Kugel (Yiddish: קוגל kugl or קוגעל, pronounced koo-gel or ki-gel), also often referred to by the diminutives kugele and kigele, is any one of a wide variety of traditional Jewish baked side dishes or desserts. It is sometimes translated as "pudding" or "casserole". Kugels may be sweet or savory. The most common types are made from egg noodles or potatoes and often contain eggs, but there are recipes in everyday use in modern Jewish kitchens for a great diversity of kugels made with different vegetables, fruit, batters, cheese, and other flavorings and toppings. Kugel-making seems to be continually changing and evolving.
Variation I – Potato KugelEdit
The following is a traditional potato kugel.
For 12-14 servings:
- 8 large potatoes
- 2 medium onions
- ½ cup (120 ml) schmaltz vegetable oil, melted
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Peel potatoes, cut into chunks, and place them in the food processor. Process until smooth. Do the same for the onion.
- Mix potato and onion with egg, pepper, sugar, and salt.
- Heat oil in a 9 x 13 inch (23cm x 33cm) pan until it is quite hot. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of the oil into the potato mixture.
- Pour the potato mixture into the hot pan. Bake uncovered for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
Notes, tips, and variationsEdit
- Replacing one or two of the potatoes with a carrot gives the kugel a nice color and a distinct flavor.
- Some may prefer to decrease the amount of onion to one large onion.
Variation II – Yerushalmi KugelEdit
Yerushalmi kugel is named after the city of Jerusalem. Legend has it that it originated in Jerusalem with the followers of the Vilna Gaon in the 18th century.
- 8 oz (200 g) noodles (egg noodles are preferred, but others work fine as well)
- ⅔ cup (160 g) sugar (white sugar is helpful because it's more obvious when it begins to brown)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- handful of raisins
- 1-2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- Boil noodles according to the instructions and drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add ⅓ cup (80 g) of sugar.
- Stir continuously until the sugar begins to brown. Remove from heat.
- The sugar will continue to brown for a few more minutes, creating a thick caramel.
- Add the caramel to the noodles.
- Add the sugar, eggs, cinnamon, pepper, and raisins. Stir.
- Bake in a pan at 350˚F (180˚C) for about 40 minutes until the top begins to brown.