Culinary Treat

Culinary Treat

and curry are two of the spices that were used to season the sacrifices
given at the Temple. These very same spices season our food and continue
to be popular today: they are also essential ingredients for cooks in many

Our neighbor, Munira Musaffi, who immigrated
to Israel from Iraq in the spring of 1951, shared a morning with us preparing
vegetables in a pungent hot sauce. Served alone as an appetizer, or as an
accompaniment to couscous, this spicy dish not only wakes up the taste
buds, but is colorful to behold with its yellows, oranges and browns.

In Iraq, Munira lived in her parents’
home until the day she married at the age of 16. The young couple lived with
Munira’s husband’s parents home for a few years until they were ready to set
up their own place. Even then she did not learn to cook. Living with her
parents and in-laws, Munira attended meals and did not need to learn to prepare
them. “My mother and then my mother-in-law took care of everything. Later,
when we moved into our own home, I had a maid,” says Munira.

Munira was already a mother of a few
small children when the family immigrated, and so began the family’s life
anew, where Munira had to learn to manage her family’s household, including
— for the first time — the daily chores.

Munira learned the recipe below from
her neighbor, also a native of Iraq, once she moved to Israel. “They ate
this in Iraq, but I only learned how to make it here,” says Munira.

For ease, we’ll call this dish curried
It can be seasoned to taste. The recipe we give yields moderate
to hot servings.


  • 4 carrots
  • 1/4 head
    of cauliflower
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow
  • 1 green
  • 1 garlic
  • Vinegar
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Hot paprika
    or hot pepper

  • Peel and cut carrots into sections approximately
    thumb length. 1/4 the carrot strips and cut out the sweet core.
  • Cut zucchini
    and cucumbers into thumb length sections, cut each piece into 1/4 length strips.
  • Make small
    cauliflower florets.
  • Put all
    of these vegetables in a pot. Add water to cover plus another 1/4 inch.
  • Set flame
    to simmer.
  • Add 1 cup
  • Cut other
    vegetable in large bite-size pieces. Add to pot.
  • The liquid
    should have a vinegar taste but should not burn.
  • Add 1 tablespoon
    of kosher salt.
  • Add 4 tablespoons
    of sugar.
  • At this
    point it should look like a vegetable soup at the beginning stages.
  • Peel and
    slice whole garlic bulb. They should look like almond slivers. Sautee the
    garlic until brown. Add 1 tablespoon cumin, and a pinch of hot paprika.
  • Turn off
    both flames (under garlic and under pot of vegetables).
  • Add fried
    vegetables to pot.
  • Let cool.
    Store in glass jar in refrigerator.
  • Serve at
    room temperature.
    B’tayavon [Hearty appetite!]

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    Text by M. Kaplan-Green

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