Dinah’s Moroccan/Tunisian Boyoja for Purim
Updated: Apr 8
Eyes of Haman_ Boyoja ojos de Haman
Dinah spent her childhood in Tunisia, where her father was a baker. Dinah's last name, Halioua (like Halwa) means "sweets" in Arabic. Her family moved to Paris later on. She married Raphael, whose family had left Morocco for Paris. Together, they moved to Virginia. Her cooking is inspired by her own tradition, that of her husband’s, and her two adopted homes, France and the United States.
Boyoja is a traditional bread for Purim. The basic ingredients are similar to that of a simple challah recipe. There are different versions of this recipe, including one according to a blog by Kosher Cowboy and another by Dr. Miller written for AISH that show the bread with eyes for Haman that can be torn apart, symbolically showing disdain for the Iranian official that had attempted to destroy the Persian jewry during the reign of Ahasuerus (486 BCE-465BCE).
Ingredients for Challah
1 tablespoon active dry yeast + 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup warm water,
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water + 1 teaspoon sugar ½ cup sesame seeds for topping
* In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 cup of warm water, cover loosely with a towel and set aside
*Place salt in a huge plastic bowl
*Add flour to bowl
* Add sugar and eggs
* Yeast should now have bubbled/foamed and doubled in size, if yeast has not bubbled or does not seem active repeat the process again
* Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and slowly pour yeast and sugar water mixture into the well. Then add the remaining 1 cup of warm water into the well. Make sure the water is not too hot
* Start kneading ingredients together and add oil
* For the next 10 minutes, knead, adding another ½ cup of oil slowly during that time as needed to create a workable dough. Dough shouldn’t be too sticky and also should not be dry.
* Cover dough with a large kitchen towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 1 hour or until double in size
* Then shape the challah set aside for 1 hour
* Brush challah with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds
* Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes and then lower your oven temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes
Using a basic challah recipe, divide the dough as if making challah rolls.
Insert one whole cooked egg in the middle of each. Decorate with almonds; pinch sides to create a border; bake at preheated 375 degree oven for 15 min.
Bejma: Tunisian Challah
Bejma, according to Dinah, is the name of bread baked for Shabbat in Tunisia. It consists of three rolls attached to each other.
I prefer using black caraway seeds instead of poppy seeds for decoration.
This is a link to a video that shows Dinah making her challah and reciting the prayers.
For more information, read Pragmatic Attic
Here is a link to a video showing Dinah make her Challah and sing the prayers in the Moroccan tradition of her husband's family: Dinah's Challah
These are pictures of a prayer book and pages with prayers over challah in Hebrew and French.