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The Fresser

Matzah ball 101 for cracking kneidles

Friday is the matzah ball's big moment. You want yours to be the best? Read on.

    I posted my favourite recipe for matzah balls earlier this week here. Use my recipe — it works — but these tips will ensure everyone is asking for your recipe:

    1. Air is the key to light and fluffy balls – either use a small pinch of baking powder, or if during Pesach, beat those eggs until they are pale and fluffy before adding matzah meal.
    2. Use boiling water in the mix — it just seems to help the aeration process — adding it slowly whilst still beating the eggs.
    3. Keep that air in by folding in the matzah meal carefully.
    4. Avoid blandness by adding either some chicken soup powder to the mix OR a couple of tablespoon of your delicious chicken soup OR schmaltz*.
    5. Keep them in isolation — by which I mean cook them on their own. Matzah balls are very thirsty and will drink up whatever you cook them in. Do not feed them your carefully made soup!! Put them in a pot seasoned with chicken soup powder or a generous amount of salt.
      Photo: Flickr
    6. Be patient — the mixture needs at least 30 minutes before you use it. Then you need to give them anything from 10  – 30 minutes to cook — in a covered pot. Don’t peek! Or you will lose the lovely steam bath they are puffing up in.
    7. Eat them quickly —  once cooked matzah balls tend to lose their airy lightness and return to sinker status. I think they are best straight from the pot.
    8. Get ahead — make your batch in advance and freeze them. I prefer to open freeze them raw and then transfer to a ziplock. I cook mine from frozen on the night. Many freeze theirs cooked to save time but defrost but I have not had such great results with that method.
    9. Experiment with flavour — some Ashkenazim add cinnamon or ginger to their matzah balls. Others pop a tiny piece of meat in the middle. Be adventurous.
    10. Herbs help — if you fancy a change, ring the changes with a handful of chopped parsley or dill. You’ll end up with green balls (not always a good thing, but a positive one in this case) that are packed with flavour.

      *The wonderful Rosalind Rathouse of Cookery School avoids using unhealthy schmaltz by instead using onion-infused oil to pep up hers. (To make this, cook a serious amount of onions – gently without burning – until they are meltingly soft then sieve off the onions.)


      If you still need help with your soup, try following my simple how-to video.

      However your kneidlach come out this year, have a fabulous Seder and be well over the eight days.  
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