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The Hirshon Sephardic Adafina

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  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 3 chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 1 grass-fed lamb shank, cut into pieces by butcher
  • 1 piece of grass-fed beef chuck meat, in one piece (about 1 pound)
  • 4 beef marrowbones, cut in 1/2 by butcher
  • 6 eggs (I like duck eggs, but chicken eggs are traditional)
  • Dried chickpeas to taste
  • 3 halved onions with 1 clove stuck in each half
  • 6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 peeled carrots, preferably rainbow carrots, cut into pieces
  • 6 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • Several sprigs fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric or 8 saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • fresh Spinach, Kale or Chard leaves
  • ***
  • If adding meatballs:
  • 1 pound organic ground beef or a mixture or beef and chicken
  • 2 minced garlic cloves or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ***
  • Kouclas bi Khobz – Moroccan Bread Dumpling
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ***
  • Kouclas bi Ruz – Moroccan Rice Dumpling:
  • 1 cup rice
  • 4 ounces ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  1. Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of water over night to soften. The following day, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 175°.
  3. Combine the meatball ingredients using your hands.
  4. Form meatballs. Roll them in four and brown them in olive oil. Set aside.
  5. In a wide heavy casserole dish, combine all the other ingredients, first arranging the meats and then adding the chickpeas, spices, herbs and vegetables. Place the kouclas (if using) in the center of the dafina and arrange the eggs around it. Add enough water to cover (The Food Dictator prefers to use chicken stock).
  6. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, occasionally skimming the foam, for 1 hour.
  7. Tightly cover the pot, place on a “blech” (a thin sheet of metal placed over the stove top) over low heat or in a 225-degree oven, and cook overnight. Or transfer to a slow crock-type cooker set on low to cook overnight.
  8. Adafina is traditionally separated into different dishes before serving: the chickpeas and cooking liquid in one bowl, the eggs in a second, the potatoes in a third, the meat in a fourth, and the dumpling in a fifth.
  9. At the end of the cooking period or before you retire for the night, add the spinach or chard.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
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