About Me

Me_PumpkinI'm a native New Yorker, born bred and raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side. I come from an art background (attended Music & Art High School, now LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts) and continued on to the University of Pennsylvania where I majored in art history. After graduation I moved around in several jobs before becoming a freelance graphic designer in the publishing field. After working in the art department of Workman Publishing for several years, I got the idea to write, design, and illustrate my own cookbook of family recipes and stories (eventually to be published as, "A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie's Kitchen"). Once my cookbook came out on the shelves I began teaching Syrian cooking classes all over the city, branching out over the years to become an expert in all Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Sephardic cooking and culture. My interest in this cuisine is not only in preserving its delicious recipes, but recording the personal stories and memories behind the dishes as context to a rich culture. My blog is my next project and passion in being able to preserve the dishes, stories, traditions, and memories for Passover in the Middle Eastern and Sephardic world of Jewish cooking and culture.

For more information, please view my website: JenniferAbadi.com

17 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Denise February 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Hi Jennifer. This is a huge coincidence, I was wondering just the other day what progress you’ve made on the Pesach recipes. I haven’t checked out your blog yet, will save it for evening surfing.
    You have to look at Stella’s Sephardic Table by Stella Cohen from Zimbabwe. It is absolutely magnificent. I love my Sephardi cookbooks and food.
    Congrats on the blog.

  2. Daniel February 6, 2014 at 4:16 am Reply

    HI Jennifer, nice blog, but you are missing Yemeni Jewish recipes. Here’s one for charoset:

    • Jennifer Abadi February 6, 2014 at 8:45 am Reply

      Hi Daniel, Don’t worry, I have not forgotten the Yemenite Jews! I have interviewed several people for the Yemenite chapter of my cookbook, and they even shared with me their versions of Du’keh, the charoset, as well as a few other dishes. Are you Yemenite? Thanks for sharing!

      • Daniel February 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

        Hi Jennifer, I’m 50% Yemenite 😉 if you need some more Yemenite recipes straight from my Safta’s kitchen treasure chest, let me know.

  3. Helen Aminoff August 22, 2015 at 12:00 am Reply

    I am desperately seeking a recipe for noni toqui (toki.) I do have the requisite rolling pin. Can you tell me where I might find such a recipe?
    Many thanks. Helen

    • Jennifer Abadi August 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm Reply

      Hi Helen, I was first introduced to Noni Toqui when I visited a Bukharian couple in Rego Park, Queens. They explained to me that this was a traditional bread made in Uzbekistan that greatly resembled the matzah that was made for Passover (here is a link to my post: https://toogoodtopassover.com/2013/09/15/my-roadtrip-to-regostan-queens/). I do not have the exact recipe at this time for this bread, but the dome shape must come from the type of oven used to bake it in. What is the special rolling pin that you have? Is it one to make the perforations?

      • Helen August 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm

        Yes, to make the perforations and also to roll out. And I’m aware of the shape. Any idea where I might find a recipe for it? Would like to give it a try.
        Thanks, Jennifer

      • Jennifer Abadi August 26, 2015 at 3:41 am

        Hi Helen, I don’t have a recipe developed myself for such a bread, but I will keep a lookout for one and certainly let you know if I have found one! (Maybe in a cookbook or online site that is in Russian or something like that, or even a community cookbook?)

  4. Helen August 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm Reply

    P.S. The shape has nothing to do with the oven–but rather placing the dough on an upside down wok–or other cooking utensil in that shape. Do you have any idea where one can obtain this recipe?

  5. Ray Schaub March 31, 2016 at 6:58 pm Reply

    I served this menu the day before Easter:

    Kibbe Nayeh
    Lamb Gyro
    Shepherd’s Salad
    Stuffed Grape Leaves (from Barzini’s)
    Kalamata Olives


    Perfect meal for sharing, grazing and talking. I might make it an annual event. Weather permitting, I would take it outside since it lends itself extremely well to an elegant picnic. I made most of it well ahead of time except the Shepherd’s Salad and the Kibbe Nayeh. What was left of the Kibbe I rolled into little torpedos and pan seared. They were fantastic the next day!

    Thanks for letting me share this with you. I just bought a copy of A Fistful of Lentils from your website. Can’t wait to dig into it!

    • Jennifer Abadi March 31, 2016 at 10:31 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing your delicious Easter menu Ray! It could almost have been a Passover dinner (but without the naan bread 🙂 Was the Kibbeh Nayeh made with lamb?

  6. Lynne January 19, 2017 at 9:54 am Reply

    reading your blog is like cooking with your best friend in her kitchen. if you ever stop writing, you’re gonna have to invite me over.

    • Jennifer Abadi January 19, 2017 at 11:25 am Reply

      Thank you Lynne. It is my hope to keep my writing as personal as possible so that each and every person feels that they are with me in the kitchen!

  7. kelly7552 April 15, 2019 at 12:25 am Reply

    I Love this cookbook! I found a small error on P.455 Roasting sesame seeds at 400 degrees burnt them to a crisp when I checked at 5 minutes. I roasted a new batch at 350 degrees checking every 2 minutes it took between 6 to 8 minutes. Great job and the cookbook is very entertaining!

    • Jennifer Abadi April 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for letting me know about the issue with temperature when roasting the seeds for the Dukeh (Yemenite haroset recipe on page 454-455)! I will definitely make this change for the next round of revisions of the cookbook.

      I am glad that you are enjoying the book, and please don’t hesitate if you have any questions or further issues with any of the recipes. (It’s a BIG book and I am always tweaking my recipes in order to make them the best that they can be 🙂

  8. Patricia Lurie March 30, 2021 at 9:10 pm Reply

    Hello Jennifer, Please add me to your mailing list.
    Your program for Save a Child’s Heart is excellent!!
    Thank you!

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