Purim is one of the happiest of Jewish holidays. It celebrates the survival of the Jews in Ancient Persia when they were set for slaughter at the hands of the king’s advisor, Haman. The Book of Esther, or the Megillah, tells how Haman hated the Jews because Mordecai would not bow down to him so he convinced the king that the Jews were a threat that needed to be eliminated. Mordecai’s cousin, Esther, became the queen and used the king’s love for her to save her people from Haman’s plot.
On Purim, we celebrate with parades, costumes, food gifts, festive meals, and the giving of charity. It is tradition to have a Purim feast called a seudah on Purim day, which follows a fast. It is believed that while Esther lived in the palace, she ate only vegetarian food in order to avoid eating non-kosher food. Purim feasts are therefore filled with dishes made with vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Check out these 6 Traditional Purim Recipes Made Vegan and How to Celebrate Purim Vegan-Style. Then get out your noise-makers and enjoy these 10 dishes that are perfect for your Purim feast.
1. Vegan Challah
It is customary to serve a long, braided challah in memory of the rope that was supposed to hang Mordecai but hanged Haman instead. This Vegan Challah by Rhea Parsons is just like the bread you grew up with but without the eggs.
2. Mushroom and Potato Dumplings
Another traditional food served on Purim is kreplach, which are small noodle dumplings filled with meat or potatoes. Kreplach and other stuffed foods are eaten on Purim to symbolize the surprises and secret meanings within the Purim story. These Mushroom and Potato Dumplings by Faith VanderMolen can stand in for kreplach. They have a meaty Shiitake mushrooms and potatoes filling with a bit of cabbage for texture.
3. Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew With Coconut-Almond Sauce
Just like Queen Esther ate vegetables and legumes in Persia, we can eat this Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew With Coconut-Almond Sauce by Danielle Joy. The texture of the eggplant and chickpeas go so well together, and the sweetness of the dates and apricots blend perfectly with the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric. This is the perfect festive Purim meal.
4. Persian Style Potato Pancakes (Kuku Sib-Zamini)
These Persian Potato Pancakes by Bryanna Clark Grogan would have been a dish Esther would have welcomed during her time in the palace. It’s a version of a Persian omelet that is often made into patties. Here, the egg is replaced with mashed tofu and chickpea flour. A little bit of curry powder gives them a spicy kick.
Mujaddara is an ancient Middle Eastern dish made with lentils and rice seasoned with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice. The fried onions are mixed into the dish as well as tossed on top so you get fried, crunchy goodness throughout. The yogurt-lemon sauce adds a tangy, cool element to complement the spiciness. This Mujaddara by Rhea Parsons is delicious!
6. Potato and Falafel Crumble Salad
This Potato and Falafel Crumble Salad by Evi Oravecz is a creative way to enjoy the taste and texture of falafel, a Middle Eastern favorite. Chickpeas are roasted in a skillet until they become crispy and begin to crumble. They’re then tossed with soft potatoes, tangy red onions, and savory sun-dried tomatoes. This falafel crumble salad is full of great flavors and contrasting textures.
7. Weekend Brunch Poppy Seed Roll
Poppy seeds are one of the most popular Purim traditions. These Weekend Brunch Poppy Seed Rolls by Taťána Shamma are also going to win popularity contests. They’re fresh and full of natural ingredients like dates, coconut, and almonds. Serve these rolls during dinner or the next morning for breakfast with hot coffee or tea.
8. Poppy and Prune Cake (‘Mohnkuchen’)
Poppy seeds, called “mohn” in Yiddish, represent the seeds that Esther ate in the palace to avoid detection as a Jew. This Mohnkuchen or Poppy and Prune Cake by Judy Moosmueller is a beautiful dessert. It’s chocolatey, fruity, moist, and a little nutty. Cover the cake with an elegant chocolate ganache frosting and you have a spectacular dessert on your hands!
9. Gluten-Free Vegan Hamantaschen for Purim
Perhaps the most well-known food eaten during Purim is Hamantaschen, which is shaped to be symbolic of the evil Haman’s hat and his triangular ears. Hamantaschen are light pastries that are filled with poppy seeds, fruit preserves, or other creative fillings such as chocolate or caramel. Rhea Parsons‘ Gluten-Free Hamantaschen have blueberry and apricot preserves for filling. They’re tender, chewy, and delicious.
10. Golden Vegan Pumpkin Phyllo Rolls in Agave/Maple Syrup with Roasted Apples and Hazelnuts
While Hamantaschen are of Ashkenazi origin, Sephardic Jews make pastries from phyllo dough. They fill them with walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, and cinnamon and shape them more like Haman’s fingers than his ears. For a similar dessert, make Bryanna Clark Grogan‘s Golden Vegan Pumpkin Phyllo Rolls in Agave/Maple Syrup with Roasted Apples and Hazelnuts. Crunchy golden phyllo pastry is filled with fragrant nut-laced pumpkin, spicy roasted apples, and creamy whipped topping. It’s a perfect vegan Purim dessert.
Purim is a fun, festive holiday that is beloved by children and adults alike. Eat the way Queen Esther did with these 10 Purim recipes that will have you spinning your graggers and stomping your feet with joy.
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