Hanukkah Fritters

Frittelle de Hanukkah

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    8 to 10

Appears in

Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean

Sephardic Flavors

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 2000

  • About

If you love fried foods, Hanukkah gives you a guilt-free reason to serve many of your favorites. While potato fritters are much appreciated, how can one resist a fritter for dessert? The Italian honey topping is wonderful, but, as a change of pace, you could dip these briefly in a classic Middle Eastern sugar-and-water syrup seasoned with cinnamon stick and orange zest. In Greece these fritters are called loukoumades, and in Turkey, lokma.


  • 2 envelopes ( teaspoons each) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon aniseeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus oil for deep-frying
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup raisins

For the Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups fragrant honey, warmed


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, aniseeds, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons oil, and the orange zest, and mix with a wooden spoon or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, 5 to 8 minutes. Knead in the raisins, shape the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and flatten it into a square or rectangle ½ inch thick. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then cut into 36 diamonds or triangles.

Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 3 inches into a deep saucepan and heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer. Drop a handful of the cutouts into the hot oil and fry until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Arrange on a serving platter and keep warm. Fry the remaining cutouts.

When all of the fritters are fried, make the glaze by stirring the lemon juice into the warmed honey. Drizzle the honey over the fritters and serve warm.