2012-02-27, Tzirelchana
Amalek Kugel
Subject: 4 Kugels for Parshas Zachor

By Tzirel Chana of www.kosherhomecooking.com

Yes, I was a bit confused to learn that there is a recipe called Amalek Kugel. Amalek?

Isn’t his evil  tribe our greatest  historical enemy?

Wasn’t the wicked Haman his grandson?

Aren’t  Hitler, the Hamas terrorists, the Hizbollah, Ahamdinjead said to be his descendents?

 Naming a kugel after him sounded about as strange as naming an ice cream flavor after Hitler, except that it isn’t

Amalek’s Kugel is an acronym for four kugels which together form the word Amalek.

A for apple or epel (the ayin)

M for flour, or mehl (the mem)

L for lukshen or noodles (the lamed)

K for kartofel(potatoes) the kuf.

In Europe and in other places Hassidim serve these four kugels on the Shabbat when Parshat Zachor is read and then they eat them thereby symbolically annihilating Amalek by eating him all up.

I’ll be giving all four recipes right on time for Parshat Zachor.

Keep posted.

And if the idea of eating all that kugel sounds like a way of inviting a nuclear reaction inside of you here’s  a liquid version, in the Purim spirit.

A–amaretto or if you’re sober apple juice

M–Michellob, Mead or Merlot or a malted milk

L–Liqueur of any kind or Latte

K–Kola with or without rum.



Ayin is for Eppel (Apple) Here’s the apple kugel recipe from Sara Finkel. Yum

6 green apples peeled and sliced

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 t cinnamon

1/2 t baking powder

1 cup flour

4 eggs. Beat the oil, sugar and eggs together. Add rest of ingredients and bake in well greased  med sized pan in medium oven until set. this could take as long as an hour and a half. Serve warm. freezes well.


Mem is for Mehl Kugel

When I was a teenager I spent Simchat Torah with cousins in Boro Park.  At my ultra modern  Yeshiva High School that was the cool thing to do and  not for the most elevated reasons.

In between socializing on the Avenue (13th)  I ate Yom Tov meals with my cousins.  They were  Holocaust survivors, Yiddish speakers and staunch Orthodox Jews who lived outside the orbit of American culture  my peer group inhabited.

 They spoke Yiddish, wore black and white (guys) or  long skirts and blouses buttoned to the very top button (girls)  and they were oblivious to  television, the movies and rock n roll.

Even their food seemed as if had been prepared in Europe and not in New York City.

 Even now almost four decades later I can still remember the spicey savory taste of cousin Clara’s chulent kugel really a ball of savory matzo meal placed directly in the chulent. I’ve never encountered it anywhere else.

 At a recent family wedding I tried to pry the recipe out of Clary but  all she could say was to use a little bit of this and  a little bit of that . Quite miraculously just as I was preparing this post Clary’s daughter Layi phoned to invite me to her son’s engagement . Of course, I pried Layi for the recipe. Here is how to make this scrumptious and very easy delicacy.

¼ cup oil

½ cup water

2/3 cup matzo meal

Salt and pepper to taste

Knead together unti the dough feels oily and soft but adheres together as a ball or log. Drop directly into the chulent. Eat 12 hours later. You don’t need to place the kugel in wax paper. It will survive intact. Amazing.


Lamed is for Lukshen

When I was a kid I loved to peer longingly into the window of the now defunct  Meal Mart kosher takeaway store on Broadway and 77th Street. There were all kinds of intriguing things: roasted chickens, potato kugels, chopped liver but what caught my eye was the savory salt and pepper lukshen kugel made with delicate egg vermicelli noodles.

In my home, we never ate salt and pepper kugel. We were Hungarians. Our kugels were made sweet, except for potato kugel of course.  I sampled salt and pepper kugel at shul youth gatherings where it proved to be as yummy as it looked  but then I grew up and never had it again until now. This recipe comes from June Feiss  Hersh’s collection  Recipes Remembered. a collection ofrecipes from holocaust survivors  where it’s listed as Potato Chip Kugel though there isn’t a single potato chip in the recipe. The potato chip refers to it’s characteristic crispiness.

 The contributor is Rae Kushner who is from Lithuania where this kugel originated.

8 servings 30 min prep time

1 (12ounce bag of noodles) You can use  rice noodles orwhole wheat if you want

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs lightly beaten

Salt (appox ¾ t ) and pepper between 1/8 and ¼ t of freshly cracked depending upon howpeppery you like your kugel

Boil the noodles according to package directions and drain. If using leftover noodles rinse them in warm water and drain.

Heat oil in frying pan. I like ceramic non stick because you can use a minimum of oil and cut calories.

Combine cooked noodles with beaten eggs and spices.

Cook in oiled frying pan over medium heat until the underside is golden brown. Then flip and continue browning until the other side is very crisp.

To reheat wrap in foil and make a slit. You can freeze this.  


K is for Kartofel (Potato Kugel). When I was newly married my mother in law gave me with her tattered and yellowing copy of Evelyn Rose’s Complete International Jewish Cookbook.

 I suppose some brides would have been insulted at being given an old cookbook, but  I was touched. I felt like my mother in law was passing Rose’s and her own cooking legacy onto me.. 

 For many decades, the Jewish Chronicle’s food columnist, Rose was the gold standard in Anglo Jewish cooking and for good reason. Her recipes are relatively  easy, elegant and reliable,

My particular favorite is Rose’s potato kugel which I present as the last leg in Amalek’s kugel.

With my computer  broken and and it’s succesor ordered but not yet delivered I’m breaking a cardinal food blogging rule. No pix this week. You’ll have to use your imaginations to visualize this kugel, its’ creamy beige interior, it’s crispy golden brown crust. and it’s amazing smell.

Anglo Jewish potato kugel.

2 eggs

4 large potatoes grated

2 tablespoons of flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons oil or margarine

1 medium onion.

Finely grate the potatoes and drain–don’t skip this step or your kugel will be mushy!

Preheat oven to 450F or 230C.

Put the marg or oil on bottom of baking pan to melt or heat up

Grate onion

Whisk eggs and flour and add potatoes and onions

Pour into baking pan.

Bake at 450 F or 230 C for ten minutes

Turn oven down and bake at medium  heat (180 C or 350 F) for an hour until crisp, and brown.


Happy Parshat Zachor!


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