Passover is a Jewish celebration and one of the religion’s most sacred and widely observed holidays. Passover commemorates the Biblical story of the Israelites’ escape from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. In 2023, Passover takes place April 5-15.
Pesach, as Passover is known in Hebrew, includes all kinds of ceremonial foods. The Passover seder plate showcases specific items that relate to both the suffering and emancipation of the Jewish people.
Throughout Passover, the faithful abstain from any leavened bread products. According to Exodus 12:8: “They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat.” Jews also are to remove all leaven (hametz) from their homes and eat unleavened bread for an additional seven days. Apart from being commanded by God, it is believed unleavened bread became traditional Passover food because the Jewish people departed Egypt in haste without time to let bread rise. Further, some say God also associated leavened bread with sin.
If there is one ingredient Passover celebrants might find challenging to work with during the holiday, it could be unleavened bread. Typically matzoh/matzah is substituted for other yeasted breads this time of year. One place matzoh really shines, though, is in matzoh balls for use in soups or side dishes. A dumpling of sorts, matzoh balls are tasty and filling, and ideal for meals throughout Passover.
Try this recipe for “Perfect Matzah Balls (Kneidlach)” courtesy of Chabad.org’s Kosher Cooking.
Perfect Matzah Balls (Kneidlach)
Yields 4 balls per each 1/4 cup of matzah meal
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons oil or chicken fat
• 2 tablespoons soup stock or water
• 1/2 cup matzah meal
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 quart of salted water or chicken soup, for cooking
1. Beat eggs slightly with fork. Add other ingredients, except matzah meal, and mix. Add matzah meal gradually until thick. Stir. Refrigerate for 20 minutes in covered bowl.
2. Wet hands and form into balls. Drop into bubbling chicken soup or into a large wide pot into which 1 quart of water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt has been added and has come to a boil.
3. Cook for 30 minutes.
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