I love to explore so many non-traditional cuisines–for instance, the Chanukah menu in my Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes book is Indian-themed. It includes some recipes I’ve been just chaloshing to try, and I’ll share my favorite with you here (for the rest you will have to buy the book). Don’t ask me to define chaloshing: It’s one of those Hebrew/Yiddish expressions implying that I’ve gone weak with desire for it. In Yiddish, if you’re collapsing over something, it’s a good thing.
My easy Chanukah latke (potato pancake) video will show you how to make the crunchiest, most delicious latkes on the block. I add curry powder and peas to the traditional latke recipe for an Indian inspired twist on a holiday favorite, Samosa Latkes.
If you want something a little lighter, but still fried, perfect for a Greek themed Chanukah feast (we do have to remember the Greeks this time of year), try these Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki.
Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Times: Prep Time : 10 min Cook Time : 20 min Ready Time : 30 min
Ingredients: 2 large zucchini (about 1-pound), shredded 1 small onion, shredded 2 large eggs, beaten 1 cup matzo meal 1 teaspoon kosher salt canola oil for frying 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons chopped dill 1/4 cup diced cucumber 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions: In a large bowl, combine zucchini, onions, eggs, matzo meal and salt and stir to combine. Heat ¼-inch oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Drop by 2 tablespoons full and lightly press down to flatten. Fry for about 4 to 6 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue with remaining batter. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, dill, cucumber, lemon juice and salt and stir. Serve Tzatziki alongside Latkes.
And for a sweet Chanukah Fried dessert try something a bit easier than donuts. Part of you may hate me for introducing you to these Chocolate Raspberry Wontons, but after you taste them, I do think most of you will be thanking me!
Chocolate Raspberry Wontons
Times: Prep Time : 15 min Cook Time : 20 min Ready Time : 35 min
Ingredients: 12 Gefen square wonton wrappers, defrosted 1/4 cup raspberry jam 2/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water Vegetable oil for frying 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
Directions: Lay wonton wrappers out on a large flat surface. Place 1 teaspoon jam in the center of each wrapper, followed by 1 tablespoon of chocolate. Brush the edges of each wrapper with egg wash. Fold top and bottom corners together to create a triangle, pressing tightly to seal. Then take left and right sides and press together at the top to make a purse and seal tightly. Heat oil over medium high heat to 350 F.
Fry wontons in hot oil for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. If wontons begin to leak filling, remove and finish by browning in the broiler for a few minutes. Drain fried wontons on paper towels and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Why do we eat dairy?
There’s a good reason: In the Geller house, we eat dairy because it’s my absolute favorite! Ok, there’s a more traditional reason too, so here goes: It happens that there was a really spunky lady who is said to have lived at the time of the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks. She was a young widow whose name was Yehudit, and she had a stronger stomach than I do – stronger than most of us do.
When Yehudit’s village was under siege and succumbing to starvation, she and her maid went to the commander of the Greek troops, pretending to give him valuable information about how and when to take the town. She charmed the general into trusting her over the course of several days, finally showing up with a “victory gift” of salty cheese, and wine – lots of wine.
Anticipating an easy battle the next day, the general lustily dug into the cheese and chased it with drink after drink of her strong wine. After he collapsed in a drunken stupor, she took his sword, beheaded him, and quickly made her way back to her village (with his head!). When the Greek troops reported to the general’s tent in the morning, they found the headless body of their leader and fled in panic.
So to honor this heroine, we eat dairy foods on Chanukah, like the cheese she fed the unsuspecting general. Just watch how much wine you drink afterward. You never know.
Bring a smile to a sick child: Get involved in the 16th annual Chanukah Toy Drive for Hospitalized Children. Donate here or choose a toy from our Amazon wish-list.
Jamie Geller is the author of the best-selling Quick & Kosher cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and host of the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at youtube.com/joyofkosher and on-air on JLTV. Join the world’s largest kosher food community on joyofkosher.com to discover 5,000 FREE kosher and Jewish recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos and more! Follow Jamie’s cooking adventures on Twitter @JoyofKosher and on facebook.com/joyofkosher.