Leah's Matzo Balls. Photography by Daniel Lailah, Styling by Amit Farber
Leah's Matzo Balls. Photography by Daniel Lailah, Styling by Amit Farber
Recipe

Leah’s Matzah Balls

The secret of these fluffy matzah balls lies in the sweet-tasting fried onions and herbs that give them spring-like freshness

These are not just any matzah balls – these are Grandma Leah’s matzah balls which are incredibly sweet, airy and soft. Leah, Hadassah’s mother, was also a gifted cook. She opened and managed the employee cafeteria’s of the “Lodzia” factories for many years, and her matzah balls were a matter of some regard in Holon. Leah’s trademark secret, to give these fluffy dumplings a special twist, was the addition of fried sweet onion. Hadassah added herbs as well, which gave them a springtime freshness.

Prepare in advance: the matzah balls are at their best when cooked a few hours before the meal, but will also keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Heat in the soup before serving.

Ingredients for matzah balls

  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1⅓ cups (320ml) boiling water mixed with 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • Salt
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 6-7 stalks dill leaves (leaves only), chopped
  • 6-7 stalks celery (leaves only), chopped
  • 6-7 stalks cilantro (leaves only), chopped

Instructions

  • 1. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for about 7 minutes until golden brown and translucent. Set aside together with the oil it was fried in.

  • 2. Place the matzo meal in a bowl, pour the boiling water mixed with the oil over it. Stir briskly and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Add the eggs, salt, black pepper and nutmeg and stir. Add the herbs as well as the sautéed onion together with the oil it was fried in. Stir thoroughly and cool to room temperature.

  • 3. Boil a generous amount of salted water in a large pot (¾ teaspoon salt for every quart of water). With wet hands, form elongated balls out of the matzah ball batter that are the size of ping pong balls. Drop them into the pot and cook for about 10 minutes in 2 or 3 rounds. After the matzah balls begin to float on top, remove one of them with a slotted spoon and cut it in half. If the inside is cooked, remove the remaining matzah balls. If not, continue cooking for another minute. Serve with chicken soup.

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A tip: the matzah balls will be at their best if cooked a few hours before serving, but they can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat them in soup before serving.

This recipe is courtesy of Hashulchan.

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