Cha-mim: Cholent/Hamim

Our friend Chef Avi is not what you’d call a fan of cholent, the traditional Ashkenazi-style stew usually eaten on Shabbat after a long, slow cook.

So he decided to combine cholent, hamim, a traditional Jewish stew with Middle Eastern and North African roots, and add some Southwestern flair to make Cha-Mim, a different take on the traditional one pot meal. This recipe is so simple. It’s basically a one-pot slow cooker meal that is great for Shabbat or during the week. It has turned Chef Avi into a believer! Watch him make this tasty twist on a classic in a new video at the bottom of the page.

As with all of Avi’s recipes, the seasoning choices are merely suggestions. If you prefer different herbs or if there’s one you don’t like, simply adjust for your tastes.

For this recipe, we partnered with Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, a distillery in Northern Virginia that makes kosher, organic 100% rye whisky. It’s available all over the US, and it’s so worth the flavor in your stew and your glass!


  • 3 pieces of KOL Foods Flanken
  • 6 KOL Foods hot dogs, sliced into 1 to ½ inch chunks (beef or turkey or a mix!)
  • 1 KOL Foods kishke, whole
  • 2 cups and 2 shots of Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky - divided
  • 1 medium size can tomato paste
  • ¾ cup of white vinegar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (or 1/3 tsp table salt)
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 ½ tsp of Avi’s Spice Rub (equal parts salt, granulated garlic, cumin, ground cloves, ground coriander)
  • 1 head fresh garlic peeled and divided into individual cloves
  • 2 – peppers, (green and red)
  • 1 sautéed onion
  • 2- large tomatoes - diced
  • 2 cups of presoaked dry black beans
  • 2 – habanera peppers – finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups of white rice tied up in cheesecloth
  • Water to cover


Lightly dust the flanken with some kosher salt, granulated garlic and Avi’s Spice Rub.

Add a small amount of oil to a hot pan and sear the flanken on all sides. Remove, and sauté the onion in the remaining beef fat. Allow the flanken to cool for a few moments, then slice into chunks between the bones.

To make the sauce, combine tomato paste, white and balsamic vinegars, maple syrup, Avi’s spice rub, and about a cup of Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky.

Now, layer the ingredients in your slow cooker:

Sauteed onion, chopped red pepper, tomato, 6-8 cloves of garlic, presoaked black beans, half of the sliced flanken, two diced habanero peppers, chopped green pepper, diced tomato, the whole KOL Foods kiskhe, the other half of the sliced flanken, and the sliced hot dogs.

Once the dry ingredients are layered, add the sauce you made along with the second cup of Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky. The whisky will add a nice smokiness to the Cha-Mim. Next, add the rice in the cheesecloth. Finally, add water to come just to the top of your ingredients

Now cover, and turn the slow cooker on to low. Let it cook for eight to 12 hours, preferably longer. Keep an eye on the water level the longer it goes to make sure you don’t burn the Cha-Mim.

To serve, take out the cheesecloth bag of rice in one serving bowl and the cha-mim in a second, Then to serve spoon out a layer of rice and top with the cha-mim's delicious veggies and meat.

You can add a lime wedge and squeeze the juice over the cha-mim just prior to eating. You can also serve in taco shells or wraps. It’s a fun dish that packs some kick thanks to the habaneras (you can always leave them out or use only one if you don’t like your food too spicy.)

L’Chaim . . . Avi