At some point during Pesach preparations we’ve all tried to convert a mainstream recipe into one for Passover, only to discover that we don’t have a clue as to what to substitute for a chometz ingredient. Here’s a comprehensive list of substitutions:
1 oz. baking chocolate (unsweetened chocolate) = 3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 Tbs. oil or melted margarine
16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate = 6 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup oil and 7 Tbs. granulated sugar
14 oz. sweet chocolate (German-type) = 3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2-2/3 Tbs. oil and 4-1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar = 1 cup minus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar plus 1 Tbs. potato starch pulsed in a food processor or blender
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk for dairy baking = 1 Tbs. lemon juice in a 1 cup measure, then fill to 1 cup with Passover nondairy creamer. Stir and steep 5 minutes
1 cup honey = 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
1 cup corn syrup = 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water, boiled until syrupy
1 cup vanilla sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 split vanilla bean left for at least 24 hours in a tightly covered jar
1 cup flour = 5/8 cup matzoh cake meal or potato starch, or a combination sifted together
1 Tbs. flour = 1/2 Tbs. potato starch
1 cup corn starch = 7/8 cup potato starch
1 tsp. cream of tartar = 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice or 1-1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs = 1 cup ground cookies or soup nuts plus 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese = 1 cup cottage cheese puréed with 1/2 stick butter or margarine
Chicken fat or gribenes = 2 caramelized onions — sauté 2 sliced onions in 2 Tbs. oil and 2 Tbs. sugar. Cook until the onions are soft. Purée the onions once they are golden.
1 cup milk (for baking) = 1 cup water plus 2 Tbs. margarine, or 1/2 cup fruit juice plus 1/2 cup water
1-1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk =1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup boiling water and 3 Tbs. margarine. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. To thicken, let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
1 cup wine = 13 Tbs. water, 3 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 Tbs. sugar. Mix together and let set for 10 minutes.
Italian seasoning = 1/4 tsp. each dried oregano leaves, dried marjoram leaves, and dried basil leaves plus 1/8 tsp. rubbed dried sage. This can be substituted for 1-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning.
Curry powder = 2 Tbs. ground coriander, 1 Tbs. black pepper, 2 Tbs. red pepper, 2 Tbs. turmeric, 2 Tbs. ground ginger. Makes 2/3 cup.
Pancake syrup = use fruit jelly, not jam and add a little water to thin. I always like to combine the jelly and water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it gently before I serve it.
Seasoned rice wine vinegar = 3 Tbs. white vinegar, 1 Tbs. white wine, 1 Tbs. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix to combine. Makes 1/4 cup.
Flavored vinegar = lemon juice in cooking or salad, grapefruit juice in salads, wine in marinades.
Water Chestnuts = raw jicama
Orange liqueur = substitute an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate
Soy Sauce Substitute
This soy sauce substitute doesn’t taste exactly like the real thing, but it makes a flavorful alternative for Pesach stir fry.
2 Tbs. beef broth
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. oil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup boiling water
Combine all the ingredients. At this point, you can either a) use the sauce as is, leaving for an hour to give the flavors a chance to blend, or b) for a thicker, richer sauce, boil the liquid until it is reduced by half, about 3 Tbs. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Makes 2/3 cup. Use the sauce within 3–4 days.
Cashew Sour Cream
It’s creamy and you can use it in any recipe that calls for sour cream. It refrigerates well.
1 cup raw cashews (must not be roasted or salted)
1/4 tsp. salt
1–2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 small lemon, juiced
Cover cashews with water and soak for a few hours, or overnight. Pour off all water, and place nuts in food processor. Add 1/4 cup cold water, salt, vinegar and lemon juice. Purée for 3-4 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy in consistency. Use in any recipe that calls for sour cream. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes 1 cup.