Last Updated on January 12, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Jerusalem Kugel – Kugel is a very common side dish at any Jewish table. This usually noodle based pudding can be made as both savory or sweet versions. This savory tasting version is a great addition to any table.
Kugel is a traditional Jewish food that usually finds its way onto most holiday tables and weekly Shabbat (weekly religious meal) meals. It is a usually a noodle based pudding, although there are also potato based versions. There are both sweet and savory versions. The recipe originated from Jews in Germany, but many different versions have evolved through time and geography as the Jewish population moved around the world from the United States to Israel. This modern version was created in Jerusalem as is the perfect balance between both sweet and savory.
Kosher dietary laws forbid the mixing of dairy and meat in the same meal. No lasagna or cheeseburgers for Shabbat. Some versions of kugel have cheese – that means its going to be a Vegetarian meal. Eggs are not considered dairy in Kosher dietary laws. It is considered parve, meaning it is a neutral food that is neither considered meat nor dairy. Therefore, this kugel can be part of any Jewish meal whether or not meat or cheese is being served.
Hanukkah has started, the 8 day Jewish holiday in which a candle is lit of the menorah (a candelabra with 9 holders) on each night. What is the history of the lighting of the candles? Well to find that out we have to go back over 2000 years ago when the Jews had been forced to worship Greek gods in Damascus. After years of fighting, the Jews were victorious. They reclaimed their holy temple but at the rededication, they realized they only had enough oil to keep the candle burning for one night. By miraculous intervention, the candle kept burning for 8 days until more oil could be made. This is why the candles are lit for 8 days to celebrate Hanukkah. This is also why foods rich in oil are often made during Hanukkah like latkes (potato pancakes) and doughnuts.
If you’re invited for a Hanukkah meal during the next week, this parve kugel is the perfect side dish to bring as your contribution to the meal.
Let’s have a look at some other Jewish foods you can make during the holiday season!
- Apple Kugel
- Lekach – Honey Cake
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE JERUSALEM KUGEL
Despite the sugar, this is not a sweet tasting kugel and everyone at the Hanukkah dinner I bought it to enjoyed it thoroughly!
Jerusalem Kugel – Yerushalmi Kugel
- 1 lb. thin egg noodles
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup oil + 2 tablespoons
- 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons salt according to taste
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Using a Dutch oven, add noodles to a large pot of boiling well salted water and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- In a skillet, combine sugar and remaining oil. Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until sugar browns. Oil and sugar will separate. As soon as it turns frothy, remove from stove and add to noodles. Toss well to combine. Leave to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs with salt and pepper. Add to noodles and mix well until thoroughly combined.
- Using a wooden spoon, press down noodles so you have an even layer in the bottom of the casserole.
- Bake for 75 minutes until top is crispy.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
- It may take a little bit of help by using a knife around the perimeter of the pot to remove.
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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017
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Your love for history shows in your posts. This is something that I can give to my kids guilt-free and kids would love to have noodles having eggs
it’s true – history and cuisine are my two passions
That’s one interesting notes to read Mir. I never took upon myself to know the history of this so its nice reading here..the dish looks so good and nicely done!
yes it’s interesting to find the meaning between all the religious holiday…regardless of faith isn’t it?
Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
The recipe sounds really interesting… a nice mix of sweet and salt/pepper…
yes – it’s a great balance of flavors
It looks so beautiful and I won’t dare to cut it as its so pretty. Love reading the history behind and it does seem like a wonderful option to bring over Hannukah.
Wow, that Kugel looks soooo delicious Mir. It is sooo easy to make too with just a few ingredients.
yes no fancy exotic ingredients to buy in this one 🙂
Very interesting kugel with easily available ingredients. And this kugel rocks Mir. Loved reading the history.
Glad you enjoyed the read Priya.
Mir , I always enjoy reading your post , they always have some interesting facts . The dish is loaded with eggs but it is very pretty , I am
sure it would adorn any dinner table.
thanks – glad you enjoyed the history
I love your recipes Mirielle, it’s so much fun to “travel” the world through one’s kitchen. It’s especially wonderful how you teach children international cuisine, which teaches kids to be interested in all people. I like to do the same with my children.
Just a note- I’m Jewish and there was a slight error with the historical origins of the Hanukkah holiday. The Jews who were controlled by the Greeks lived in Jerusalem, and had lived there for thousands of years by the time this story took place. There is ample archeological and written evidence. This event didn’t take place in Damascus. Despite efforts of every power that tried to remove Jews from their homeland, Jewish people have had a continuous presence in the land, as well as a cultural connection no matter where in the diaspora we have been forced to live (be it Europe, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, etc, and more recently the US, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Canada and South America). The name Jerusalem Kugel speaks of our deep love for the Holy Land, and particularly the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Thanks for your wonderful blog, keep it up!!
Thank you so much for this information. I always try to be as accurate as possible in the historical context and I will update the post accordingly.