Jewish Moms Cooking: Nevermind The Matzoh, I Want Kiglin

Kiglin: They’re like savory muffins, sort of like a popover, done with Matzoh instead of flour. And they are delicious. Read More

By / April 14, 2011

I know this feature is supposed to be a conversation between a mother and a daughter about a treasured family recipe, but my mother is currently out of the country, and neither of us believes that recipes are necessary to cook a good meal.  I’m going to stray from the formula a bit, but bear with me; by the end of this you’ll come out with an imagining of a recipe, an idea of something you’d like to eat and have a good shot at making.

Passover is next week, and I have to tell you, I think Matzoh is disgusting.  During the Seder, I usually squirrel away the pieces I’m supposed to eat under my napkin.  But there is one thing about Passover I look forward to all year: Kiglin.

I have never seen them anywhere else but my house, or heard of anyone else ever eating them, so use your imagination as I describe what could be the perfect Kosher for Passover food: it’s a savory muffin, sort of like a popover, done with Matzoh instead of flour.  You can make Kiglin chunky (with farfel) or smooth (with Matzoh meal) and either way they are delicious.  They make especially fine vehicles for chopped liver, which is much appreciated for the duration of the holiday, especially, if like me, you think Matzoh is better used as a packaging material than a snack. They are dangerous too, because Matzoh expands in your stomach, but since it is disgusting, this usually isn’t an issue for me; however, I can eat several Kiglin in one seating, because they are delicious, which tends to end horribly and brutally and with plenty of antacids.

I think the general path to making decent Kiglin resembles the one for Matzoh balls, except at the end of this process, you plop globs of the yellow batter into a greased muffin tin.  Kiglin are the one thing (maybe in the entire universe) that Google can’t help me with, which brings me to my theory about Kiglin: my grandmother invented them.

You see, in our house, my mother cooked for Passover, but my grandmother (when she was alive), came over early to make Kiglin.  She boiled the water, she dumped in the farfel, she mushed it up, she added some egg yolks and course black pepper, scooped it all into a muffin pan, and then did it again with Matzoh meal.  If Google has no relevant results for “Kiglin,” then I have to assume they exist only in our kitchen.

We eat the staples too–chicken soup, brisket, potato kugel and tsimmes–but the main event, at least for me, is slathering a warm Kiglin with chopped liver and topping it with red onion and a pickle.  And now, when my grandmother isn’t around to make them, and there’s no recipe written guiding us toward these magnificent muffins, it’s up to my mom and I to figure it all out.