It was not long ago that the spelling bee in New York was won with the word “knaidel.” We were surprised to discover, in subsequent news reports, that a large majority of Americans, including Jews, do not know what a knaidel, or knaydel, as others prefer to spell it, is. And so we offer you the best recipe we know of for knaidlach (plural of knaidel), aka, the matzah ball. These come out consistently fluffy and delicious. Serve them in your chicken soup. Voila! You’re an authentic Yiddishe bubby.


4 eggs, beaten
1 heaping teaspoon of salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 cup oil (don’t be stingy)
1/2 cup seltzer
1 c. matzah meal


Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Boil a pot of water with a bit of salt. Wet hands with cold water to form the matzah balls. Drop balls into boiling water. (This is the fun part as you see the balls pop back up to the surface of the water.) Turn each ball once with a spoon handle. Leave in the boiling water for approximately half an hour. Yields approximately nine knaidlach/matzah balls.

Recipe courtesy of Roz Leffler of Brooklyn, NY.

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