Late Summer Gazpacho

Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
Rosh HaShanah is this coming Friday, but I wished to squeeze in this late summer gazpacho recipe before I start the holiday cooking.

There is no magic or back story to this recipe. Gazpacho is Jonathan's favorite, but I never make it at home.  This summer, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful heirloom tomatoes that started showing up at the farmers market in DC and a roadside farm stand in Northern Virginia.

Flavors of an Indian-Israeli Rosh Hashanah

Magen Hassidim Synagogue, Mumbai, India Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
This article was tweaked from the original version published in Haaretz Newspaper on September 8, 2015. In an effort to curate my articles in one space, I am republishing it here just before Rosh Hashanah, falling on September 18, this year. All copyright material © ShulieMadnick. Please do not copy or republish without permission. A link to this post can be shared.

You can read How A Mumbai Cook Prepares For Rosh Hashanah and Chasing Challah in Mumbai from the Rosh HaShanah and High Holidays series. Recipes for both biryani and halwa will be published in separate posts.

Photography during the holidays is forbidden so I am sharing a snapshot of Magen Hassidim (above), my mom's synagogue in Mumbai, where I spent the 2016 High Holidays. This image, among others, is archived on The Museum of Jewish People's (בית התפוצות) library archives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Flavors of an Indian-Israeli Rosh Hashanah

The first inkling that Rosh Hashanah was approaching when I was growing up was when my mom would come home to our fourth-floor walk-up apartment in Ashdod with Lily Pulitzer-like floral fabrics. I dreaded the frocks and matching hair bows that an Indian seamstress would sew us from the textiles. I would walk in the intense heat with my mom and my sister, who is a year younger than I, to the seamstress' home a few neighborhoods over for the measuring and fitting, and again for a second fitting and minor tweaks. My mom would definitively proclaim that the scraps and leftover fabrics "were enough" for my two youngest sisters' Rosh Hashanah gowns.

Chasing Challah in Mumbai


Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
This article was slightly tweaked from the original version published in The Forward on January 17, 2017. In an effort to curate my articles in one space, I am republishing it here just before Rosh Hashanah, falling on September 18, this year. All copyright material © ShulieMadnick. Please do not copy or republish without permission. A link to this post can be shared.

You can read How A Mumbai Cook Prepares For Rosh Hashanah from the Rosh HaShanah and High Holidays series.

Chasing Challah in Mumbai

It was the break of dawn on a Thursday, as the monsoon waned in late October that we descended from the skies over the slum rooftops and landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. My travel companion and I were then whisked off by our lovely Indian Jewish tour guide, Hanna Shapurkar, to Om Creations.

Om Creations is a nonprofit center where Down syndrome and autistic adults are taught arts and crafts and some culinary skills. The crafts and food are, in turn, sold as a means of support and income for the participants.

While still back home in the United States, planning my Jewish-Indian heritage discovery trip to India — my first trip to my parents' homeland — little did I know that I would be visiting Om Creations. What sparked my interest was an inconspicuous mention in an email correspondence from Elijah Jacob, India executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), about delivering challahs to the Indian-Jewish community in Mumbai. I was so intrigued that chasing challahs became the end-all and be-all of my trip to India.

How A Mumbai Cook Prepares For Rosh Hashanah

Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
This article was originally published in The Forward on September 15, 2017. In an effort to curate my articles in one space, I am republishing it here just before Rosh Hashanah, falling on September 18, this year. Watch the recipe prep video at the bottom shot in Mumbai by me and edited by Amy Sawyer (Smoky Leo). All copyright material © ShulieMadnick. Please do not copy or republish without permission. A link to this post can be shared.

How A Mumbai Cook Prepares For Rosh Hashanah

On the morning of Rosh Hashanah Eve 2016, I met Sharona Hayeems, a local Indian Jewish caterer, at her home in Dadar, a neighborhood in Mumbai where some of the remaining 4,500 Indian Jews in India still live. I was there to spend some time watching her cook for Rosh Hashanah.

