Recipe: My Mother's Tzimmes

The tzimmes is in the bowl between the kugel and the challah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebration. The first two nights of the Days of Awe, the foods we eat are symbolic of having a sweet new year. Many of the dishes are honey based or laced with honey; honey is everywhere: in the meats, the sides and the desserts. Here’s a slightly fuller explanation of the Jewish New Year.

One of the many dishes I look forward to every year is my mother’s tzimmes. My dad used to make a carrot raisin maple curry tzimmes that was divine. It transitioned from the Rosh holidays to just a side dish for many years. Then a few years ago my mother started making this one: fresh carrots and dried fruits. She used to make the recipe below as printed and then she started playing around with additions and subtractions. (That’s how I cook too: do the recipe once and then make my own tweaks. My dad on the other hand doesn’t use recipes but is one of those throw-things-together-and-it-comes-out-great cooks.) Anyway, this tzimmes is the perfect sweet compliment for any Rosh plate. More about tzimmes here.


Recipe: My Mother's Tzimmes

Read through carefully FIRST before making. Enjoy!


"I usually at least 4 carrots and I don't use corn starch, it thickens without it, just sitting there. I also used more water once it was done and then simmered for a bit and then let it sit without the heat on. Most of the water gets absorbed. I used dried apricots, prunes, figs and dried pomegranate seeds that were sweetened with fruit juice, not sugar as most are. I didn't use the peel or pith of the orange and lemon, just the juice and the pulp cut up.  I also took out the bay leaf with the carrots and didn't put it back in."

My Mother’s Rosh Tzimmes

3 medium carrots peeled & sliced into 1/4" coins
2 bay leaves (I use one)
1/2 orange, juice & peel, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1/2 lemon, juice & peel, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups mixed dried fruit (prunes, pears, apricots & apples)...I use whatever I've got
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Place carrots in a large pot with bay leaves and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until al dente
2. Remove carrots with slotted spoon and set aside, retaining cooking water in pot. Add orange and lemon juices and pieces and simmer for about 10 minutes
3. Add honey, sugar & cinnamon and stir until dissolved. Return carrots to pot & simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Add dried fruit & raisins with 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that everything cooks evenly.
5. If you're using cornstarch, mix it with a tsp. of cold water in a small bowl and stir until fully dissolved. Add mixture to the tzimmes, stir and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is almost completely dissolved.

Yield 1 quart or 8 servings

My Rosh plate!


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