From the Rav’s Desk: The blessing over Chulent

  1. Question: [Sunday, 5th Marcheshvan, 5783]

When eating Chulent outside of a meal, what blessing should I recite? Mezonos, Sheakol, Hadama, or all three? My Chulent has barley, wheat, potatoes, and meat.


If the ingredients include barley or wheat, and the Chulent is cooked down to the point that the grains stick to each other, then one is to make a blessing of Mezonos on the grains, and if he eats a Kezayis of these grains within Achilas Peras [i.e. 4 minutes], then also say an Al Hamichyah. If one does not eat a Kezayis of mezonos grains within Peras, then a Borei Nefashos is recited. Regarding the other ingredients and if a blessing is said: If the Chulent is so cooked down that the ingredients are not individually recognizable, then only the blessing of Mezonos is said. If the other ingredients are individually recognizable, then if they are large, such as a large piece of potato and meat, then an individual blessing of Hadama and Shehakol is to be said over the potato and meat. These blessings should be said first, before the Mezonos. If the meat and potato pieces have broken apart and are small and mixed with the grains, then a blessing is not to be said over them, and one is Yotzei their blessing with the blessing of Mezonos over the grains.

Explanation: The blessing of Chulent is dependent on a) its ingredients, b) how liquidy it is, and c) if the ingredients have disintegrated into each other or if they remain large and individually recognizable. Now, although there exist many opinions regarding if cooked 5 grains are Hadama or Mezonos, everyone agrees that if the grains cook to the point that they stick to each other, then they are Mezonos. Thus, if the ingredients contain one of the 5 grains, then if the Chulent has cooked down to the point that the grains stick to each other than the blessing of Mezonos is to be recited on the grains. Now, regarding if other blessings are to be said, ideally whenever there is Mezonos in a cooked dish it is considered the Ikkur and exempts all the other ingredients which are the Tafel. However, many Achronim explain that this is dependent on if the other ingredients are individually recognizable, disintegrated, or large piece, and hence we concluded as above.

Sources: See regarding the various opinions on cooked grains and that according to all the grains are Mezonos if they stick to each other: Seder Birchas Hanehnin 1:8; Luach 1:7; Admur 202:12; Michaber 208:2 and 4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 208:3; 212:6; See regarding the laws of Ikkur Vitafel with Mezonos: Admur Seder 3:2; Luach 4:2; Admur 168:9 and 11; 212:1; Michaber 208:2; M”A 212:1; Rav Kahana Brachos 36b and Rava Brachos 37b; See regarding if large other ingredients are Tafel to Mezonos: Not Tafel-say separate blessing: Chayeh Adam 51:13, brought in Biur Halacha 212 “Im”; Aruch Hashulchan 212:2 [No]; Keren Ledavid O.C. 54; Beir Moshe 5:56; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:146; Piskeiy Teshuvos 212:6 footnote 43; Are Tafel-Only Mezonos: P”M; Derech Hachaim; Biur Halacha 212 “Im”; Keser Rosh  Hilchos Seuda 76; Otzer Hachaim Parshas Vayeilech and Shulchan  Hatahor 204:20-21; Aruch Hashulchan 212:18; Birchas Habayis 12:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 212:6 See regarding blessing of Chulent: Luach of Brachos by Rav Prus [Chazak print] and of Rav Alyashvili write it is Mezonos and Al Hamichyah; Other Luchos write its Hadama and Borei Nefashos; Piskeiy Teshuvos 208:8

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