The Top Ten Jewish Foods You Need To Learn to Cook

Jewish culture is among the oldest and proudest in history. For thousands of years, Jewish civilization has been centered at the crux of Western and Eastern civilizations, and the many trade routes that ran between them. At the same time, the Jewish diaspora has spread across the globe, affording them the opportunity to assimilate foreign cooking practices into their own kosher recipes.

It should come as no surprise then that Jewish people have assembled one of the richest cultural cookbooks in the world. That’s why we’re going to go over a variety of kosher friendly foods you can start cooking up.

1. Get Flaky with Borekas

One of the most popular street foods in Israel, Borekas takes cheese, potatoes, and spinach and mixes it all up in a flaky crust. Great as a snack or for a light lunch, homemade Borekas can be a real treat. It’s not the easiest to cook at home, but if you get the recipe right, you’ll quickly find Borekas worth the effort.

2. Latkes, a Hannukah Favorite

Latkes are another popular snack food, especially around Hannukah, when many Jewish people partake in oil fried foods. Latkes aren’t particularly popular in Israel, but among the vast Jewish diaspora, they are a favorite. Latkes are basically oil fried potato pancakes, often mixed with flour or apple sauce.

3. The Sweet and Sugary Sufganiyot

Looking for a sweeter snack? Sufganiyot are basically jelly donuts, but on steroids (figuratively and kosher speaking, of course). These sweet yeast donuts are often stuffed with raspberry or strawberry jelly.

4. Spice it Up With Bazargan

Looking for spicy rather than sweet? Some spiced up Bazargan could hit the spot. Similar to Syrian tabbouleh, this dish is best slow cooked so that the spices can be soaked up. Makes for an excellent side dish, but it’s so delicious no one would blame you for eating it by itself.

5. Challah Your Way

Challah, or egg bread, is one of the tastiest types of bread in the world. You can make Challah with or without a bread machine. This tasty bread is known for being crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside. Many people like to experiment, adding chocolate chips, raisins, and the like. Be warned, however, you might need 3 or 4 hours to do this bread right.

6. The Classic Kugel Casserole

While casseroles are often considered an Americana favorite, the Jewish kugel casserole tastes as good as the best of them. Kugel is sometimes described as a giant tater tot but that doesn’t do it justice. There are many ways to cook kugel and any cook can leave their own mark. Try sweet noodles or sweet potatoes, for example.

7. Rugelach, the Perfect After Dinner Treat

Rugelach is one of the best desserts ever. These chocolatey, croissant-like pastries are a favorite among Jewish communities around the world. While they are often stuffed with chocolate, you can get innovative, adding nuts and other delicious sweets.

8. You’ll Dig Tahdig

Need a reliable side dish that can keep up with even the best mains? Tahdig, a type of rice pilaf, is a great choice. Basically, tahdig is a burned rice, but the rice must be burned to perfection. Once you manage to do so, you may never want to eat your rice another way.

9. Never Forget Couscous

Couscous is one of the more popular side dishes in Jewish culinary tradition. There are so, so many ways to cook couscous that it’s really up to you to find the flavor that hits your own palette. However, you owe it to yourself to perfect couscous cooking as it’s a versatile yet tasty dish.

10. The Meaty, Tasty Kibbeh

Let’s sink this article with the tasty, torpedo-shaped kibbeh. These meatball-like treats are a favorite. These bulgur wheat coated delicacies are normally stuffed with kosher lamb or beef. (Make sure you don’t accidentally serve with any milk or yogurt that would violate kosher rules!)