The Tastes of Purim

When breaking the Fast of Esther on the night before Purim, two Middle Eastern Jewish cultures offer particularly interesting entrees. Moroccans begin with Bar-ku-kas, a hot dairy cereal made from couscous, while a Yemeni’s first taste is Zome or Zome F’tute, also a hot dairy cereal, but made with yogurt.


  • 2 cups prepared couscous
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 1-2 tbs. butter
  • 5-6 tbs. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon

Prepare couscous an hour in advance and keep at room temperature.

Cook 3 cups of milk over a medium heat, then pour over couscous. Wait about 10 minutes to dissolve. Cook the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk over high heat, add butter, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over couscous and serve hot.


  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. z’hug (hot sauce of jalapeƱo and cilantro; buy in
    an Israeli market or mix in blender at home)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice

Mix flour in the water until dissolved. Mix in all ingredients, except lemon juice, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes while stirring. Add lemon juice and serve hot. For Zome F’tute, mix in chunks of fresh or dry bread.

Nili Goldstein is the co-owner of Magic Carpet Restaurant.