On Hanukkah, it’s customary to eat foods fried in oil because it recalls one of the main miracles of the holiday: When Maccabees cleaned out and rededicated the Jerusalem Temple, they found oil enough to light to menorah for one day that miraculously burned for eight days.
You’re probably familiar with potato pancakes, or , and jelly doughnuts, or sufganiyot. (The Nosher has easy-to-follow videos on making both of these Hanukkah classics.) But these are hardly the only holiday delicacies you should know about.
Eating cheese on Hanukkah is also customary because it recalls how the biblical Judith plied a Greek general with salty cheese (more on that backstory is here, and a fabulous grilled cheese latke recipe is here). As a result, many Hanukkah recipes from around the world contain dairy.
We compiled some of our favorite lesser-known Hanukkah recipes below.
Morocco: Seffa, a sweet dairy couscous, traditionally served with wooden spoons. (Recipe)
Italy: Frittelle Di Chanukah, spice-infused, diamond-shaped fried dough, and glazed with honey. (Recipe)
Hungary: Delkelekh, or rich cheese pastries. (Recipe)
The filling was runny so I said “fine! Go in a muffin tin can then!” On the left is the correct shape, on the right is my muffin tin imposter #hungarianpastry #hungarianpastries #delkelekh #nytfood #nytimesfood #thedoughisrisen #tinykitchen #tinykitchencooking #homebaking #improvisation #improvisationalbaking #cheesedanish #yeastbaking #freshyeast #backen #frischhefe
Egypt: Bimuelos (also called zalabia), or goey Hanukkah fritters, drenched in sugary syrup. The Jewish food writer Claudia Roden grew up in Egypt, and remembers these treats being sold on the streets at Hanukkah-time. (Recipe)
Algeria: Simple, delicious Algerian doughnuts, dusted in sugar. (Recipe)
Happy Friyay 🌟 Every Friday deserves a good deep fry recipe, don’t you think? 😜 well at least during holiday season. Beside donuts and french fries beignets are probably one of our favorite deep fried treats. What are some of yours? 😀 These delicious, soft beignets are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and they are literally impossible to resist. Recipe is on the blog, search for “beignets” or follow the link in profile. Happy Friday and lots of love from us 🌟 #jernejkitchen
North Africa: Debla, or dough rolled into the shape of a rose, deep fried and dipped into a sugary syrup. It’s time-consuming to prepare, but the beautiful result is well worth the effort. (Recipe)
India: Gulab Jamun, or balls of cheese-infused dough, which are fried, and soaked in a rose-scented syrup. (Recipe)
For more exotic Hanukkah recipe ideas, check out The Nosher’s guide to fried foods from around the world. And over at Alma, there’s some great recipes for Hanukkah fritters.