One of my best childhood memories is being the official “matzo ball” maker with my Grandma Sara every Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. I got to mix them together, let them cool in the fridge for (a long) hour, and kept my hands moist while rolling them and dropping them right into the soup. They always came out wonderful and I was very proud of my matzo ball magic.
Somehow over time the tradition lost its way. I started travelling and got into very ethic and spicy food. Matzo ball soup kind of lost its excitement and practicality (25 matzo balls just for myself ?) . I also began to (annoyingly) insist on making everything from scratch, so I wasn’t keen on using the infamous Manischewitz Box mix that my grandmother used.
Fast forward to the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. Pesach at home. Lots of time to cook. Kids love Matzo balls don’t they? (Picture of Ovadia helping roll them on the right during that Pesach).
I already knew how to make a really good chicken soup, which is basically a Yemenite Chicken Soup. I tend incorporate my husband’s family traditions and use an exorbitant amount of Hawaij in everything. (For those who don’t know, Hawaij is a Yemenite spice blend with turmeric, cumin, black Pepper and a bit of ground cloves).
So I got back into it. I searched the web and pieced together a few different recipes to fit my taste. I did a few trial runs. Some came out amazingly fluffy and rose to the top of the soup, and others were hard as a rock and sunk right down. I was getting somewhere.
Then last year, right after we were finally out of the third lockdown, our youngest daughter Leah was sick almost every week into the summer with colds, ear infections and the infamous RSV that went around. She was a little over a year at the time and wanting to build up her immune system, I started making (Yemenite-style) chicken soup and Matzo balls almost every week. I think it worked as she healed really well from those hard months and, thank gd, gained back a lot of weight. She was eating up to 4 matzo balls at a time and lots of carrots!
So there it is. While I was making matzo balls last Friday for Shabbat (we were sick all week), I felt it was time to share my recipe.
My matzo balls are medium sized, fluffy. float to the top and are full of love. Enjoy:)
- 1 cup of matzo meal
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
*Making matzo balls are a bit like baking. You need to follow all these instructions to the T!
- Mix the matzo meal, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl.
- Break the 4 eggs into a separate bowl.
- Add the oil to the eggs and stir gently with a fork until the yolks are broken and the oil is just mixed.
- Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and gently mix with a fork. Don’t overmix!
- Place the mix in the fridge for an hour.
- Bring your soup to a rolling boil right before the hour is up.
- After the hour has passed, roll the batter into small balls, always keeping your hands moist. You should be able to make around 20-25 matzo balls with this mixture.
- Drop the matzo balls into the soup (while it is boiling) and let it boil until all the matzo balls float to the top. Then you can lower the temperature to a simmer for about 35 minutes.
- Enjoy your delicious and soft matzo balls!