Ashkenazic Jews are very well acquainted with two kinds of Passover specialties—matzoh meal pancakes called chremslach and fried matzoh with eggs called matzoh brei. Sephardic Jews make similar dishes on Passover. The main difference between the Sephardic and the Ashkenazic dishes is that Sephardim serve their matzoh meal pancakes and their fried matzoh with Arrope, a raisin syrup, or with honey and sprinkled with walnuts. Here are the Sephardic variations of these two Yiddish-Jewish favorites.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Yield: makes 15-16 bumuelos
1. In a deep mixing bowl, beat the eggs well. Add the salt and cold water, whisking well and thoroughly.
2. Mix in the matzoh meal. The batter should be like a thin pancake batter.
3. Pour 1/4 inch of oil into a 12-inch skillet. Heat over medium-high heat.
4. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the skillet. It will spread into a little pancake. Repeat until you have four or five pancakes frying. Regulate the heat, adjusting it to prevent burning as the bumuelos cook. Fry 3-4 minutes on each side and drain the bumuelos on paper towels. Serve with arrope or honey poured over the pancakes and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Bumuelos de masa make a delicious breakfast with coffee, fresh fruit, and thick yogurt served on the side.
Yield: 4-6 servings
This Sephardic variation of matzoh brei is much richer and creamier than the Ashkenazic dish. The method is also totally different. Masa tiganitas is a little like French toast made out of matzoh.
Place whole matzoh into a wide deep mixing bowl or a square baking pan that can accomodate them all without breaking them. Pour the milk over them to cover. Soak the matzot in the milk until they soften enough so that they can be cut, but are not so soft that they will disintegrate.
While the matzot are soaking, beat the eggs in a mixing bowl together with the 1/4 cup yogurt.
When the matzot are soft enough, gently remove them, one at a time, and lay them on paper towels. Cut each matzoh into four quarters. Stack the squares on top of one another on paper towels or on a plate.
Pour enough oil into a 12-inch skillet to come up the sides 1/4 inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is sizzling but not smoking.
Dip one square of matzoh from each stack into the beaten egg. Allow the excess to drip back into the mixing bowl. Place the square in the skillet. A 12-inch skillet will hold 2-3 tiganitas (squares) while they are frying. Fry the tiganitas until golden brown on both sides. Keep the tiganitas warm in a 250 degrees oven until all are ready. Apportion the tiganitas onto serving plates. Serve with arrope or honey poured over the tiganitas and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
The Sephardic Kitchen
by Rabbi Robert Sternberg
HarperCollins Publishers, 1996
Reprinted by permission.
This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
Modified February 2007
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