Poppy n' the Jewish corner



Many cuisines use poppyseeds in breads, cakes, cookies, pastries, sweets and confectionary.


Poppy  origin is the Mediterranean . Poppy seeds are cultivated in sub-tropical region and requires well drained, highly fertilesoil .


Through spice trade it has reached ancient Asian regions of China and India by the seventh century. 


Legend has it that Demeter, in despair over the seizure of her daughter Persephone by Pluto, ate poppies in order to fall asleep and forget her grief. 


In the second century, poppy was cultivated for opium, and Hippocrates, as a physician, advocated the use of opium in medicine.  Egyptians cultivated the seeds for oil back in 1500 BC.


When used for cooking, they give a crunchy especially if they are roasted and crushed prior to usage.


Their usage is believed to relive digestive disorders ,used against constipation and the husk, when ground with the seeds, is a great cleanser for the system as well.

One of the best known usages of poppy seeds is as a cure for sleeplessness. Take a teaspoon full of poppy seed oil every night at bedtime. 
A quarter teaspoon of poppy seeds roasted to brown, mixed with honey, taken twice a day effectively relieves the symptoms of dysentery as well as control dehydration. Ground to a paste with lime juice, it's an effective remedy for a dry itch.

Poppy seeds are extensively used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.

Ground to a paste with honey or sugar use to fill pastries.

Seeds can be roasted and combined with spices to flavour and thicken gravy and any sauce.


Purim, the  Jewish holidays, commemorates Queen Esther, who interceded with her husband, the Persian ruler King Ahasverush, thus thwarting the plans of the king's top adviser, Haman, to get rid of the kingdom's Jews. 

The symbolic foods of Purim are connected with Haman and Queen Esther. To avoid breaking Kosher dietary laws, Queen Esther lived in the palace on a vegetarian diet.  It is said that Esther fasted for three days, subsisting only on seeds. 

Probably the best known of all Purim sweets are 'hamantashen',  three-cornered pastries shaped like Haman's three-cornered hat .

They come in an assortment of sizes and flavours , but traditionally it is filled with poppy seeds .

On Purim, Jews traditionally send small gifts of delicacies to friends and family, give donations to the poor, and prepare a festive meal.

The book of Esther is read in the synagogue. The children in the audience are equipped with special noisemakers and use them whenever the name of Haman is mentioned.

Purim is the one holiday in which Jews are supposed to get drunk to the point that they lose the ability to distinguish between Mordechai and Haman...................... "until he does not know the difference."



5 ounces margarine
5 ounces sugar
1 egg
 1 cup all-purpose flour
melted honey to glaze

Cream together the margarine and sugar until soft. Add the yolk of egg and the flour slowly to make a stiff dough, using some egg white if dry. Knead lightly. Roll out thinly, and cut into 3 inch rounds. Place the filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges with water and bring the edges to the center to form triangles. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush with melted honey.


4 ounces (1/3 cup) poppy seeds ground
grated lemon rind
1/4 pint (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) water
2 ounces (1/4 cup sugar) 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) margarine
1 ounce (1/4 cup ) sultanas
a little wine if liked

Simmer the poppy seeds in water with the other ingredients. Use when cool.

to see photo click here 


Poppy Seeds cake

200 g' poppy seeds
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoon oil

Beat egg whites at high speed with mixer. while mixing add 1 cup sugar (at times) until foamy. Stir in poppy seeds , stir in the egg yolks, plus 3/4 cup sugar plus the oil.
Bake 30 minutes on medium heat.



Apples filled with minced meat

6 apples (sweet & sour)
250 gr' minced meat
1 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbs. white vine
25 gr'  margarine (cubed)
1/2 cup poppy seeds

empty the apples . mix minced meat with the flour, salt, vine, peppr and parsley. fill apple's inside. Put apples in pyrex pan. On each apple put cube of margarine, sprinkle top with seeds and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes. 




Poppy seeds muffins

2/3 cup Sunbeam sultanas
60g margarine, softened
80g light cream cheese
3/4 cup caster sugar
grated rind and juice of two lemons
2 x 70g eggs
2 egg whites
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup milk

Lemon Icing
2 teaspoons light cream cheese
½ cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Place margarine, cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Add lemon rind, eggs and egg whites and mix until well combined. Fold in sultanas, poppy seeds, flour, lemon juice and milk until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan and bake for 25-20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Prepare icing by mixing all ingredients. Drop a teaspoon of icing on each muffin and decorate with lemon zest .



Persian Poppy Seeds Puffs 

1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup unsifted flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Confectioners' sugar frosting

Combine water and oil in a saucepan. Heat to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and beat vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove the pan from heat. Beat in the eggs thoroughly, one at a time. Add the poppy seeds and continue beating until smooth. Drop by half teaspoonsful onto ungreased baking sheets and bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F) for 15 minutes. Let cool. Top with confectioners' sugar frosting.