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Symbolic Food Recipes for a Sweet New Year

September 4, 2017 | by Chava Dumas a"h

Delicious, healthy recipes for auspicious foods to serve the night of Rosh Hashanah.

Traditional foods for Rosh Hashanah include eating symbolic foods and reciting prayers that transform these foods into "good omens" during these special moments when we are all hoping for a good new year that will be wonderful in every way.

(Click here for more information about simanim, auspicious foods we eat the night of Rosh Hashanah.)

Simanim Patties

Assemble the ingredients for these four different kinds of patties in separate bowls, shape them into patties and then bake in the oven, 350 degrees, for 30-40 minutes.

Carrot patties:

  • 1 kilo of carrots
  • 1 cup of flour (we use whole wheat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper

White Gourds

  • 1 kilo of gourds, sliced thin, or shredded into thick shreds
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper and cinnamon

Mix by hand, so the gourd pieces are noticeable.

Leek patties

  • 4 to 8 leeks, depending on their size, slice and check carefully for dirt and bugs
  • Then slice in circles or shred lengthwise and mix with
  • 6 Tb of whole wheat bread crumbs or whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2-3 Tb oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt 

Beet Green patties

  • One package of beet greens (alei selek in Hebrew)
  • 1/4 c whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 Tb. paprika

Rosh Hashanah Purple Cabbage Carrot Salad

  • 1 large head purple cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 green scallions, sliced
  • 4 grated carrots


  • ¼ cup date honey (silan in Hebrew)
  • ¼ cup oil (coconut is yum!)
  • ½ t. salt
  • Mix dressing ingredients. Pour on salad. Serves 8-10.

Sweet Beet Salad

  • 8 medium beets
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 T. sweet paprika
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 green scallions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 pieces of dried mango cut into small pieces

Cook beets until tender. Cool and then cut into squares. Add seasonings. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, scallions, red pepper, and mango pieces.

Yemenite Fenugreek Dip

  • 1/2 cup ground fenugreek seeds

  • 3-4 cups water
  • Mix the seed powder and water and it will quadruple in quantity… add more water if it is too thick.
  • Then slice into small pieces a red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a small purple onion (optional)
  • ½ to 1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped fine.

A Fun Pun recipe: Let Us Have a Raise in Salary Salad

  • 1 head of lettuce and/or Boston red lettuce (for Let Us)
  • ½ cup of soaked raisins (for Have a Raise)
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped (for Salary!)

Mix these three ingredients in a salad bowl, decorate with 2 shredded carrots (for gezer dinanu!) or eight small cherry tomatoes (for yofi!)

Sweet Potato, Carrot Tzimmes

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 10 carrots, cut in circles
  • 10 prunes (without pits)
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • ½ t. cinnamon

Cook sweet potatoes and carrots until soft, and then drain. (You can save the stock for soup.) Mash sweet potatoes, then add to diced carrots and prunes. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread into baking tray and bake for 40 minutes at 350˚F.

New Year's Nile Perch

  • 2 lbs. (approx. 1 kilo) Nile Perch filets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 1 Tb. paprika
  • 1 -2 tsp. salt
  • 6 sprigs of fresh parsley, diced

2 T. fresh lemon juice (optional: many people don’t use sour foods on Rosh Hashanah, though here the lemon flavor in the sauce “bakes out”)

Combine sauce ingredients and pour over fish.

Bake for 30 –40 min. at 350˚F.

Spicy Sefardi Moroccan Charmoula Fish Sauce

  • 2 lbs. (approx. 1 kilo) fish fillets


  • ½ T. paprika
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tb Date Honey (silan)
  • 1 Tb dried parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Whisk sauce ingredients together. Marinate fish fillets in sauce for 30 minutes (or longer). Bake fish at 350˚F or grill for 20–30 minutes.

Charmoula sauce can also be used to marinate chicken.

In a large sauce pan, brown meat with onions, garlic and peppers. Blend tomatoes in a blender and pour into the pan. Add sugar, basil and oregano, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Sweet Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, quartered and skinless
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 onions, sautéed
  • 1 can pineapple chunks


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2-3 Tb. brown sugar
  • 1 t. salt

Place chicken in pan. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Add peppers, onions and pineapple chunks. Simmer on low flame for 1-2 hours.

Turkey Rolada with Paprika and Honey

  • 2 lbs. (approx. 1 kilo) boneless, skinless turkey breast
  • 8 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt (or less)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tb. minced garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1 T. paprika

In a large pot, boil water, salt, brown sugar, honey, garlic, and basil for 15 minutes. Cool and marinate turkey in liquid for six hours. Remove from liquid and rub paprika all over turkey. Bake for 45 minutes at 450˚F, until the meat is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Quince Sauce

(Perfect for the second night of Rosh Hashanah when there is a custom to eat a "new fruit" to enable us to say Shechehiyanu blessing.)

  • 4 ripe, yellow quinces cut into large pieces. Remove stems and seeds removed
  • 2 to 4 Tb. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water

Place ingredients in sauce pan and simmer for an hour or longer on a very low flame. Stir often, to prevent burning on the bottom. Add water if necessary.

Cranberry Bread

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. baking powder
  • 1 cup of whole cranberries
  • 1 Tb minced orange rind
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil (we like coconut!)

Mix the dry Ingredients and cranberries. Then combine the orange juice, rind, oil, honey and eggs. Then stir everything together. Pour into an oiled baking pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, in 350˚F oven, until a "toothpick test" comes out clear. Let cool.

Click here for more Rosh Hashanah recipes.


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