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March 17, 1989 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I COOKING I

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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 1989

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Food Traditions Abound
In Festival Of Purim

Purim, which begins Mon-
day, celebrates the heroic ac-
tions of the young Jewess
Esther, queen of ancient Per-
sia. She risked her life to
reveal Haman's evil plot to
murder all the Jews and sav-
ed her people.
Because this holiday is a
great celebration, it abounds
in food traditions. One aspect
of its observance is the
preparation of a big feast
whose purpose is merriment,
telling jokes and even the
drinking of wine. Another
is serving hamantashen,
cookies shaped like Haman's
hat, filled with fruit and nuts.
The most important tradi-
tion for modern celebrants
relates to Esther's life in
Ahasuerus' court. Because
Esther followed the kosher
rules, she could not eat meat.
As a vegetarian, she ate most-
ly seeds, grains and fruits.
Plan a festive meal around
a Middle Eastern theme.
Prepare dishes which Esther
might have eaten herself or
ones she might have served to
King Ahasuerus at the ban-
quet where she exposed
Haman's plot. Tabouli (a
parsley, tomato and bulgar
wheat salad), hummus
(pureed garbanzo beans spic-
ed withgarlic and cumin),
and mujadarra (lentils and
rice seasoned- with onions)
make a delicious combina-
tion. A basket of pita bread
completes the menu. Desset
is hamantashen, of course.
This kind of meal has
several benefits. First, it con-
tains no saturated fat,
especially if safflower oil
rather than butter is used for
the hamantashen. Second,
use a heart-healthy oil in all
the recipes. Olive oil is
monosaturated, and highly
recommended by nutri-
tionists. Safflower oil also is
good because of all vegetable
oils, it has the highest percen-
tage of polyunsaturates. A
third benefit in this menu is
that, for persons who eat the
dishes in moderation, fat oc-
cupies less than 30 percent of
the total calories, the amount
recommended by the
American Heart Association.
Individuals should balance
what they consume.
The biggest benefit is lower-
ing blood cholesterol. These
dishes are rich in complex
carbohydrates, found in the
beans, lentils, rice, bulgar and
parsley. The combination of
lentils and rice itself forms a
protein healthier than that
which comes from animal
sources because animal pro-

teins contain saturated fat
and vegetable proteins don't.
Reducing consumption of
saturated fat and increasing
the intake of complex car-
bohydrates is a dietary
method doctors suggest for
lowering blood cholesterol.
Tahini paste, which is need-
ed to make hummus, and
bulgar wheat, the basic ingre-
dient of tabouli, are found in
most supermarkets. If a local
supermarket does not carry
these items, they are readily
available in any Middle
Eastern grocery store or deli.

Tabouli

1/2 cup bulgar wheat
boiling water
6 green onions
1 large bunch parsley
several sprigs of fresh mint, if
available (or 1 teaspoon
dried)
3 large ripe tomatoes
Dressing:
5 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
5 tbsps. olive oil
salt and pepper t _ o taste
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Place the bulgar wheat in a
small bowl and cover with
boiling water. Let stand for 30
minutes. Drain thoroughly.
In the meantime, chop all
the vegetables or process
them in a food processor.
Don't let them get mushy.
The pieces should not be too
finely chopped. Place them in
a large bowl. Add the drain-
ed bulgar and the dressing.
Let it stand for several hours
before 'serving to give the
flavors a chance to blend.
Serves 8.

Hummus

3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo
beans, drained
1 /s cup tahini paste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 /3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
a few dashes of hot pepper
sauce
1 /2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
Place garlic, salt and gar-
banzos in food processor. Pro-
cess until mixture is almost
pureed. Add tahini paste and
process again. With the
machine running, add the
olive oil, lemon juice and
water in a thin stream.
Scrape the sides of the con-
tainer. Add the remaining in-
gredients and process again.

Continued on Page 76

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