This article is an excerpt from our Sefer
Buy me on Amazon.com
The Menu of the Purim Meal:
It is a Mitzvah to have delicacies and festive foods eaten during this meal.
“Zaronim”/Grains and legumes: Some opinions say that on Purim one is to eat Zaronim, which includes grains and legumes, in commemoration of the Zaronim which Daniel ate in Bavel. [Many Poskim rule one is to eat the Zaronim specifically on the night of Purim. Others however explain that one is to eat Zaronim during the day of Purim.]
Must ones meal consist of bread? Some Poskim rule it is an obligation to eat bread during the meal. Others rule it is not required. [Practically it is best to do so, but seemingly is not obligatory.]
Must one’s meal consist of meat? Some Poskim rule it is an obligation for one to eat [animal] meat during the Purim meal. Other Poskim however rule it is not an obligation to eat meat. This is further proven by the fact this law has not been cited by the Tur or Shulchan Aruch. [Regarding the opinion of Admur see footnote] In any event, even if it is not an obligation to have meat on Purim, it is certainly a Biblical Mitzvah to do so. [Some Poskim rule that one is not to eat meat during the night meal. However this is not the accepted custom.]
Haman Tashin: It is customary to eat Haman Tashin on Purim. See below!
Should one bake Challah in honor of the Purim meal?
It is a proper custom to bake bread on Erev Purim so one have fresh bread available for the Purim meal, just like is the custom on Erev Shabbos.
Is the Purim Seuda specifically to be eaten amongst family and friends?
Yes. One is to gather his family and friends for the Purim Seuda, as it is not possible to rejoice alone.  If however one fears that doing so will lead to frivolity and sin, then it is better to eat the meal alone.
May a woman eat meat on Purim day if that coming night is her night of Tevila?
Yes. It is a Mitzvah for her to eat meat on Purim. However in such a case she is to make sure to be extra careful in flossing and brushing her teeth before immersion.
It is customary to eat a triangular shaped pastry filling called Haman-Tashen. The three corners represent the three Avos [forefathers]. The Midrash states that when Haman had a vision of the three Avos he immediately became weakened. The verse states that “Vechol Karnei Reshaim Agadeia”. This refers to Haman. “Teromamna Karnos Tzadik” This refers to Mordechai.
 Rama 695/2
 Rama ibid; Levush brought in Beis Yosef 695
 Kol Bo, brought in Rama ibid
 Other reasons mentioned: As Esther would eat Zaronim in the palace [being that no Kosher food was available] and hence we eat it in order to commemorate the miracle. [Beis Yosef ibid brought in M”B 695/12; Kaf Hachaim 695/25]
 M”A 695/6; M”B 695/11; Beis Yosef brought in Kaf Hachaim 695/25
 Likkutei Maharich; Aruch Hashulchan 695/9; The Aruch Hashulchan ibid concludes that the custom is to eat them also by day.
 Background from letter of Rebbe [Igros Kodesh 5/256, printed in Sefer Haminhagim p. 172 [English], Shulchan Menachem 3/320]
As to the question of whether there is an obligation to honor Purim by partaking of a formal meal including bread, the relevant opinions are brought in Magen Avraham 695/9 and in Ba’er Heitev 695/5. Mor U’Ketziah 695 holds that there is such an obligation, as too does the author of Minchas Elazar, who cites the authority of Tosafos on Berachos 38a and 42a. On the other hand, Birkeiy Yosef (in sec. 695) holds that one can fulfill one’s obligation without bread. It is clear that this is also the view of the Alter Rebbe, who writes in his Shulchan Aruch 187/8 and in his Siddur [p. 235] that a person who forgot to say Al HaNissim in the Grace after Meals does not return to repeat it. However, another statement in his Shulchan Aruch (sec. 188:10) is somewhat problematic: “There is…no [proper expression of] joy [at a meal] unless bread is eaten….” See there.
 First opinion in M”A 695/9 in name of Shelah and Mateh Moshe that must repeat Al Hanissim; See Ba’er Heitev 695/5 for the opinions in this matter; Nimukei Orach Chayim 695; Mor Uketzia 695; Aruch Hashulchan 695/7
 Magen Avraham 695/9; Birkeiy Yosef 695/1 brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 695/1; Admur 187/8; Vetzaruch Iyun from Admur 188/10
 Rambam Hilchos Megillah 2/15 brought in Kaf Hachaim 695/6; Mor Uketzia 695; Beis Yaakov 73; Kaneh Bosem 1/102; Nimukei Orach Chaim 695/2 discusses this question and leaves the matter in doubt. He says that since Purim is a day of Simcha, and Simcha is fulfilled only with meat [see 529/7], therefore one should be obligated to eat meat on Purim.
