John Ellison, head chef at Tish Bar & Restaurant in London (tish.london) guides us through the key dishes and ingredients in Jewish and Jewish-hungarian cuisine.
Kneidlach Traditional chicken soup (popularly known as Jewish penicillin) is served with kneidlach; fluffy dumplings made from matzo, unleavened bread made for the festival of Passover.
Hungarian bean soup
Specific to the Jewish community in Hungary, this soup is a thick nourishing blend of red kidney beans on a chicken stock base with a sprinkling of kneidlach on top.
Chicken schnitzel Jews from Germany and Austria brought the schnitzel to North America, Israel, the rest of Europe and beyond as they have relocated over the last 150 years. Commonly made by coating chicken or veal in breadcrumbs or matzo meal and fried, this dish is a huge favourite.
Apple strudel This dessert has recently made a comeback. Made with flaky dough and a sweet filling, it became popular during the Austrohungarian empire and was quickly adopted as a favourite, particularly for Rosh Hashana – Jewish New Year – when it is customary to eat apples to symbolise the garden of Eden.
Challah The most well known bread in Jewish cuisine. A challah is a long plaited loaf, brushed with egg to give it a golden shine. It’s usually made with eggs and sugar or honey, and is decorated with poppy or sesame seeds.
Borekas Borekas are small parcels of flaky dough stuffed with fillings such as vegetables, meat or cheese and cooked to crispy perfection. We fill ours with a lentil and potato mix at Tish. Hungarian meatballs This is a classic recipe made by Hungarian Jews, passed down to the owner of the restaurant, David S Levin, from his great grandmother. The beef meatballs include fresh herbs and challah bread, and we serve them with a tasty romesco sauce.
Ox tongue, roasted beets and
horseradish cream For many generations, central European Jews have served boiled tongue as a festival delicacy, and served it with ‘chrain’, Yiddish for horseradish sauce.
Lokshen pudding This is a sweet pudding made using egg noodles. It’s typically eaten by Ashkenazi Jews on Shabbat. We serve it with caramelised pears and sorbet during the week, and a rich blackcurrant compote for Shabbat dinner on Friday nights.