During these cold winter days, you might consider making pom, an immensely popular chicken and potato dish in Surinam. So celebrated is it that no festive occasion is considered complete without it. As it turns out, pom has roots among the Portuguese Jews who settled there. Food scholar Karin Vaneker interviewed a member of the local Jewish community, Mrs. J. Emanuel, who remembers that “in her youth, the kitchen used to be in the garden. ‘For Sabbath, pom is either baked overnight or baked beforehand and kept warm on a warmhoudplaat [warming dish]. It is common to serve pom on festivals and birthdays. Traditionally, pom was served on Rosh Hashana.'” For Mrs. Emanuel’s recipe, please see below:
1 chicken, cut in pieces
1 fresh tajer, peeled and grated
1 or 2 tomatoes
1 bunch celery leaves
juice of bitter oranges
vinegar and oil
1. Wash the chicken pieces with lemon juice, sauté the pieces in oil (if the chicken is fat, use little oil), remove the chicken from the pot.
2. Sauté chopped onion, tomatoes and ﬁnely chopped celery in the pot.
3. Mix the grated tajer with the juice of bitter oranges, salt and vinegar in a separate bowl. Mix the onion, tomato sauce and the tajer together. Add salt, pepper
and nutmeg to taste. Sauté the tajer for a few minutes in a pot.
4. Put oil in a high-rimmed, round, enamel oven dish.Put half of thetajer in the dish, put the chicken pieceson top, and cover the chicken with the rest of the
5. Bake the pom for an hour in the oven (approx. 375°F/180°C).
For more on its history and how to make it, please see these links: