Explore > Jewish Life > Koula’s Kitchen Tourlou or Kapama (Eggplant, Zucchini and Potatoes)

Visit our Resource Center for Jewish Diversity, which promotes greater awareness of ethnic, racial and cultural groups within New York’s Jewish community. Celebrate the spirit of Klal Yisrael (the sense of a shared Jewish collective) and learn about the customs and experiences of Jews living in New York.

Now members of a thriving Lower East Side community and participants in our new resource center, Romaniote (Greek-speaking) Jews are indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean. Like the Turks and Syrians from nearby regions, many Romaniotes moved to New York to live the American dream, but they maintained their ‘Greekness’ through food, language and music.

Kehila Kedosha Janina (now the only remaining Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere) opened its doors at 280 Broome Street in 1927 and still acts as a repository for the traditions and culture of Romaniote Jewry.

Koula Kofinas, a Holocaust survivor and Kehila Kedosha Janina member who immigrated to New York in the 1950s, exemplifies her congregation’s love for their religion and culture.

  • 3-4 Japanese eggplant (sweeter than the American)
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 8-oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 fresh cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 2-3 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1⁄2 Tbsp salt (or to taste)

Dice onions and sauté in saucepan with 3 Tbsp of oil. Wash eggplant and zucchini. (You can peel them if you want.) Slice zucchini and eggplant into 3-4-inch sections lengthwise. Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces. Place all the vegetables into a baking pan. Add the sautéed onions, olive oil and spices. Then add the tomato sauce and water. Mix. Cover and bake at 400º F for approximately 1 hour or until vegetables are done.

Serves 6.