Mehren Tzimmes – Honey Carrots

Like almost everything that has to do with Jewish traditions, there are two interpretations of the Carrot Tzimmes, baked or stewed sliced carrots with honey, dried fruit or raisins, and whatever spices your prefer. The Yiddish word for carrot is mehren, which is very close to the Yiddish word for moremehr.  The argument seems to focus on this word: more of what?  The older tradition, going back to medieval Germany, simply replaced fenugreek, a, vegetable unheard of in Europe, with carrots, pronouncing the same blessing: “May our merits increase.” In other words, we are requesting more opportunities to do more good deeds, so that our merits should increase. Doing good deeds is what will make the year sweet.

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The other, more modern opinion, is that sliced carrots resemble gold coins, so by serving them on Rosh Hashana, we ask to increase our prosperity. Simply put, having more money will sweeten the year. I don’t see anything wrong with prosperity as a concept, but I seriously believe that it’s not worth a special holiday request, and it’s His business anyway, so the request is, in effect, invalid. In any event, I’d rather stick to traditional blessings; they worked for our grandparents – they should work for us as well.

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There are as many different recipes for Mehren Tzimmes, as there are Jewish grandmothers remembered in numerous kitchens around the world. Mine is bare-bones basic. Carrots are sliced – they do look like coins – covered with water and cooked for about 20 minutes, until they become soft and most of the water evaporates.

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I add honey, raisins and cinnamon, but you can add any dry fruit you like, as well as any spices you prefer. I’ve seen tzimmes with nutmeg, cardamon, and even hot pepper. I draw the line at marshmallows, though, but if that’s what it takes to make it more attractive to the kids, go ahead! Mrn Tms 3.jpg

Let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until honey is mostly absorbed and raisins plump up. Give it a stir once in a while so it doesn’t stick.

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We like carrots on the dry side, almost candied, so I let more honey be absorbed, but it could be made more gooey, if you wish. Serve it cold, and remember the blessings: let our good deeds increase and sweeten the year! Shana Tova u’Metuka! A Zis Yor!

The dissemination of all my holiday recipes to a wider audience has been made possible through a valiant effort of Esme, The Recipe Hunter, of https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com, and her fantastic Recipe Exchange program. Thank you again, dear Esme, for performing this vitally important service for the community.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 – 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

PROCEDURE

  • Cover carrots with water, bring to boil, simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until soft. Let most of the liquid evaporate.
  • Add the rest of ingredients, stir, bring to boil, simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve cold.

Enjoy!

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47 Comments Add yours

  1. lilyandardbeg says:

    It looks good 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tastes even better – try!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. You are my shining star!

      Like

  2. elle says:

    Very interesting! I’ve never heard of this dish before, but the ingredients remind me of gajar halva. What a unique dish. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I love halva but never imagined making it out of carrots – see how we learn from each other!

      Like

    1. What you did by working with me on this madness is incredible!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An absolute pleasure Dolly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Enjoy your weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mama always made candied carrots. I think sugar?? I LOVE them!! Yours sound good too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Dolly.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica says:

    Yum! Sounds delicious! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much – glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am loving all this sweetness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Myra, that’s because you are so sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sumith Babu says:

    This sounds very similar to carrot halwa!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love halwa, and you guys are making halwa out of everything – it’s amazing! I have to learn to do it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sumith Babu says:

        I will make it and post. Few on the que now😄😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds great! Looking forward to that!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a very nice version of tzimmes. Oddly, we never ate it growing up. 🤔I have to ask my mother why…. yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? Did you have some other version of it? And what do you make those Brohos on?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I seem to remember it with prunes, dried apricots and sweet potatoes. (I’ve heard of it with flanken too, but never had it that way.) Plus, orange juice and cinnamon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve heard of the meat version, but also never saw it. I’ve seen it with sweet potatoes and all kinds of dried fruit, but if you don’t have carrots, you can’t say the Brocha which is the whole point of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I always thought it was a peseach dish? I usually make other recipes for the simanim. I never thought of it for Rosh Hashana. But then again, we only did an apple with honey when I was growing up. That’s probably why I was not familiar with it for Rosh Hashana. Mystery solved.😉But, anything works, so long as it’s done.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Interesting how people have different minchogim. Anything works if it is enjoyed!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes! Growing up, we rarely ate sweet dishes. Now, I see that sweeten dishes are very popular.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Growing up, we were limited in chocolate, what’s with dentists in the family, but sweet fruit and veggies were always around.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. It’s so interesting! My niece is married to a satmar hassid. He does not eat chocolate on pesach. Maybe because there was no chocolate in the old country???

        Liked by 1 person

      8. There was chocolate, but many hassidim prefer not to eat store-packaged foods or anything they can’t peel on Pesach. For example, they drink hot water instead of tea and peel tomatoes.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. True. But does coco have the same status? It gets very detailed but what about cinnamon? I never asked him. But then again, it’s only one week and a real lesson in humility.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Both coco and cinnamon, yes. And they still menage incredibly varied and delicious menus.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. cookingflip says:

    Hi Dolly, can this same tzimmes recipe be made for Passover?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a million dollar question! If you use honey on Passover, then sure, why not? If you don’t, there is another recipe, with crushed Medjool dates.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cookingflip says:

        Thanks, Dolly for this info. I didn’t know some honey may not be kosher for Passover! I was “assigned” to bring tzimmes to a Pesach meal next week–don’t want to offend anyone!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure! Honey, as well as everything else, must be marked “Kosher for Passover,” however there are some people who take it upon themselves not to use any store-bought products on Passover, no matter how they are marked or certified. These people cook and eat only those fruit and vegetables that could be peeled. I don’t know what your crowd is, so I would suggest to ask someone whether they use store-bought products, and if so, you will have to get honey, raisins, and cinnamon certified “Kosher for Passover.”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. cookingflip says:

        Thank you, Dolly for your guidance! Very much appreciated! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My pleasure, and don’t ever hesitate to ask! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. cookingflip says:

    … and how many servings do you think the recipe would yield (i.e., after a heavy meal!)? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say about 10 – 12, if you are planning to serve it as a dessert. On Rosh Hashana it is served as one of traditional appetizers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cookingflip says:

        Thank you so much, Dolly. Many things I don’t know here! Wishing you, your family and friends a blessed time during the Passover week. God bless Israel! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are very welcome, dear! Please feel free to ask any time.
        Happy holidays to you and yours as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. cookingflip says:

        Thank you! Happy holidays! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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