On Hanukkah, it’s customary to eat foods fried in oil. That’s because fried treats recall one of the main miracles of the holiday: When the Maccabees rededicated the Jerusalem Temple, they found only enough oil to light to the menorah for one day. Miraculously, however, the oil burned for eight days!
When it comes to deep-fried Hanukkah treats, you’re probably already familiar with potato pancakes, or latkes, 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 can — and should — make and enjoy.
There’s a wealth of delicious treats that Jewish communities across the Diaspora enjoy during the Festival of Lights. A lesser-known gastronomical tradition is that eating cheese on Hanukkah is also customary — 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.
If you’re looking for something different to feed your family this Hanukkah, why not seek inspiration from Jewish communities around the world? Here are seven excellent international Hanukkah recipes.
Morocco: Seffa, a sweet dairy couscous, traditionally served with wooden spoons. (Recipe)
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Italy: Frittelle Di Chanukah, spice-infused, diamond-shaped fried dough that’s 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) are gooey 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 during Hanukkah. (Recipe)
Algeria: Sfenj, simple, delicious 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 international Hanukkah recipe ideas, check out The Nosher’s guide to fried foods from around the world. And over at Alma, there are some great recipes for Hanukkah fritters. Happy Hanukkah!
Images via Jernej Kitchen and a_wish_flower on Instagram