“Kneidlach” may be the only Yiddish word that an Israeli knows, but everyone knows that it means matzah balls.
People tend to think of Israeli food as typically Middle Eastern, (like our labneh and potato salad with fava beans recipes) and so it most often is. Yet the culinary influence of Eastern European immigrants is alive and well.
Nostalgia for traditional foods overcomes everyone at holiday times, and for families of Ashkenazi origin, the big one is chicken soup with kneidlach. Helpless as everyone else with childhood memories, I like to ladle an unfair number of these light matzah-based dumplings into everyone’s soup.
Traditional Matzah Balls
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons oil
1 scant cup matzah meal
1/4 – 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Combine the beaten eggs, oil, and matzah meal.
Add 1/4 cup water, salt, and ginger.If the mix seems stiff enough to roll into a hard ball, add more water by tablespoons till it’s a stiff batter, not a firm dough.
Cover the batter and put it in the fridge for 2 hours. This step is important if you want light matzah balls. The batter can rest in the fridge even longer – even overnight. It will become a dough firm enough to shape, but still a little loose in the hand.
Have a medium pot with plenty of boiling, lightly salted water ready. With wet hands, form walnut-sized balls of dough, and drop them in.
Cover and cook the matzah balls over a medium flame for 30 minutes. Lower the heat so that the water simmers after the initial boil.
Remove the matzah balls from the water and either set them aside for later or put them in your soup right away.
You may cook them directly in the soup, but they won’t be as light.
More delicious recipes from Green Prophet:
Photo of matzah ball soup by atl10trader via Flickr.
Miriam Kresh also writes a food blog.