A Persian Sweet to Break the Yom Kippur Fast
Shared by Ayala Hodak
Recipe Roots: Tehran > Holon, Israel > Tenafly, New Jersey
Ayala Hodak’s mother, who moved to Israel when she was a teenager from Iran, is a gifted cook, says Ayala. Even at 79, Maheen, who was given the name Yafa when she arrived in Israel, “can cook anything. She doesn’t stick to recipes.” Maheen’s repertoire stretches from Ashkenazi recipes to Turkish dishes. For Yom Kippur, she reaches back to her roots in Tehran where she first learned to cook in her mother’s kitchen.
To break the fast, Maheen and now Ayala serve a take on faloodeh. Fans of Persian cooking may know this dish as a popular dessert prepared with vermicelli noodles, ice, and rosewater but some in the Persian Jewish community serve this variation made with apples and rosewater at the end of Yom Kippur to ease everyone into the feast ahead. When Ayala was a child, her mother would make a batch before heading to synagogue or “or she would ask me to make it a few hours before,” she says. That way, the “apples stay a little crisp,” but you can also make it the day before, she says. Simply make sure to cover the apples with ice but not water, adding that at the last moment.
*Next month, we will share more recipes from Ayala and Maheen like one for an herbed Persian omelette called kuku sabzi. Stay tuned.
Time: 15 minutes plus chilling
4 gala apples, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar*
3 ½ tablespoons rosewater
3 cups water
5-6 ice cubes
1. In a medium bowl, top apples with sugar and rosewater. Flatten a bit, but do not mix at this point. Place the ice cubes on top of the mixture, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. When ready to eat, add water. Mix and serve immediately to break the fast.
*This is Ayala’s preferred sugar, but her Mom used cane sugar