Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 18 hrs
This cholent is a very special veggie cholent that I have spent the past 9 months or so trying to perfect. Cholent was always something that I looked forward to having, but when I went vegetarian, I found it extremely hard to differentiate between "veggie cholent" and just another variety of bean/barley stew. Something was missing from all of those recipes, and I would like to say that I have finally found an acceptable replacement. Also good for those who just want to try something new. Enjoy! Notes: One thing about this cholent that is absolutely necessary is the brown sugar in the sauce. Please don't omit it! It adds a unique savouriness to the final dish that really helps this taste more like a real cholent. If you try to avoid sugar in recipes, try substituting agave nectar (very scant 1/4 cup) or if veganism is not a concern, substitute honey.
- 3 medium onions
- 3 -4 sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1 1⁄2 cups beans
- 1 cup barley
- 3 -4 carrots, peeled
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (NOT crushed)
- 5 -7 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground fennel
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon flavored salt, flavoured (i.e. celery salt or Herbamare Original salt)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon basil
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 dash smoked paprika
- 1 dash garlic powder (optionally crush a clove of garlic)
- Cut the onions and sweet potatoes into large pieces and add to the crock pot.
- Add the barley and beans (I tend to use a mixture of navy/black eyed/red kidney beans -- also remember to either soak/boil the beans or buy them in a can!).
- Coin the carrots very thinly (~2 millimetres thick) and add to the pot.
- Now to make the sauce. Strain the liquid from the tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl containing the dry ingredients (everything but the water). Toss the tomato pieces into the crock pot.
- Stir up the sauce mixture and check the taste. Adjust anything that doesn't fit your palatte.
- Add the sauce mixture and add water to fill up to just below covering the vegetables.
- Add a kishke (I'll be adding a recipe for that soon) to the top if desired.
- Cover the crock pot and turn on low.
- Shabbat Shalom!
Based on the previous reviewer's comments, I cut down the proportions of this recipe to fit in my 4-quart crockpot. I used 2 good-sized sweet potatoes and half of a large can of tomatoes. I initially put in only enough water to cover (about 3 cups), but I needed to add more water halfway through since the barley soaked up most of that. I felt like it needed some kind of seasoning but I'm not sure what -- it turned out kind of bland. It's one of those dishes that's definitely better once it has cooled a bit.
I really wanted to like this recipe, but unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I expected. The amount of seasoning was not sufficient, so it came out a little bland, and I didn't care for the tomato/sweet potato flavor combo. If you do make this, use a very large crock pot. I had to reduce the amount of several ingredients and it still overflowed in my 4 quart pot.