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Surprising Purim Recipes

March 2, 2016 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Spice things up with these creative, yummy dishes.

Purim is a time to spice things up and entertain in a more festive or creative way. I like to serve creative dishes that don’t usually fall into my traditional menus. I also love using special ingredients and flavor combinations that guests love but cannot always identify. These recipes will both delight and surprise everyone. Happy Purim!

Spiced Chickpea Soup

Spiced Chickpea SoupServes 8 – 10

The soup pictured has a bit of Sriracha (spicy red sauce) swirled into the soup, giving it a redder appearance. Without the sauce, the soup is whiter in color.

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (spice mixture available in major markets)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Garnish, if desired drizzle with chili oil or S’rirachi sauce, chickpeas, paprika or chopped tomatoes

Heat an 8 – 10 quart soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, then onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, garam masala and ginger, and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, apple juice, coconut milk and stock. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add cilantro. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add salt and pepper. If too thick, add some additional stock.

Serve warm. Drizzle with garnish, if desired.

This soup freezes well.

To make homemade garam masala:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Lamb Hand Pies

Lamb Hand PiesServes 4, doubles well, if preferred use ground beef

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Store Bought or Homemade Pie Dough or puff pastry squares
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add currants; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cumin, ginger, cardamom, and turmeric and cook until fragrant and sticky, about 1 minute. Add lamb and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Stir in peas; cook until bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain reserved currants and add to lamb along with parsley. Let cool.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 12” squares. Cut each into 4 squares; transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Spoon filling onto one side of squares, leaving ½” border. Brush edges with egg and fold dough over filling. Press to seal; crimp with a fork. Cut a few vents in tops; brush with egg. Bake until pies are golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Do Ahead: Filling can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Tiramisu Parfaits

Tiramisu ParfaitsServes 10

  • 1 store-bought or homemade pound cake, cut into 1-inch pieces

Espresso Syrup

  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Layer

  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ¾ cup tofutti cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 cup pareve whipping cream or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks
  • Cocoa powder


  • 10 shot glasses or demitasse cups

For the espresso syrup: In a small bowl, combine espresso and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla and set syrup aside.

For the cream layer: In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and water. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water, and continue to whisk constantly, until mixture thickens and is hot to touch, about 7 minutes. Immediately scrape mixture into cold bowl. Cover and refrigerate mixture until cooled, 15 minutes.

In a bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in cooled egg yolk mixture and rum and mix until fully blended.

In a separate bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat cram and vanilla at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold into cream cheese mixture.

To assemble: Place one piece of cake into bottom of shot glasses and brush generously with espresso syrup. Top with layer of cream. Add another piece of cake, brush generously with espresso syrup and more cream. Continue until glass is full, ending with cream on top. Top with a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder.

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