You need not wait for a holiday — or be Jewish — to enjoy tzimmes. Sweet potato and carrot tzimmes is a recipe that’s traditional to Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). It’s a festive dish for Passover as well, and any other cool-weather occasion. This recipe is plant-based, but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it!
In this classic Jewish dish, carrots are combined with sweet potatoes and prunes, adding bright color to the table and plate.
What is tzimmes?
In Yiddish, “tzimmes” means a big fuss or commotion. Fortunately, this mélange of sweet vegetables and dried fruits is not much of a fuss to make, and is a traditional side dish for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Passover.
An article in Jewish Food Experience details the origins of tzimmes, stating, “A traditional side dish for Rosh Hashanah, the sweet compote of carrot circles, like golden coins, represents a wish for a sweet and prosperous year.
The first-known use of the Yiddish name tzimmes is from 1892, and it is said to have originated from the German zuomuose, or ‘side dish.’” Read the rest of this interesting history here.
The symbolism of carrots: Carrots are one of the most commonly used of symbolic foods in Eastern European meals. The Yiddish word for carrot also means to increase or multiply — a positive wish for prosperity and luck to bring to the table.
Ingredients for sweet potato and carrot tzimmes
- Sweet potatoes (3 large)
- Olive oil
- Red or yellow onion (1 large)
- Carrots (4 to 5 medium or 3 large)
- Apple or ripe pear (1 medium)
- Dried prunes (1/2 cup)
- Dried apricots (1/4 cup)
- Orange juice, preferably fresh (from 3 medium oranges)
- Ginger, fresh or bottled
- Walnuts (small amount)
Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Explore more …
- Vegan Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) recipes
- Vegan Passover Seder Recipes
- Vegan sweet potato recipes
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red or yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 to 5 medium or 3 large carrots, sliced
- 1 apple or ripe pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped dried prunes
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
- 2/3 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh or bottled ginger
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts for topping, optional
- Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until done but still fairly firm. Once cool enough to handle, peel and slice them. You can do this step well ahead of time.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the carrots and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Combine with the remaining ingredients except the walnuts in a mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Don't worry if the potato slices break apart.
- Oil a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Pour in the sweet potato mixture. Scatter the waltnuts over the top, if using.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top begins to turn slightly crusty. Serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.