#Tzimmes: Join Me in Feeding the Needy

Levana Kirschenbaum Masbia Tzimmes Gift Hi, this is Levana Kirschenbaum from www.levanacooks.com and I am asking you to please join me in helping Masbia feed the hungry. Masbia is a network of Kosher soup kitchens that serves 2 million meals a year to hungry men, women and children. Masbia needs our help to continue to feed those less fortunate. Donate now and with your tax deductible receipt Masbia will include a collection of 40 Tzimmes recipes from some of the best known names in Jewish cooking, including my own. That’s for any donation, and every donation counts! For $1,000 you can help Masbia provide holiday meals for their clients, and here is what I will do for you if you make a $1,000 commitment for the New Year: not only will you receive a book of recipes, but I will personally cook you my own special Tzimmes.

The Masbia Tzimmes cookbook is lots of fun, you can make tzimmes all year round. It has everything sweet, and everything spicy, and it’s a great compilation of the very best Tzimmes recipes from celebrity chefs, including yours truly. I just love Masbia, I love Alex, I love chef Ruben. I cannot believe what a tiny team with such a gigantic team of volunteers can do. I mean Alex and Ruben are indefatigable, they are completely devoted, it’s fabulous. 


Tzimmes Recipe

Frugal Tzimmes Version

Tzimmes Loaf Variation

There seems to be no Rosh Hashana without Tzimmes, as it is the perfect quintessence of all our prayers on a dinner plate: Sweet, strong, deep, spicy, nourishing, delicious. My Tzimmes Recipe is included in my giant Rosh Hashana Recipe and Menu File, with an amazing selection.

Tzimmes falls in a grey area between savory and sweet: Although it is meant as a side dish for meat and poultry, it often errs on the sweet and cloying side,  making it sometimes unsuitable even for dessert. There is no good reason for that. My Tzimmes relies mostly on naturally sweet vegetables, fruit and spices for sweetness, and has very little sugar added, so it amply falls in the category of healthy cooking. Even what little sugar I use can easily be replaced with stevia.

Tzimmes has more ingredients than I like my dishes to have (Tzimmes! Hello! Not for nothing does it get its affectionate name!) but it gets assembled quickly. I am also including a recipe for a very streamlined and more frugal recipe version at the bottom, for times we need to cook for a crowd on a shoestring budget.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced small
  • Levana_Kirschenbaum_Tzimmes_Recipe_Frugal_Tzimmes_Version_Tzimmes_Loaf_Variation.jpg1 large carrot, diced small
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, diced small
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened crushed pineapple, juice and all
  • 1 cup dried apricots or pitted prunes, quartered, optional
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar or sucanat. (Sugar-restricted: Use 1-2 tablespoons stevia)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Arrange the mixture in one layer on a baking sheet with sides, and bake about 45 minutes, or a few minutes longer, until ingredients are a nice golden color and the cooking liquids thicken into a natural sauce. Serve hot. Makes 8 ample servings.

Variation: Tzimmes Loaf or Individual Servings

I love to make my tzimmes in a loaf pan or in muffin molds.  It’s a little more work and a couple more ingredients than cutting the ingredients in dice, baking them and calling it a day, but this is a nice fun departure, and looks more festive. The food processor will make short work of the preparation steps: no dicing. With the shredding blade, shred the sweet potato, carrot and apples. Transfer the shredded mixture to a mixing bowl, with all remaining ingredients. Increase the oil to ½ cup. Add 3 eggs and 1 cup flour. Mix thoroughly (avoid squeezing so as not to extract more moisture). Pour into a greased tube cake pan or 9×13 pan., or into 1½ dozen medium muffin molds. Bake for 1 hour (muffins: 40 minutes) or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into slices or chunks. Serve warm as a side dish.

Variation: Frugal Tzimmes Version

Follow the basic recipe instructions on top, using a simplified and more economical ingredient list: 1 medium onion, 1 large sweet potato, 2 large carrots, 1 cup canned crushed pineapple (½ cup reconstituted frozen orange juice if crushed pineapple is hard to get), 1 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup sugar, salt and pepper to taste. 

If you decide to make a “frugal” tzimmes loaf: follow the instructions for tzimmes loaf, using the simplified ingredient list in the frugal version above.


Levana at Union Square Tzimmes event 2015

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