Burmuelos di Hanukkah

We are busy getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the States AND Hanukkah! We’ll light the first candle on Wednesday night and have the family together for a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. With blessings and gratitude we continue to celebrate all week. And our unique and special Hanukkah favorite: burmuelos – delightful, light, fried dough pillows bathed in a light, sweet syrup.

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. By 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!

This year we will gather for Thanksgiving and sharing the second night of Hanukkah ….. Turkey with all the trimmings AND my mom will make fresh burmuelos!!!

Made from a yeast dough, it takes some time for the dough to rise and be ready to fry. My mom will make the dough ahead of time and after dinner, drop the dough by spoonfuls into hot oil, watch them puff and turn a golden brown as she prepares the honey syrup. Once the burmuelos are ready, she will bathe them in syrup and we’ll eat 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
1 egg
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.

A wonderful message about the Miracle of Hanukkah shared by Craig Taubman this morning:

“The miracle of Hanukka is not that the oil burned for 8 days. The true miracle? That someone was inspired to light the light in the first place!”

Let us be inspired!!

Bendichas Manos!!!!

13 thoughts on “Burmuelos di Hanukkah

  1. 5 Kandelikas esta notche. We had delicious” burmuelicos”

    con los iniètos y con los ijos.Delicioso! Hag Hanouka Saméah Lecoulam.


  2. My goodness. I don’t know how I found your page! I’m pleasantly stunned because my family were Catholics from northern Albania and my mom’s recipe for what she called “pet’lla” is exactly the same & they look just like hers…I fell in love with Sephardic culture after listening to your fine music in Boston and to find this commonality is a treat.

    May you continue to be blessed,


  3. “Bendichos manos” is the blessing my mother would give me when I cooked something she loved. She passed away last year but her memory lives on in the Sephardi dishes she taught me to cook and the songs and phrases of Ladino I’ve absorbed. Delighted to find your site and excited to discover new recipes. Thank you!


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