Matzah balls (a.k.a. kneidls) for soup

Updated: May 10

Matzah ball soup is the one thing everybody looks forward to during Pesach (Passover). While they can be eaten anytime of year, the most common time is during Pesach or over Shabbat. Here is a recipe that I love and use every year.

In South Africa, matzah balls are known as kneidls. This is a very typical Ashkenazi and specifically Litvak kind of word! Ashkenazi food is food from Eastern Europe / the former Soviet Union and Litvak is specifically from the Lithuanian region.

My husband's grandmother, Granny Gita, who was born in Russia, would add an extra touch to her matzah balls. She would give them a נשמה /'neshama' (Hebrew for soul; Arabic الروح) by adding a special little filling into each matzah ball. I have added her secret in the recipe below.

If you make these, please let me know how they turned out or share a picture with me on my Instagram account @elliskosherkitchen.

Matzah Balls


1 tablespoons of schmaltz or chicken fat (olive oil or margarine also works)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup fine matzo meal

1 cup water (or soda water)

1 teaspoon baking powder


Mix fat/oil, cinnamon and salt together.

Add eggs one by one. Beat till light and fluffy.

Then fold in the matzah meal and baking powder and add water. Mix well and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and you can form balls.

Wet hands and roll into balls.

To make the neshama: chop 1/2 an onion and fry in oil. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix together. When forming the matzah balls, add the filling into the center of the ball and then close.

Boil them in salted water for 10 minutes.

Then boil another 10 minutes in your favorite chicken or vegetable soup broth.

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