Monday, December 10, 2012

Chanukah Blog Party: Túrógombóc

I was very happy to be included in this Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. More information about this blog party is below, after the post itself.    

I've become annoyingly obsessed with all things culinarily Hungarian. There has to be more in the Magyar holster than paprikás and kakaós, right? 

Browsing a bit around, I came upon túrógombóc (pronounced "too-row-gum-bow-tz"), "cheese dumplings" (túró is dry curd cheese). Like nukedlach or kneidlach, they are boiled in water, not fried. They were incredibly simple to make, as well as very pretty to look at. It would also seem cheese dumplings aren't strictly Hungarian fare; many cultures, European and Asian, have their own version of them.

The recipes that I came across called for farina, or grits (which is something different to Hungarians than it is to Americans). I decided to use oat bran instead, and see what happens. For the coating, instead of bread crumbs, I used cornmeal. 

Túró has large curds and require a food processor to make the smoothest consistency; farmer cheese is a perfect stand in, being dry and rather smooth, meaning no need for a food processor.

Very few recipes I came across mentioned adding sugar, but seriously, what sort of cheese ball is it if it won't be sweet? The first time I made these I hadn't added enough sugar, so the kids didn't bite, but my sister-in-law, who lacks a sweet tooth, loved them.

My family has gotten into the recent habit of making a milchig Chanukah luncheon, and these are certainly on the menu. 

This video shows it being done authentically Hungarian: 
Here's my modified (nutritious and delicious!) version of this recipe by Eszter Hargittai.


7.5 oz farmer cheese 

1/4 cup oat bran 

1 egg

optional: sugar and vanilla sugar


confectionery sugar

1) Mix the cheese and bran very well with a fork and place in the fridge for an hour or two, or even overnight. This will soften the bran. (I got this tip from A Sprinkle of Hungary).

2) Put up a large pot of water to boil.

3) Add egg and sugar(s) together with the cheese and bran. Mix together well.

4) Coat a frying pan with a little oil and/or butter, warm it up, add cornmeal (fine ground if one likes less crunch than medium ground) and toast for a few minutes. Stir constantly, since it can burn very quickly (learned that the hard way). 
5) When the water is hot enough, form balls out of the cheese mixture and plunk into the water. When they rise to the top, they are ready. I prefer to make the balls small, making them ideal finger food. 

6) Remove onto a paper towel, then place them into the coating. Roll 'em around in it. 

7) Dust with confectionery sugar, if so inclined (I like the one from Trader Joe's since it's made from evaporated cane juice and tapioca starch instead of mystery filler.)
They are like yummy cheesecake bites. Because these are made from farmer's cheese, instead of túró, they come out gorgeous, without anything detaching like the video above. A wonderful addition to a milchig meal. 

Welcome to our first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein's new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
2 copies of Leah Schapira's  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
2 copies of Esther Deutch's CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post of your favorite Chanukah fare. 

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts: 
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables


Blima N. said...

I love chocolate coins

Anonymous said...

that recipe sounds DELICIOUS. about to break out the oil for an all-day frying festival here, except my cultural dish will be fried green tomatoes. you can take a girl out of the south...

Shelley said...

Caramel Sufganiyot are our fav!

So glad you joined the blog party – can’t wait to see how you used the printables to decorate your home!

Shelley from The Kosher home!

CrispyBitsnBurntEnds said...

I am not familiar with Hungarian food but I sure would like to find out! This looks absolutely delicous!

FrumGeek said...

Both of my grandmothers are Hungarian and I have no clue what that thing is (however I'm sure my grandparents do, and possibly my parents as well).

Rochel S said...

Custard donuts :)

The Beckster said...

Looks yum! Good job :)

G6 said...


Jennai said...

I like Apricot Noodle Kugel a LOT!
JenniferAnne74 @

Anonymous said...

Donuts! Gotta go with donuts! :)

This is such a cool and different recipe- now I am totally curious about Hungarian cuisine!

Thanks for joining!

Ayelet said...

chocolate gelt!

Devora said...

I love sufganiyot! Chanukah wouldn't be the same without them!

Anonymous said...

I really connected with this post because my great grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant. She died when I was quite young, so I still regret not having had recipes handed down to me.

As for favourite recipes, I love any of them with chocolate!

Princess Lea said...

FrumGeek and BakingBeardy:

My Babi actually had never made these. She was actually never crazy about cooking, and to this day is very happy when her dinner is made by someone else.

I stumbled across a Hungarian tourism website and they had a whole list of traditional food, and when I saw these I went crazy. I love cheese. Seriously love cheese.

And BB, check out the blog "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" - all Hungarian food, all the time. Rocks.

Laura said...

I also love the zsuzsa in the kitchen blog. This look fantastic. The last few times I made cheese latkes, it was a disaster, but maybe I would have more luck with these.

Princess Lea said...

For cheese latkes I highly recommend Busy in Brooklyn's recipe. They are real popular now in my house.

Amital @ OrganizedJewishHome said...

These sound really yummy.

We love chocolate and latkes here. Not together, but consecutive! :)

Utterly Purple said...


kosherlikeme said...


Single on the Scene said...

I'm in LOVE! Firstly-all things Hungarian (including this poster) ROCK!
Secondly-seriously PL? that's how you spell Kokosh? Who woulda thought?
Thirdly-can't wait to ask my grandparents about your cheeseball thingys. I might even actually try out the recipe.
Thanks from one Hunky to another :)

Princess Lea said...

Yes, "sh" is "s" in Hungarian—I only know that because we had an "s" in the name back in interlahnd.

Hun-ga-ry! Hun-ga-ry! Hun-ga-ry!

tioa said...

Great post I would love to try these

HippocampBleu said...

I will make the Hungarian cheese balls! Must be delicious! I will be making my regular potato latkes, applesauce, fried chicken and jelly doughnuts!