Pascale’s Kitchen: Hanukkah savory dishes

As you’ve all probably had your fill of sufganiyot this past week, this time I bring you three recipes for savory dishes that are perfect for the last few nights of Hanukkah. 

 Burika (brik dough with egg over easy) (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Burika (brik dough with egg over easy)
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

One of my favorite Hanukkah activities is walking around the neighborhood and looking at all the lit hanukkiot in the windows of the houses. It’s wonderful how the number of candles we light on the eight days of Hanukkah grows by one candle each day, making each day feel more precious than the previous one.

And of course, if you haven’t guessed already, in addition to enjoying spending time with family and friends, I particularly love the traditional foods that we eat on Hanukkah. As well as the sweet sufganiyot, it is also customary to eat latkes and other savory, fried foods, which I love to enjoy with cooked tomato-based salads or spicy sauces. 

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As you’ve all probably had your fill of sufganiyot this past week, this time I bring you three recipes for savory dishes that are perfect for the last few nights of Hanukkah

The first recipe is for chicken tempura in spicy sauce. Tempura is a batter commonly used in Japanese, Chinese and Indian cuisine, in which it’s called pakura batter. The batter coats pieces of vegetables, fruit or chicken, which are then fried. In this recipe, chicken pieces are dipped into the tempura batter, and then deep fried in oil. Next, the chicken pieces are transferred to a sweet and spicy chili sauce. The combination of the crunchiness of the tempura coating and the incredible sauce makes this dish absolutely irresistible. 

 Chicken tempura in spicy sauce (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Chicken tempura in spicy sauce (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

The second recipe hails from Indian cuisine. Panipuri are crispy pockets made from thin dough that are deep fried and then filled with spreads and salads. Panipuri that are sold in specialty shops are usually flat and disk-shaped, in readiness for frying. In the recipe below, you will see that the panipuri are filled with egg salad. 

The third recipe is for burika, which comes from North African cuisine. They are filo dough pockets with an egg over easy hidden inside. Make sure to keep any filo dough that is not being used at that moment covered with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out and lose its elasticity. This dish is traditionally made with brik dough, but if you can’t find a roll of brik dough, you can use filo dough squares instead, which is what I used to create my own shapes for the pockets. 

Whether you served foods that were deep fried or shallow fried in a pan, I hope that you had a happy Hanukkah, filled with lots of light and tasty treats – and forgot about counting calories, at least for these eight festive days. 

Chicken tempura in spicy sauce

Makes 6 servings.

  • 500 gr. chicken breast, cut into pieces

Tempura:

  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cold soda water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:

  • 1 cup sweet and spicy chili sauce
  • 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3-4 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 spicy green pepper, finely chopped (adjust depending on level of desired spiciness)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped 
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Add all the tempura ingredients to a medium bowl in the order they appear in the list of ingredients. Whisk them vigorously until well mixed and smooth. 

If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit more soda. If it’s too watery, add a little flour and mix again. 

Place the chicken pieces in the tempura and make sure that each piece is well covered. 

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Place the tempura-covered chicken pieces into the oil, making sure that they don’t touch each other. Note: The chicken pieces will at first sink to the bottom of the pot, but after cooking for a few seconds will float to the top. Use a knife and fork to separate any pieces that might have stuck together. Fry the chicken pieces until they turn golden brown, then remove and place them on paper towels. 

Add all the sauce ingredients to a large frying pan. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, mixing continuously. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes uncovered. 

Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce. Stir gently so that all the pieces are covered with sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, then adorn with chopped scallion and sesame seeds. Serve hot. 

Level of difficulty: Easy-mediumTime: 1 hourStatus: Meat

 Panipuri filled with egg salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Panipuri filled with egg salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Panipuri filled with egg salad

Makes 8-10 servings.

Egg salad:

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. smooth Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp. quality mayonnaise (can be light)
  • 1 onion, scallion or chives, finely chopped 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of smoked paprika

Panipuri:

  • 1 package (200 gr.) panipuri (can be purchased in Indian specialty shops)
  • 1 pack of papadum
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

Place the hard-boiled eggs in a bowl and mash them with a fork or grate them. Add the mustard and mayonnaise and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Heat oil for deep frying. Place the panipuri in the oil and fry them until they expand into a ball shape and turn golden brown. Remove from the oil. Prepare the papadum in the same manner. 

Gently make a hole in the panipuri and fill with egg salad. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Serve cold or hot, alongside the fried papadum. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 30-60 minutesStatus: Parve

Burika (brik dough with egg over easy)

Start by preparing the salad that will be served with the burika. If you can’t find brik dough, you can use filo dough instead, which is what I used for this recipe.

Makes 4 servings. 

Marmuma/Makbuba salad:

  • 3-4 Tbsp. oil
  • 3-4 spicy green peppers, finely chopped 
  • 1-2 light green peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼-½ tsp. ground caraway

Burika:

  • 4 filo dough sheets
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped scallion and/or parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To prepare the salad: Pour the oil into a large pot, then add the vegetables. Cook in the covered pot over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water, salt and pepper, and then give it a stir. Continue cooking over low heat for another 35 minutes. Stir every once in a while. You’ll know the salad is ready when it has thickened to the desired consistency.

To prepare the burika: Roll out a sheet of filo dough on a flat plate. If you’re very experienced, you can do this on your palm. Sprinkle a little bit of scallion and parsley on top of puff pastry. Then, crack an egg over the center of the filo dough. Season with salt and pepper, then lift up the edges of the filo dough and press them together to lock the egg inside. 

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and fill with the amount of oil you’d use to fry schnitzel. Gently transfer the burika so that none of the egg escapes. 

Fry the burika on one side until it turns golden brown. Then, turn it over and fry it on the other side. Make the rest of the burikas in the same fashion. Serve hot with a spoonful or two of salad. 

Level of difficulty: MediumTime: 1 hourStatus: Parve

Translated by Hannah Hochner. www.pascalpr.co.il