Here is a vegetable kugel recipe for the Passover / Pesach festival.

What is kugel? The word "kugel" (other spelling: "kugal") comes from the Yiddish word "kugl" which in turn comes from the Middle High German word "kugel", which means "ball" (Middle High German is the German of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries). However, in Jewish culinary terms, the word "kugel" has been adapted to mean "pudding" in Yiddish and it particularly refers to a baked pudding - traditionally of noodles or potatoes or both - that is usually served as a side dish. However, due to national and regional differences in traditional ingredients among the various Jewish communities that have lived in Central and Eastern Europe over the centuries, besides the traditional noodle kugel recipe (known as "Lokshen Kugel" or "Lukshen Kugel" in Yiddish, meaning "noodle pudding") and the traditional potato kugel recipe, there is a huge variety of kugel recipes that have since been created from the basic kugel recipe. For the Passover / Pesach festival, there is an ever-popular adapted-for-Passover alternative to lokshen kugel, and it is usually known as "matzo kugel", where unleavened bread known as matzo replaces the lokshen or noodles in the ingredients to conform to the dietary laws for the Passover / Pesach festival which forbids the consumption of any leavened product during the Passover / Pesach festival. The following recipe for kugel is a vegetarian-style kugel recipe that is fairly easy to make.

Vegetable Kugel Recipe (12 to 16 casserole servings)

2 cups grated Red Delicious apples
2 cups grated raw sweet potato
2 cups grated raw carrot
2 cups matzo meal
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda (see note below)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar, optional

Instructions for the Vegetable Kugel recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius or Centigrade). Grease a 9-by-13-inch (22.5 cm x 32.5 cm) pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine apple, sweet potato, carrot, matzo meal, margarine, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar; mix well.
  3. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil; bake 45 minutes.
  5. Increase oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade), remove cover, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Slice and eat hot.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (based on 12 servings): Calories: 230; Fat: 15.5 grams (61 percent calories from fat); Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Cholesterol: no cholesterol; Protein: 2 grams; Carbohydrates: 21 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Fiber: 2.5 grams; Sodium: 788 milligrams; Calcium: 24 milligrams; Potassium: 174 milligrams.

Note: Baking Soda is Kosher for Passover because it is a chemical leavening agent; it does not work by fermentation as yeast does, which is prohibited during the Passover festival. Technically speaking, it is leavened goods that are the result of fermentation (as with yeast baking) that are forbidden during the Passover festival. Baking soda - and for that matter, baking powder - are chemical leaveners so they are not in the regular category of "leaven" goods, going by technicalities. As well, Passover baking powder is made without cornstarch, which is a prohibited ingredient for Ashkenazic Jews during the Passover festival.

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