Ruling of Michaber: The Michaber 695/4 rules that the Mishloach Manos is to include meat, hence implying that one is to eat meat during the meal. Likewise in 696/7 the Michaber rules that an Onen may eat meat and wine on Purim as it is a Biblical command to rejoice on Purim, hence implying that one is to eat meat on Purim. This matter of eating meat however is omitted from his ruling in 695/1-2 regarding the meal customs. [See Toras Menachem 1991 2/294; Shulchan Menachem 3/321]
 As opposed to fowl. [See Nimukeiy Orach Chaim ibid]
 M”A 696/15
 Igros Kodesh 5/256 [printed in Sefer Haminhagim p. 172 [English], Shulchan Menachem 3/320, Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2/291]; See Nimukei Orach Chaim 695/2
A Biblical Mitzvah despite not being an obligation: To note that although this law has not been cited in chapter 695/1-2, in chapter 696/7 the Michaber rules that an Onen may eat meat and wine on Purim as it is a Biblical command to rejoice on Purim, hence implying that one is to eat meat on Purim. At the very least one can learn from here that if one does eat meat on Purim he is fulfilling a Mitzvah of rejoicing on Purim, irrelevant if it is an obligation or not.
 The Nemukei Orach Chaim ibid states that the above dispute in the obligation to eat meat on Purim is dependent on whether one is obligated to eat meat on Yom Tov. Hence since the M”A holds one is exempt from eating meat on Yom Tov he also holds one is exempt on Purim. Accordingly, the opinion of Admur would be like the M”A that there is no obligation to eat meat on Purim, as Admur rules in 529/7 that there is no obligation of Simcha to eat meat on Yom Tov and it is merely a Mitzvah to do so. On the other hand in 242/1 Kuntrus Acharon 2 Admur rules that eating meat and wine on Yom Tov is a Biblical command of Simcha. Vetzaruch Iyun! Perhaps however one can say that both rulings hold true without contradiction, as although one only fulfills his obligation of Simcha by drinking wine, as writes Admur in 529/7, nevertheless when he eats meat and other delicacies he also fulfills the Biblical Mitzvah of Simcha, as he is merely increasing in the Mitzvah. In other words, the Mitzvah of Simcha begins with wine although extends as well to all other delicacies. Hence one who drinks wine can now extend and fulfill the Mitzvah with meat and all other delicacies and matters of Simcha. One can apply this likewise to Purim, as although there is no obligation to eat meat on Purim, nevertheless one who eats meat further fulfills a “Biblical” Mitzvah of rejoicing on Purim, as writes the Michaber in 696/7. [See Kaneh Bosem 1/102] Based on this it is also understood why many of the above Poskim wrote that the Michaber never mentioned an obligation to eat meat, when this is explicitly written by him in 696/7, as the ruling there does not obligate one to eat meat but simply rules that one who eats meat also fulfills the Mitzvah.
 As one is to have a lavish and festive meal on Purim [Rama 695/1], and this obligation is similar to a Biblical obligation, and meat enhances the meal. [696/7] See the end of the previous footnote!
 M”A 695/6 in name of Kol Bo; Levush 695; Brought in Shaar Hatziyon 695/12
 Elya Raba 695/5; P”M 695 A”A 6; Kaf Hachaim 695/10
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/7; Geulas Yisrael in name of Rav Pinchas of Koretz; Brought in Sefer Haminhagim p. 123 [English] regarding Erev Yom Kippur; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 167; See Mamarei Admur Hazakeim Hainyanim p. 180 regarding the reason behind eating this on Erev Yom Kippur
 Kreplach consists of a meat filled dough pocket which is either baked or cooked with soup and the like.
 Yifei Laleiv 2/3 brought in Kaf Hachaim 695/11
 Elya Raba 695/4; P”M 695 A”A 5
 Kaf Hachaim 695/24
 Kaneh Bosem 1/102; Shiureiy Sheivet Haleivi p. 336; Taharah Kehalacha 19/33 footnote 92
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that women may not eat actual meat on Purim, if it is their day of immersion, and rather they are to eat meat soup. [Dvar Moshe 47; Ikarei Hadat 36/3; Ashel Avraham Openhaim 695; Orchos Chaim 695; Mishneh Halachos 7/96; 8/234; Kaf Hachaim 696/55] See Kaneh Bosem above which proves that it is permitted based on that all the above Poskim based their prohibition on the Dvar Moshe which holds that the custom is not to eat meat on Shabbos or Yom Tov if that night is her night of Tevila. However since practically it is our custom to eat meat on Shabbos and Yom Tov therefore even according to him it would now be permitted.
 The reason: As according to all it is a Mitzvah to eat meat on Purim, even if it is not an obligation [see previous footnotes], and women are obligated in all the Mitzvos of Purim just like men. [See Aruch Hashulchan 695/18; Kaf Hachaim 695/54]
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/7 in name of Taamei Haminhagim