July 15, 2024
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July 15, 2024
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Chanukah Doughnuts From My Kosher Jerusalem Kitchen

One of the things I have enjoyed the most as a food writer is learning the food customs of Jews from around the world. When it comes to doughnuts, all of the communities make a dough dessert fried in oil. If you, too, want to celebrate Chanukah with food, try some of these interesting doughnuts.

Moroccan Shvinze

A few months ago, I happened to stop at a bread vendor in Machaneh Yehudah, the Jewish produce market where I shop and lead weekly walks, to ask him to identify a pastry he was selling. He told me it was shvinze. Many years ago, a neighbor had given me her mother’s receipt for Chanukah shvinze.

  • 1 ⅔ Tbsp yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • oil
  • honey or confectioners’ sugar

1. Place yeast in a small bowl with water. Place flour in another bowl. After the yeast swells, add to the flour. Add salt and knead into an elastic dough.

2. Place oil in a deep pot. Wet hands, take a piece of dough and shape it into a circle, Punch a hole in the center then drop the dough into oil. Brown it on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with honey or confectioners’ sugar.

Syrian Zingole

Another neighbor at the same time made these desserts, which she learned from her mother who came from Syria.

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • few spoons warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • oil


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice

1. Place yeast in a small bowl. Add a few spoons of warm water to dissolve.

2. Place flour in another bowl. Add yeast and then more water to make a liquidy batter.

3, Heat oil in a deep pot. Spoon batter around pan like pancakes. Fry until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

3. Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolves.

4. Dip each pancake in sauce, then place on a serving platter.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, book reviewer and lecturer in Jerusalem. She has compiled nine kosher cookbooks. She created and leads weekly walks in English in Jerusalem’s Machaneh Yehudah, Jewish produce market. She writes features on Jerusalem’s kosher restaurants and her husband, Barry, photographs the dishes.

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