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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Instant Pot or Not Cholent- Vegan and GF

cholent - www.realfoodblogger.com

If you like beans, you will LOVE this amazing vegan cholent/chulent recipe that is made with a mixture of pinto beans, red kidney beans, and navy beans. The Instant Pot transforms an ancient recipe into modern times.

bean stew cholent

Chulent or cholent is a old traditional Sabbath day meal that has been made for centuries by observant Jews. (Cholent recipes can be traced back to 1180 in Vienna). 

Before the invention of electricity, the town baker had a big oven that he would keep burning through the Sabbath which started Friday at sundown and ended Saturday at sundown. Since it was forbidden to light a fire on the Sabbath, the townspeople would bring a crock of beans to the baker's oven before sundown on Friday and let it slow cook to eat as their Saturday hot Sabbath meal. 

The word cholent is thought to be derived from the Medieval French word "chaud" meaning hot and "lent" meaning slow. Thus a slow cooking hot meal.

cholent in the instant pot
Before cooking in the Instant Pot filled about 1/4 of the 6 quart pot

After the invention of electricity, people started using slow cookers to make their cholent or would leave their oven on a low flame all night to cook their chulent/cholent for the Sabbath day meal. 

bean stew

www.realfoodblogger.com cholent

Jews from different countries developed variations of the recipe using chickpeas or a variety of different beans, meat, eggs, dumplings, chicken etc. Almost every country has their variation of cholent. There are probably as many cholent recipes as there are cooks. 

Indian Cholent may contain turmeric, cardamom, lentils, and chicken. 
Italian Cholent may contain rosemary, brisket, potatoes, and cannelloni beans.
Polish Cholent may contain potatoes, flankin, a variety of beans, garlic, paprika, and dumplings
Eastern European Cholent may contain barley, potatoes, butter beans, brisket, and garlic
Vegetarian Cholent may contain sweet potatoes, potatoes, dumplings, a variety of beans

I make a vegan version that is absolutely delicious and because I am not " religious, " I make mine ahead of time in the Instant Pot!!!! Of course you could use the slow cooker and cook it for 8 hours. You might need to add more water for the slow cooker. 

3 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil spray 
1 large onion sliced into 1/2 moons 
2 large organic carrots, sliced into thick slices 
10 whole baby portobello mushrooms , halved
1 teaspoon of ground ginger ( not fresh) 
1/2 teaspoon of Trader Joe's 21 Salute ( salt free seasoning mix) 
1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt 
1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
3 cups of vegetable broth ( I use Tabatchnicks or Whole Foods 365)
2 cups of water( or an extra cup if needed to cover the beans) 
1 pound total of dry bean mixture ( pinto beans, red kidney beans, navy beans) * see note below

Spray bottom of the Instant Pot with olive oil spray. Add onions and garlic and sautee until onions become soft. Add beans, carrots, mushrooms, ginger, 21 Salute, salt , pepper, vegetable broth, and water. Cancel the saute function and press pressure cook for 50 minutes. Make sure the steam knob is closed. When done cooking, allow steam to release naturally according to manufacturer's directions for about 30 minutes. When done, remove lid and serve.

chulent mix of beans

My Notes: 
1. Many supermarkets carry pre-made bags of cholent bean mixture in the kosher foods section. 
2. There is no need to soak the beans for the Instant Pot 
3. If you prefer to soak the beans overnight, pressure cook for 25 minutes 
4. This really tastes amazing if you like beans
5. You could make this in the Instant Pot before the Sabbath and keep it on warm until after sundown on saturday. 
6. ** Beware- some cholent mix packages contain barley which is not gluten free- read the ingredients

Sharing on Beth Fish Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

Sharing on Souper Sundays where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie.


  1. There's lots more history to this tradition. Different Jewish communities had different names for their Sabbath stews as well as different sets of ingredients -- for example, "adafina" for Jews of medieval Spanish origin. In some places, a kugel could be cooked in a smaller dish inside the big pot. As you say, the various electric pots for cooking slow food are just the newest part of the history.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  2. We love bean dishes of any kind, and the pressure cooker is the way to go. I usually soak my beans for 1 hour: put in a bowl, cover with boiling water, cover bowl and let sit. Rinse before putting in the cooker. This cuts cooking time and removes some of the sugars that can give intestinal distress.

    1. I always used to soak beans, but they come out so good without soaking in the IP.. Maybe I should go back to soaking.. good suggestion thanks

  3. Wish my stomach could handle so much beans LOL It surely looks very delicious and comforting, Judee.

  4. Such interesting history behind this dish! I frequently use a slow-cooker and have been considering an InstaPot for some time... guess I'm still trying to convince myself that I NEED it.

    1. JoAnn- YOU NEED IT_ you will not regret getting one.. it's fabulous

  5. Great history of the slow cooker:) I want to make your version, though will have to leave out the red kidney beans as I have trouble digesting them. I was just looking up a recipe for black rice risotto in my slow cooker.

  6. We really don't eat enough beans. Thanks for an interesting post about them.

    1. This is such an easy recipe. Hope that you will get to try it

  7. Not sure i'd cope with all those beans... Cheers

  8. This stew looks so delicious and I love all of the history surrounding it.
    Thank you for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

    1. thanks deb- It does have quite a history and I didn't realize that it goes back even farther

  9. This sounds so delicious and healthy too. I can't wait to make it. Thanks for sharing the history of Cholent as well.

    1. If you have an Instant Pot , you will LOVE it!! It does have a long history

  10. (I hit enter earlier when typing so I don't know if my comment made it before I finished)

    So, love the colorful beans, they are beautiful. Also, that was an interesting post with the history you included. Love a good bean soup.

    1. thanks Tina- glad you enjoyed the post- I don't make them often, but beans do taste great

  11. I always learn so much for you, Judee. This dish looks and sounds absolutely delicious!


    1. My mother never made cholent, but I had a close friend whose parents were Holocaust survivors and religious from Eastern Europe. I wish I still had Goldie's recipe- it was the best ever- she made it for every Shabbat and I was frequently a guest when I was a kid .

  12. This is delicious! I will prepare this evening for my partner. Thank you very much 

  13. Sounds lovely and I enjoyed the history of the dish. Thank you.

  14. Hi Judee,
    Thanks so much for sharing the history of this recipe and I can't wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I look forward to your blog hop each week

  15. I never heard of chulent. However, I do love beans so will likely enjoy this.

    1. Interesting- it's a pretty popular dish- anyway it does taste amazing and now that you are aware of it, you will probably hear of it too.

  16. It looks so yummy. thanks for shearing,

  17. My Mom used to put eggs In the shell) in that would come out brown and delicious. Would I get the same effect in the InstantPot?


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