I was introduced to Hayeems, a Bene Israel (Sons of Israel) Indian Jew, by the inimitable Elijah Jacob, the India executive director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC). Hayeems prepares kosher meals for Meals on Wheels, a program subsidized by the AJDC and Indian Joint Trust, which feeds the less fortunate in the Jewish community throughout the year, according to David Kumar, India AJDC welfare manager.

Indian-Inspired Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes

Copyright ©ShulieMadnick
Since I came back from my hiatus to posting here again, I am sharing what I read, what inspired me recently, and anecdotes from life in quarantine. 

Today,  I wish to shine the spotlight on Al Arz Tahini, a family-owned, 100% pure sesame tahini, company from Nazareth, Israel. Contrary to widespread anti-LGBTQ sentiments in the Arab sector, Al Arz Tahini made a donation and showed support for the local Arab LGBTQ community. It's no easy feat to be the first Arab owned company, in a predominantly conservative society, to take such a public stand in support of LGBTQ rights. The backlash was swift. Many Arab supermarkets, grocers, and restaurants cleared their shelves of Al Arz tahini. Calls for a boycott also came from local clergy. Many in Israel and globally came to the rescue. I ordered mine, and you can show your support as well by ordering here.

I am leaving you with an Indian-inspired recipei, but check out this hummus with tahini recipe, the tahini sauce in the sabich, an eggplant sandwich, and this tahini, yogurt herb dipping sauce. Stay tuned for more tahini recipes soon. 

Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Skewers

Copyright © ShulieMadnick

I made these skewers for the 4th of July this past weekend, but they are a perfect easy summer recipe for any weekday or weekend this season. 

I keep busy despite going on month four of the quarantine though I could do much better with time management. I wrote, "At Little Sesame in Washington, D.C., social justice is on the menu," for the News section of The Forward. It tells a story of giving that became mutually beneficial. Giving and cooking for the less fortunate, which helps not only social justice causes but also rescues some in the restaurant industry, like Little Sesame, in the process. 

I am also writing a paper about Sigd, an Ethiopian Jewish holiday for an English class in college. I was familiar with some of the foods and social struggles of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel and with the politicians, celebrities, pop singers, and models that came from the community. Still, I was pretty clueless about the community's religious and cultural traditions. This cultural paper assignment was a perfect excuse to learn more about the community's fascinating history, religious and cultural rites and rituals. 

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Schug

Copyright © ShulieMadnick
Miznon's cauliflower is legendary.  I made it several times over the years, but it's not the same as ordering it at the lively counter and having it sitting by the strewn tables on Tel Aviv's sidewalks and New York City's Chelsea Market. The flavor is enhanced by the commotion. With no end in sight to the quarantine, I have made it often since March. Yesterday, I needed to breathe. I sat in the car in the middle of our driveway and imagined I was on vacation. What if next time I escape the house and bring this dish with me into the car, will it transport me to Tel Aviv?!

How To Roasted Bell Peppers & Harissa Recipe

Copyright © ShulieMadnick
There are several positive things that came out of quarantine. I started cooking more vigorously and posting on Foodwanderings, after a long hiatus from writing here. I also have my husband, not traveling full time, but working from home. It's nice to have him home. I also started listening to audiobooks for the first time. For some obscure reason, I resisted listening to audiobooks over the years, but when we walk on our steep street, it distracts me from the excruciating effort of climbing uphill. 

On our recent daily walks, on our quiet street, I have been listening to 'The Color of Water' on Audiobooks. 'The Color of Water' is James McBride's, an African American author's tribute to his white mother.  I am midway through just in time for a book club Zoom gathering this week. We will wrap up the book in a second session next week. Coincidentally, Oprah Winfrey just announced James McBride's newly released NYT bestseller 'Deacon King Kong' as the next Oprah's Book Club pick. In 2015 McBride an award winner, a multiple NYT bestseller author, a musician, and a former journalist received the National Humanities Medal by President Barak Obama "for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America."