bake at 300 for about 1 hour, basting occasionally, if possible. Serve hot.

Serves 10.

My Notes:

My sister doubled the prunes because she said they’re the best part, and it wasn’t too many. I forgot to add the cornstarch, but I reduced the liquid so much it wasn’t all that soupy. The carrots took longer to bake than one hour. Overall this is a simple dish but I think people enjoyed it as a side for Thanksgiving. It has a lot of sugar in it but doesn’t actually taste that sweet.


  1. Maria Gatti said,

    I confess I’d omit the sugar (those ingredients are plenty sweet), and add a bit of olive oil.

    Dafina, or Tafina, is the Sephardic equivalent of the Ashkenazic (Central and Eastern-European Jewish) Cholent, of which Tzimmes is a variant. This brief recipe is a comment from the serious eats board; people writing in to win “How to cook everything vegetarian” http://www.seriouseats.com/required_eating/2007/10/cook-the-book-how-to-cook-everything-vegetari.html

    … okay so my favorite vegetarian recipe is my grandmother’s dafina ( a moroccan jewish sabbath dish). it’s usually made with a calf’s foot but because my mother won’t eat red meat, my grandmother makes it for her with wheatberries. essentially you add layered slices of onion, potato, sweet potato, cinnamon, paprika, a cup and a half of wheatberries tied up in a cheesecloth bag, a whole garlic bulb (unpeeled), raw eggs (in their shells), some olive oil and some water, put it all in a slow cooker and let it simmer for about 14-16 hours. by the next day everything has browned and caramelized so deeply even meat lovers go nuts for the dish. the eggs turn dark brown inside and the paprika gives everything a smoky flavor.
    gah! i’m so homesick!

  2. captious said,

    Why do you tie the wheatberries in cheese cloth? And do you peel the eggs after everything is cooked, or just serve them whole and unpeeled?

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