Kosher Delicacies in Buenos Aires

It was time to visit Buenos Aires and see for myself if I could find food that suited my palate. So I made a list of restaurants I had to visit and headed for the capital. Kosher food is certified when it gets out of Israel. I chose restaurants that served only kosher food just to be on the safe side. Jews in Beunos Aires have existed since 1862 when a great number migrated to live a peaceful life. Kosher food is therefore easily available at several areas in the city.

McDonald’s Kosher
McDonalds is an international chain, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the display board mentioning Kosher. It lifted my spirits, and I was not distracted by the Abasto Mall. I headed straight for the restaurant and got to eat burgers and fries. The menu did not have dairy or pork products. There is a slight difference in taste which probably non Jews would notice. Great effort has been made to maintain the international flavor at the only Kosher McDonald outside of Israel.

Sucath David
The restaurant serves international Jewish food, so orthodox Jews may have to specify the food they want. I did try the humus-Basegam and staffed grape leaves with Turkish rice. I contemplated having the Beren-Kibe, but that was for another time. It is open from Monday to Thursday between 8 pm and 11 pm. On Sunday and Friday, it’s open only between 12 pm and 4 pm. Saturday from 8 pm to 2 am.

El Pasaje Resto & Bar
I had a good rest in my hotel room and was game to try out the restaurant. It claimed to have the best kosher food in Argentina. After trying out the tender grilled meat and pizza, I had to agree the food was really good. There are different areas for Bazar or Jalab. To complete my shopping at the Abasto Mall, which I missed out in the afternoon, I bid farewell to an acquaintance I made, promising to return to the restaurant.

Shefa Kosher
If you like pastas or pizzas, you must try out this restaurant. I had just enough room for pasta and had to agree that their onion & potatoes varenikes was delicious. That was it, as I decided to call it a day.

Al Galope
It is an orthodox kosher restaurant and is visited by Jewish families residing in and around Buenos Aires. It was a new day, and I decided to have a juicy steak and combine it with pitas. I did notice Orthodox Jews feast on the steak and wash it down with some kosher Argentine wine, which made me make my choice as well from the restaurant’s extensive list.

Mama Jacinta
Basically serving Argentine cuisine with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean accents since 1999, the owner cooks the food serving quality chicken and fish items. The kibbe or dumpling with a meat filling was recommended, so I did not hesitate ordering a plate for myself. I could see several large families having get-togethers, which told me I would never have problems finding kosher food in Buenos Aires ever again.

Cooking Kosher – The Indian Way

Kosher food in India has always been close to the original food cooked in Israel. I found some recipes to be completely new using Indian spices and herbs, including coriander, coconuts, turmeric, bitter gourd, etc. The Jewish clan realized that India had much to offer in terms of variety, and they adapted to the lifestyle where they settled down. For example, the Baghdadi Jewish Community in Kolkata, use spices and vegetables available there, such as ginger, turmeric, and spinach. Kosher food has found new meaning in India and worldwide
Read More “Cooking Kosher – The Indian Way”

Fall Recipes, Asian Style

Within kosher cuisine, October is commonly known as “after the holidays” month. After three weeks of delicious holiday meals, many find that their pants may be fitting tighter around the waistline, and start spending a bit more time on the treadmill and a little less time in the kitchen. Because of this, kosher meals in October tend to be lighter, simpler, and easier to prepare compared to the elaborate Rosh Hashanah and Simchat Torah meals that preceded them.
Read More “Fall Recipes, Asian Style”

Rosh Hashana Recipes From Around the World — Part One

Rosh Hashana, like many cherished holidays, is one that is observed with a wide array of delicious foods. At the Rosh Hashana table you will experience a wonderful variety of colors, tastes, and fragrances, while each dish bears its own symbolic significance.

The complexity of this ancient holiday is certainly reflected in its many traditional foods that are eaten in observance throughout the world.

One of the most well-known and loved Rosh Hashana dishes is challah. Challah is a sweet braided bread. What makes challah different on Rosh Hashana from every Shabbat is that the holiday bread is traditionally formed into a circle, symbolizing the circle of life and the continuity of the Jewish New Year.

On Rosh Hashana it is customary to eat sweet foods in order to welcome in the sweetness of the coming year. Two of the most common foods on the holiday menu are therefore apples and honey.

This tradition began with late medieval Askenazi Jews and is now observed the world over. At the beginning of a customary Rosh Hashana meal, a plate of apple slices and honey is passed around.

Each person at the table takes an apple slice and a little bit of honey to dip it into. Before eating the apple with honey, a special prayer is said in order to ask for the blessing of sweetness in the new year.

Both apples and honey are also frequently incorporated in other ways into the Rosh Hashana menu.

One very popular favorite is a traditional dessert, an apple and honey cake. This particular recipe comes from a member of the Orthodox community in France.

Apples and Honey Cake

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 cup honey
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 and ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold tea (green tea or black tea)
¼ cup orange juice
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 medium carrot, grated

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup fluted tube or bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade process the eggs, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla extract for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. (Or, if you do not have a food processor, an electric mixer will work, too.)

Add both types of flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to the processor bowl. Then add the tea and orange juice and process with several on/off pulses just until the ingredients are moist and combined.

Add the grated apples and carrot and process with several quick on/off pulses until combined. (Again, alternately you can do this with a mixer. Just make sure not to over mix the ingredients. They only need to be blended together.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly throughout the pan using a rubber spatula.

Bake the cake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let it cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before inverting the pan and unmolding the cake onto a serving plate.

Enjoy this delicious and traditional Rosh Hashana dessert!

And while you dine, don’t forget that, when eating your dinner for Rosh Hashana, it’s not just what you eat but how you eat it that is significant.

Here is an article that explains the symbolic meaning of several of the foods traditionally eaten as part of the meal on Rosh Hashana:
http://www.jewishmag.com/83mag/simmonim/simmonim.htm

Wing Bean Salad (yum tua pu – ยำถั่วพู)

A proper Thai meal should consist of a soup, a curry dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish and vegetables. A spiced salad may replace the curry dish. The soup can also be spicy, but the curry should be replaced by non spiced items. There must be a harmony of tastes and textures within individual dishes and the entire meal. Wing Bean Salad (yum tua pu – ยำถั่วพู) is a central Thai dish featuring “wing beans” which are blanched and tossed with coconut milk, roasted chili paste, toasted coconut, tamarind, palm sugar and peanuts. If you can’t get wing beans where you are, they can be substituted with green beans or snap peas. Read More “Wing Bean Salad (yum tua pu – ยำถั่วพู)”

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

But regardless of the region, home-style Vietnamese cooking calls for an array of simple dishes that make complementary partners at a family’s communal meal. Dinners customarily call for a soup, probably a platter of leafy greens accompanied by rice papers and a dipping sauce, seafood or grilled meats or poultry, a vegetable stir-fry, and rice or noodles in some form – with hot tea as the preferred beverage. While such meals may look complex to outsiders, most dishes come together easily, and some call for advance preparation to avoid last-minute conflicts. And, as in any type of cooking, planning ahead makes putting together meals much easier. This rice paper roll is a popular dish of Vietname. Read More “Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls”