Category Archives: Passover Week Recipes

Bukharian Egg & Matzah Soup with Sour Golden Plums

Soup_Matzah13This recipe is adapted from the one that I learned from Amnun Kimyagarov and his wife Zoya during my trip to Rego Park in late August of 2013 (see previous post from September 15, 2013). You can also find this recipe (called, “Oshi Masozgoshak“) in Amnun’s cookbook: “Classic Central Asian (Bukharian) Jewish Cuisine and Customs.”

The original recipe uses unripe green apricots, but dried yellow or golden plums are substituted here in the U.S. The trick is to add a slight tart flavor to the soup. Dried apricots can be used if you cannot find the dried yellow or golden plums in a Russian, Eastern European, or Asian grocery store, but keep in mind that the flavor should be more tart than sweet. Zoya used imported dried Olucha which are dried yellow plums that resemble giant golden raisins. According to Amnun’s Bukharian/Russian/English dictionary this translated to “Cornelian Cherry” and looked like this (see below):

YellowPlums_DriedWhen I went looking in a Russian grocery in Queens (right after my visit with Amnun and Zoya) I couldn’t find the same dried yellow plums that they had used, so instead I got a box of something that looked similar called Uzbek Apricot Kondak, which on the container were translated as “Small Size Apricots with Pits” (photo below). The Apricot Kondak were much more sweet than the Olucha that Zoya had used but looked pretty in the soup (make sure to warn guests about the big pits!). Perhaps the next time I would try to use a more sour apricot like the California variety. After emailing Amnun about this he told me that the taste of the soup should have a slightly sour flavor, so if you cannot find the dried sour plums you should add a few tablespoons of lemon juice instead.

Apricot_Kondak1Oshi Masozgoshak
(Yield: Serves 8 to 10
/Makes about 15 cups)

For Soup:
3 tablespoons vegetable, safflower, or canola oil

2 cups coarsely chopped onions (about 1 large)

1¼ pounds veal stew, beef stew, or chicken thighs cut into ¼-inch pieces

12 cups homemade plain veal, beef, or chicken broth or water

Meat bone (can be 2 reserved bones from chicken thighs, or 1 from veal or beef)

2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 to 4 generous grindings of fresh black pepper
¾ pound carrots, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups cubed)
¾ pound white potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups cubed)
1½ cups dried golden or yellow plums, or Persian dried sour plums*
2 cups finely chopped sorrel leaves or loosely packed coriander leaves (stems discarded)

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

*If you cannot find these from an Asian, Persian, Central Asian/Russian, or Middle Eastern
specialty grocery store then substitute with dried California apricots and several tablespoons of
freshly squeezed lemon juice until you have reached desired tartness.

For Serving:
4 squares matzah, broken into 2-inch pieces

STEPS:
1. Pour oil into a large 4- to 6-quart pot or saucepan and warm over high heat for 1 minute.

Reduce to a medium-high heat and mix in onions. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until very soft
but not browned.

2. Add meat and mix well. Cook meat, stirring often, until it becomes a greyish-brown color,
about 5 minutes.

3. Pour in broth (or water), and add bone(s), salt, and pepper and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

4. Add the whole dried plums or apricots, mix well, and continue to simmer an additional
15 minutes uncovered.

5. Add the carrot and potato pieces, and chopped sorrel (or coriander leaves) and mix well.
Cook 10 minutes over medium heat, just until potatoes become soft but not mushy.

6. Slowly add the beaten eggs while stirring until eggs become long strands like egg drop soup,
about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately into individual soup bowls with
about ½ a square matzah broken up into each bowl.

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

Koula’s Greek Matzah Meal Spinach and Dill Pie

KoulaKofinas_SpinPie_BlogSeveral years ago I was invited down to a Passover demo at Kehila Kedosha Janina, a Romaniote synagogue (built in 1927 by Jews from Janina, Greece) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I was warmly greeted by Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos (the synagogue’s museum director) who introduced me to the community. I was touched by how welcoming the members were, and through this event I gathered many contacts (who I later interviewed) for my Passover cookbook research.

Below is a recipe that was demonstrated by Koula, and adapted by me later on. It is not only delicious, but a dish that is great to serve with either a meat or dairy meal because it is parve.

Koula’s Greek Matzah Meal Spinach and Dill Pie
(Yield: Serves 6 to 8 / Makes Nine 3-Inch Squares)

For Filling:
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1½ cups coarsely chopped yellow onions
Three 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach leaves, defrosted and well drained
½ to ¾ cup finely chopped fresh dill leaves
1 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
1 to 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons matzah meal

For Dough:
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
1½ to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups matzah meal

Prepare the Filling:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add the chopped onions and mix well.
Cook until soft and transparent, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the defrosted spinach leaves and mix well to coat with the oil and onions. Cover with a lid and cook, over medium heat, until the spinach becomes very soft and the water has cooked off or been absorbed, about 30 minutes.

3. Throw in the chopped dill, parsley, salt, and pepper and mix well, and remove from heat.
Pour spinach mixture into a large mixing bowl and cool until slightly warm or to room temperature.

4. Mix in the beaten eggs and matzah meal. Set aside to prepare the dough.

Prepare the Dough:
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with oil.

6. In separate large mixing bowl, pour in the oil, water, and salt and mix briefly. Slowly pour in the matzah meal and mix until a soft dough is formed. Using your hands, scoop up the dough and pat into
a smooth ball. Divide dough into two even balls.

Assemble the Pie:
7. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, flatten one ball of dough evenly along the bottom f the pan, making sure to reach all of the corners (do not press dough up along the sides).

8. Pour the spinach filling over the bottom layer of dough and spread out evenly with a butter knife
or rubber spatula.

9. To cover the filling with the remaining dough, sprinkle the dough evenly over the top like you would
a fruit crumble, then dip your palms briefly in cold water and gently press down to make the top
more compact.

10. Pierce the surface of the dough 5 or 6 times in several places with a fork or small knife to create air holes. Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and along the sides. Cool to room temperature before cutting into 6 rectangles or 9 squares for serving. (You can also try to flip the pie completely out of the pan by placing a large square platter over the top of the pan and carefully and quickly flipping it over so that the bottom crust becomes the top.)

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

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