Hag Ha’asif Tzimmis

This Israeli dish is traditionally served at Succoth, the harvest festival, when the layers symbolise the autumn fruits.

There are many forms of Tzimmis, each one a combination of vegetables or fruit, occa-sionally with meat added, but always cooked as slowly as possible to ensure that the flavours are well blended. Hag Ha’asif Tzimmis (hag hah-ah-seef sim-miss) may be served on its own, as a luncheon dish, or as an accompaniment to roast meat.


1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled

1 lb. pumpkin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cloves

6 tablespoons orange marmalade

3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 fl. oz. water

4 fl. oz. white wine

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to warm 325 CF (Gas Mark 3, 170=C). With the oil, lightly grease a large casserole. Set aside.

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover them and place the pan over high heat.

Bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook the potatoes for 30 minutes. Do not allow them to become so soft that they disinte-grate. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and set them aside to cool.

Slice the pumpkin, remove the skin and seeds, and place the pumpkin slices in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the pump- kin slices to a chopping board. Set them aside to cool.

When the pumpkin slices and sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each into thin slices.

On a saucer, mix together the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cloves.

Arrange half the sweet potato slices in the bottom of the casserole. Spread one-sixth of the marmalade over and sprinkle with one-sixth of the spice mixture. Top with half the apples and again spread a layer of marmalade over and sprinkle with spices. Add half the pumpkin and another layer of marmalade and spices. Repeat each layer once more.

Pour over the lemon juice, water and wine and sprinkle the surface of the mix-ture with the grated lemon rind and sugar.

Dot the butter over the top and place the casserole in the centre of the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.