Chulent is basically Jewish stew. At least that’s the Yiddish/Ashkenazi name for it. In the Sephardic world, it’s called hamin, which makes more sense to me because it means hot. According to Orthodox Jewish Law, you can’t cook on Shabbat, so it’s a great way to make hot food. You basically stick everything in a crockpot and serve it the next day.

I remember the first time that I had chulent. I was 10 years old and my family was just starting to become religious. We spent Shabbat at Rabbi and Mrs. Charner’s house and they served this potato, barley, bean and meat concoction. It tasted amazing.

There are all sorts of chulents out there. For years, even before going vegan, I’ve been making a vegetarian chulent. The meat part of the chulent never spoke to me. I would try to avoid it and just eat the barley and potatoes anyway. That’s why, not only is my chulent meatless, it is also beanless.

When I make chulent, I’ll start it early on Friday afternoon, and we don’t eat it until about 11 am the next day. As long as there is enough water, the longer it cooks, the more time the flavors have to meld together.

Whenever I make chulent, I have to make kishke. They just go together. Once you make the kishke, all you have to do is put it on top of the chulent and it will cook in the pot at the same time.

Just a warning – when you take the chulent out of the crockpot it is very hot. The first thing that I try to do when I get home from Saturday morning services (when I remember) is take the chulent out of pot so that it has a bit of time to cool before I serve it. Although it’s funny to watch people try to eat it when it is really hot, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

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