Sufganiot (another name for doughnuts)
Chanukah, known as the ‘festival of light’, starts on the eve of 12th December for 8 nights. It commemorates the miracle of the oil back in the time of the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem (around 165 BCE). There was only enough of the ritual olive oil (yes, oil from olives!) to light the sacred candle for one day, but miraculously it lasted for 8 days – the time needed to replenish the stores of oil. To celebrate, we light the special 9-stem candelabra (chanukiah) for 8 consecutive days. And eat fried food. For us, it’s always about the food.
We just love this time of the year when tradition dictates that we eat doughnuts.
We have the most beautiful recipe for sufganiot – small free-form cinnamon doughnuts – in The Feast Goes On which we are sharing for this special time of year. (And a big shoutout to Justine Cohen from Adelaide, South Australia for sharing her recipe with us.)
What we love about these sufganiot is there is no rolling pin or cookie cutter needed, or waiting hours and hours for the dough to rise. It is a quick batter which sits on the bench for an hour before you spoon it into hot oil, drain and roll in cinnamon sugar. And if you need to let it sit for longer because an hour doesn’t suit, just pop it in the fridge till you get back to the kitchen. Simple, quick and beyond delicious.
Since we’re celebrating the oil, we make sure we are REALLY cooking in it; it is certainly not the festival to be watching the calories. In our family, we make potato latkes (small potato cakes, like roesti, hash browns, potato cakes…) as well. Latkes are not only made over Chanukah. In fact, we make them in the weeks and months leading up to Chanukah…just to be sure to be sure, and because we absolutely adore them! We eat them just with a little salt or with smoked salmon and horseradish cream. It has now become a family favourite to eat them salmon pastrami (recipe in The Feast Goes On) and horseradish creme fraiche. Yum.
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