Safta Rachel’s Hamin
This savory Moroccan-style hamin is the perfect stew for your Shabbat lunch table or any time you need a hug from grandma. It’s a forgiving dish, so feel free to use whatever kinds of potatoes or beans you like… meat, mushrooms or neither… and adjust seasonings to your taste. Hamin derives from the Hebrew word cham, meaning “hot.” The dish should be heated continuously until it hits your awaiting mouth. Who could argue with that on a cold winter day?
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 large Spanish or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat, cut in about 2-inch chunks
- 8 medium potatoes, peeled
- 4 ounce can roasted diced chilies
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Hot water
- 4 large white eggs
- 1 cup wheat berries or farro
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Lightly coat the bottom of your crockpot* with about ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, reserving rest of oil for later. Pour in chickpeas to fully cover oil. Top with half of onions. Add in layer of stew meat and scatter remaining onions on top. Distribute whole peeled potatoes across onions.
- Now, for the spices! To a large tempered glass measuring cup add roasted diced chilies, 2 tablespoons paprika, cumin, turmeric, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cover with hot water and stir. Pour spice mixture all over the potatoes. Add more hot water through a gap in side (so as not to wash off seasonings) until potatoes are just covered. Rinse eggs in shells and place on top. If you would like, add additional eggs so that each guest can have more than ½ egg each.
- To prep the wheat, pour the wheat berries or farro into separate large bowl. Add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons paprika, 3 cloves crushed garlic, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir in three cups of hot water. Pour wheat and spice mixture into cooking bag. Before tying, grasp opening of bag and place gently in cholent pot above the eggs. Try to remove as much air as possible before closing the bag with a single knot. Cover with lid and turn crockpot on low for at least 12 hours. Serve hot.
- To serve, transfer wheat berries, peeled eggs and beans with gravy into separate heat safe bowls. Ladle the meat and potatoes onto a single platter. Pair hamin with Persian rice and a raw white cabbage salad with tangy vinaigrette, perfect complements to the heat of this mouthwatering winter dish.
- * If you don’t have a crockpot or slow-cooker at the ready, do not despair. A large pot with at least 6 quarts volume will do. Add all ingredients as in the recipe above and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three hours on a low flame. Before Shabbat, add water to cover ingredients by one inch and place in the oven at 180-200 or on a warming tray until it’s time to eat.