Cooking in Israel holiday's recipes - Chanukah

Cooking in Israel holiday's recipes - Chanukah


Chanukah is the holiday of light and food and is also known to be the Jewish holiday of miracles. Chanukah is about magic so is cooking! Have you ever thought that cooking and baking is also a sort of a miracle – every time you take raw ingredients and turn them into a delicious food, that make all your senses so happy and content, you create a magic!


We in CookinIsrael, we witness the magic of meeting strangers in the morning of our Tel Aviv culinary food tour and by the end of the day we all feel like family. This magic happens around food and with cooking together. We introduce the Israeli food and culture to visitors from all over the world. Through our tasting of foods at the market and in the cooking class in Israel, people discover new flavors which they really like. They take back home with them the recipes to introduce the magic of the new food to their families & friends.


Since the miracle of Chanukah was the miracle of a small flask of oil, keeping the flame in the Temple alight for eight days, it is traditional to eat food with oil in other words, fried foods.

Normally we avoid fried food for healthy reasons but to keep the tradition in Chanukah, we make 'Levivot' ('latkes') traditional fried potato pancakes and 'Soufganiot', Chanukah deep-fried doughnuts.

I share here some traditional home made recipes and some varieties with tips to low the oil absorption. Find all recipes and more in 'Cook in Israel - Home Cooking Inspiration' cookbook. A perfect gift for Chanukah and Christmas.


Chanukah 'Levivot' - Potatos Pancakes / Jewish Polish style





4 – 5 Potatoes peeled

2 Tbs. flour or potato flour

2 egg

1 tsp. Salt (put less salt if you want to eat it with sugar)




  1. Grate the potatoes in the crude grater.
  2. Squeeze properly and mix with the flour, eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a wide pan.
  4. Add batter by the tablespoonful and fry from both sides until browned and crisp.

To keep crisp place them on a grid.

  1. Serve with sour cream or sugar. Best hot out of the pan.


Varieties to add to the mixture before frying:

1 onion grated

1 sweet potato grated

1 celery root grated

2 carrots grated


Chanukah 'Levivot' - Potatos Pancakes / Jewish Iraqi style


5 Potatoes

4 Tbs. chopped parsley

1 chopped garlic

2 eggs

3 Tbs. flour

Salt and Pepper



  1. Boil the potatoes with the skin until half soft.
  2. Peel the potatoes and coarsely grate them.
  3. Stir in the flour, parsley, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil in a wide pan.
  5. Add batter by the tablespoonful and fry from both sides until browned and crisp.
  6. Serve with sour cream or yogurt.


Soufganiyot - Chanukah Doughnuts with Cheese


1 1/4 cups flour self raising

250 gr. white soft cheese

2 eggs

2 Tbs. canola oil

1/4 cup sugar

Zest of 1/2 lemon – (optional)

Pinch of salt


For serving:

Powdered sugar

Strawberry jam - option



  1. Mix all the ingredients and leave to rest about half an hour.
  2. Heat oil in a cooking pot.
  3. Make small balls with a spoon, roll them in flour and fry until golden.
  4. Serve with powdered sugar or jam. 

* Adding cheese or yogurt, to the batter reduce oil absorption of the doughnuts.





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