Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jewsih victory over the Greeks in 165 BCE.
A favorite story is the Miracle of the Oil. The Jews went to reclaim and restore the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been defiled and left in ruins by the Greeks. There was only enough oil left to rekindle the candelabra that was to burn throughout the night each and every night. It would be several days before more oil be be procured and prepared. My virtue of a Miracle, the oil burned for 8 days and nights, until more oil was available.
To commemorate the Miracle, we prepare foods cooked in oil for the holiday of Hanukkah. Favorites are latkes (potato pancakes), sufganiyot (filled donuts), and in our family, burmuelos (fried dough).
Growing up, I had never had latkes. Our Hannukah treat was always burmuelos – light, fried dough pillows bathed in a light, sweet syrup that is absolutely devine!
Tonight I had all my family home, under one roof…..a treat and a blessing, indeed! We had a home cooked meal: chicken keftes, rice, latkes ( a bow to my childrens “ashkefard’ heritage!!), fasulia, and salad. For dessert…..my mom made fresh burmuelos!!!
Made from a yeast dough, it takes some time for the dough to rise and be ready to fry. My mom made the dough ahead of time and after dinner, dropped the dough by spoonfuls into hot oil, watched them puff and turn a golden brown as she prepared the honey syrup. Once the burmuelos were ready, she bathed them in syrup and we ate them, warm and fresh! Divine, indeed!
Below is the recipe. Give them a try…..and enjoy!
My Mom uses the recipe from the cookbook,
- The Sephardic Cooks – Come Con Gana
,compiled by the Sisterhood of Congregation Or Ve Shalom in Atlanta, GA.
1 tsp yeast
1/2 C and 1 1/2 C warm water
pinch of salt
3 C flour
oil (for frying)
Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. In mixing bowl add dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture, egg and remaining warm water. MIx well. Allow to rise in covered bowl in warm place for 2 hours.
Fill a quart pot with 3 inches of cooking oil. Allow to get very hot.
Drop a teaspoon of soft dough into the hot oil.
Remove with slotted spoon when golden brown. Bathe in syrup.
1 C sugar
3 Tblsps honey
1/2 C water
Boil together until sticky. Pour over burmuelos.