By Jamie Geller

The Purim seudah is a wonderful opportunity to explore themed menus based on recipes from around the world. Dress in costumes inspired by your menu or let your clothing inspire your cooking. Spanish food is exciting and palate-tickling. These are some of the stars of this distinct and popular cuisine.


Spanish Gazpacho

This refreshing soup originated in Spain and Portugal during the summer months. It’s the perfect prep-ahead Purim soup as the weather starts to warm up!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 orange bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a blender or food processor, combine peppers, cucumbers, onions, and parsley. Pulse to finely chop.

Add tomato juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine well, leaving some chunks for texture.

Refrigerate 30 minutes to 4 hours before serving chilled.


Ropa Vieja

From the Canary Islands, this tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth meat main is easy and unpretentious—a relaxed yet exotic way to entertain this Purim.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 155 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 (2-pound) skirt steak
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium ovenproof Dutch oven or heavy pot, place steak, carrots, yellow onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover with water, and put a lid on the pot. Transfer to the oven and bake until the steak is tender and falling apart, about 2 hours.

Transfer meat to a plate, and let cool. Strain liquid and return to pot, discarding vegetables and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half, simmering rapidly for about 20 minutes. Shred meat when it is cool enough to handle. Return meat to strained sauce, add diced tomatoes, and keep warm over low heat.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red onions and bell peppers, and sauté until softened and tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. To serve, combine shredded meat with sautéed onions and peppers. Arrange on a serving plate and drizzle sauce on top.


Patatas A La Brava

Quite possibly the most popular appetizer in all of Spain, these fried potatoes are paired with a smooth paprika-spiked dipping sauce.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • Aioli
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Potatoes
  • canola oil for frying
  • 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt



In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, paprika, and garlic powder. Set aside.


Heat half an inch of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add potatoes in a single layer, and fry, turning until golden on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  1. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with aioli.


Traditional Churros

Originally a Portuguese dessert, this fried-dough pastry covered in cinnamon-sugar is suitable for Chanukah, Purim, or as a sweet end to any meal, any day of the week.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 16 churros


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • canola oil for frying


In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Combine water, olive oil, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined and mixture forms a ball. Let cool slightly and transfer to a pastry bag with a large star tip.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pipe 2-inch-long lines of dough into the oil, cutting with a knife at the end. If bag is too warm, wrap with a kitchen towel. Dough will be stiff, so use force to squeeze out churros. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet. Toss churros in cinnamon-sugar and serve warm.

Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen—not because she doesn’t love food—but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing,” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (The New York Times), she’s the creative force behind Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their six super kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen—quickly. Check out her new book, Brisket 101, and her new family meal plan “Fresh Families” at


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