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rice Orisa made by my grandma

On my mother’s side (happy Mother’s Day mom!) Orisa is a central part of our weekends together as a Sephardi Jewish, Israeli, Moroccan family. What is Orisa you ask? In Ashkenazi Jewish culture, this type of food is called Chunt, or Cholent and in general, Israelis call it Hamin (חמין). It is a dish prepared on Friday before the Sabbath and then kept warm in an oven, hotplate, or crock-pot the whole night until lunch-time on Saturday. Each Jewish culture and family has their own version of this slow-cook dish and I get to have all of them! Ashkenazim (I am 1/4 Ashkenazi) have Chunt, which is made primarily with beans and red meat; and Iraqis (I am 1/4 Iraqi) have Tebit, which is made with rice and chicken. Moroccans have 2 variations I am familiar with: Orisa, made with rice or barley and red meat, and Adafina (or Dafina), a stew/soup made with garbanzo beans and red meat.

To learn more about Hamin visit the Wikipedia page about it!

ImageIngredients: Serves about 4-5

1 medium/large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, whole
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and halved
4 hard boiled eggs, shells on
1/2 kilo Ossobuco cut veal or other cut of beef with some fat
1 1/2 cups wheat or rice
2 1/2 cups water (2 cups water if using rice)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
olive oil


fried onions, garlic, and paprika


Coat the bottom of a medium/large pot with olive oil and set on medium heat. Fry onion and garlic until yellow. Add the beef and water and boil, covered, until meat is lightly browned.

If water has reduced below what it was before, add some more to raise it to its former level. Once water is hot again, add barley, sweet potatoes, and eggs (it is OK if eggs are not completely covered with water). Cook covered, on low heat until no water remains and wheat is soft.


Orisa before cooking

Once the Orisa is cooked, cover the pot and put into an oven (or onto a hot-plate) on low heat (about 100° C) until lunch on the next day. If desired, it is also possible to eat this immediately. Peel eggs to serve and have a Shabbat Shalom!