These 5 Jewish Purim recipes are deeply symbolic and are prepared during the festival of Purim, which celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from King Haman in 423 BCE. Foods like nuts are eaten in memory of Queen Esther, while other foods symbolize King Haman and his cruelty, and serve to reinforce the strength and endurance of the Jewish people.
1. Kreplach A traditional Jewish Purim recipe, Kreplach symbolizes Haman's three cornered hat.
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. oil
- 1 cup ground beef
- 1 onion, grated
- Combine flour, eggs, salt and oil in a large bowl.
- Roll out the dough and cut it into 3-inch squares.
- Sauté the beef with the onion and a pinch of salt.
- Place spoonfuls of the beef in the middle of the squares and fold over, forming triangles.
- Place Kreplach in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for about 20 minutes.
2. Hamantashen Hamantashen is a simple pastry and a Jewish Purim recipe that also symbolizes King Haman's three cornered hat.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup orange juice
- 5 ½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- Any fruit preserves
- Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.
- Stir in oil, vanilla, and orange juice.
- Combine the flour and baking powder and stir into the batter to form a stiff dough.
- Roll the dough into ¼ inch thickness and cut into circles.
- Place the cookies onto a prepared cookie sheet.
- Spoon preserves into the center of each cookie and pinch the edges to form three corners.
- Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Challah A long, braided Jewish bread, Challah is prepared to symbolize the rope used to hang Haman. A yeast-leavened egg bread, Challah is made for holidays and special occasions and is a must have Jewish Purim recipe.
- 2 packages of yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 cups flour, divided
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 egg
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Stir in sugar and salt.
- Add flour and mix well.
- Add oil and egg, then three more cups of flour.
- Place a wet towel over the bowl and place in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
- Cut the dough into 3 pieces after it has doubled in size and divide the pieces into 3 sections.
- Roll out the sections and braid, creating 3 braids.
- Braid these sections into one braided loaf.
- Place the loaf on a cookie sheet in a warm place to rise.
- Bake the bread in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.
4. Sugared Almond Salad Eaten in memory of Queen Esther who only ate vegetarian food while in the King’s Palace, a salad like the sugared almond salad has become a staple Jewish Purim recipe and is known in Hebrew as "parve" or a food without any meat or dairy.
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 tbsp. parsley
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 12 cups salad greens
- 3 11 oz. cans of mandarin oranges
- 1 sliced purple onion
- ¾ halved almonds
- ¼ cup sugar
- Prepare the dressing by combining vinegar, sugar, parsley, salt, and vegetable oil in a covered jar.
- Shake and refrigerate for one hour.
- Combine salad greens, oranges, and onion.
- Prepare almonds by combining almonds with sugar in a skillet over low heat until nuts are covered and candied.
5. Matzo Ball Soup A traditional soup using matzo meal, a meal made from the cracker-like matzo bread, matzo ball soup is a delicious Jewish Purim recipe.
- ½ matzo meal
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 8 cups and 1 tbsp. water
- 8 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 can carrots, drained
- Mix matzo meal with salt.
- Add eggs and oil.
- Stir in water.
- Chill the batter in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Boil water with bouillon cubes.
- Add carrots once cubes have dissolved.
- Remove the batter and roll the mixture into golf-ball sized balls.
- Drop the matzo balls into the boiling soup and cover.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.