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A huge collection of all types of recipes in a user friendly format. This page contains a Glossary of Mexican Cooking Terms and Foods.

Glossary of Jewish Terms

This is a list of Jewish or Yiddish words, or terms used in Jewish cooking.

To find a cooking term, click on the first letter of the word, then look for it in the Glossary list.

If you are looking for a term that we don't have, or know of more terms which should be included on this list, please send the information to:

Jamie@freerecipecollection.com

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M

N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z

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Afikoman (lit, "dessert")
from the Aramaic fiku man, "bring out the food" the portion of matzah eaten at the close of the Seder meal in commemoration of the Passover offering.


Amidah (lit. "standing")
the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, recited while standing.


Ashkenazic
Used to describe Jews of Eastern and Central European origin.







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Babaghanouj (Alternate spelling: Bhaba ganoush, babaganoush)
Mediterranean dip made of roasted, pureed eggplant.



Babka
Yeasted coffee cake from Poland. May be flavored with cinnamon, chocolate, or lemon, and filled with cheese or fruit.



Bagel
Circular bread with a hole in the center that originated in Poland. Dough is first boiled and then baked for a chewy interior and crispy exterior.



Beirach (lit. "bless")
the thirteenth activity of the Seder--recitation of Grace After Meals.



Bedikat Chametz
the search for leaven conducted on the night before Passover eve.


Beitzah
egg


Bet HaMikdash
Holy Temple in Jerusalem



Beya
Aramaic for egg, also means, "to entreat"



Bialy
Named for the city of Bialystok, where it originated. Softer than a bagel, with an indentation rather than a hole in the center.



Birkat Hamazon
grace after meals.



Blintz
A relative of the Hungarian crepe known as palascinta. Thin pancake filled with cheese or fruit.



Borscht
Beet soup of Eastern European origin. Served cold with sour cream or hot with a plain boiled potato.



Bulgur wheat
Cracked wheat. A key ingredient in tabbouleh.



Bureka
(Alternate spelling: Boreka): Small, half-moon-shaped pastries filled with cheese, spinach, eggplant, or meat. Common to Jews of the Iberian Peninsula.








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Carciofi
talian word for artichokes, the star ingredient in a dish known as carciofi alla guidia, or Jewish-style artichokes--the only dish widely-recognized as Jewish in Italy.


Chagigah
the festival offering.


Challah (Alternate spelling: hallah)
Ashkenazic egg bread. Typically made in braided form for the Sabbath, and in circular form for the Jewish new year (to remind us of the circular nature of life.).


Chametz
Leavened foods, prohibited on Passover.


Charoset (Alternate spelling: haroseth)
Mixture of apples, cinnamon, honey and wine (Ashkenazic version) or dried fruits and raisins (Sephardic version) eaten on Passover. Symbol of the mortar used by the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt. A paste made of apples, pears, nuts and wine, in which the maror is dipped.


Chazeret
vegetable used for maror (bitter herbs)


Chol HaMoed (lit. "mundane [days] of the festival")
the intermediate days of the Festivals of Passover and Succot.


Cholent
Ashkenazic version of the French cassoulet. Stew consisting of meat, potatoes, and beans simmered overnight. Typically served on the Sabbath.


Chrain
Horseradish sauce. Typically eaten with gefilte fish.


Compote
An Eastern European dessert made of stewed fruits, dried or fresh.


Cous cous
Moroccan dish of tiny semolina grains.





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Dafina (or d'fina)
Sephardic version of cholent.


Dayenu
"It is enough for us"--the refrain in a song in the Haggadah.







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Ess
Yiddish and German word for "eat."


Etrog
(Alternate spelling: Esrog) Hebrew word for citron, a rare citrus fruit that resembles a lemon (with coarser skin). Used in the festival of Sukkot.


Erev
(lit. "eve of") day preceding Shabbat or Festivals.








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Falafel
Middle Eastern fritter. Typically made with ground chick peas in Israel, but with ground fava beans elsewhere in the Middle East.


Fleischig
Yiddish word for meat, or meals containing meat ingredients.


Fress
Yiddish verb for overeating.










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Gedempte Flaisch
Literally, "potted meat." Refers to tough cuts of meat, such as brisket, that are braised and then cooked for hours to soften.


Gefilte fish
Literally, "stuffed fish." A mixture of ground fish--typically, pike, carp, and whitefish--that traditionally was stuffed back into a fish skin.


Gehakte
Yiddish word for "chopped," as in chopped liver.


Gehakte Leber
Chopped liver. A coarse version of pate de foie gras.


Glatt Kosher
Kosher meat inspected after slaughter and found free from the slightest imperfections. Also used to refer to establishments that strictly observe kashrut laws.


Greps
Yiddish word for "burp."


Gribenes
Crispy bits of fried chicken skin. Typically found in schmaltz.




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Haftarah
a passage from the Prophetic writings, read following the Torah reading in the synagogue.


Haggadah
(lit. "narration") the text that is recited at the Seder.


Halachah (lit. "the pathway")
the entire body of Jewish law; a sepecific law.


Hamantashen
Triangular pastries stuffed with jam, poppy seeds, or honey. Eaten on Purim to remind us of the villain Haman in the Purim story.


Haminados
Sephardic hard-boiled eggs colored a deep russet with onion peels. Traditionally served at the Passover seder to remind us of the circular nature of life.


Hallel (lit. "praise")
the 14th activity of the Seder--reciting the Hallel, Psalms of praise and thankgiving to G-d.


Hashem (lit. "The Name")
G-d.


Havdalah (lit. separation)
the blessings recited at the conclusion of Shabbat and Festivals, separating the holy day from the other days of the week.


Holishkes
Stuffed cabbage leaves.


Hummus
Mediterranean dip made of pureed chick peas and tahini.





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Kasha
Buckwheat groats. Now popularized as "health food." Commonly eaten in Eastern Europe.


Kashrut
System of Jewish dietary laws.


Ke'ara (lit. "plate")
the tray, plate or cloth on which are placed the three matzot and six foods for use during the Seder.


Kebab (Alternate spelling: kabob)
Chunks of marinated meat grilled on a skewer. Popular street food in Israel.


Ketz (lit. "the end")
the deadline for the end of the Exile.


Kezayit (lit. "like an olive")
a Halachic measurement, approx. 1 oz.


Kadesh (lit. "sanctify")
the first activity of the Seder--to recite the Kiddush.


Karpas (lit. "greens")
the vegetable, dipped in saltwater, eaten at the beginning of the Seder.


Kiddush (lit. "sanctification")
the sanctification of Shabbat and Festivals with a blessing recited over a cup of wine.


Kishke
Dish made of stuffed beef casings. Also used for stuffing in general.


Klipah (li. "husk")
the Kabbalistic term for evil, which is extraneous to, and concealing of, the kernel of good within


Knish
Small pastry typically stuffed with potatoes, kasha, meat, or other vegetables. May be deep-fried (Coney Island style) or baked.


Kosher
Literally, "fit." Refers to foods that meet the requirements of Jewish dietary laws. Click here for more information on Jewish dietary laws.


Kosher Salt
Coarse salt used to remove blood from meat in order to make it fit according to Jewish dietary laws.


Korech (lit. "wrap" and "make a sandwich")
the tenth activity of the Seder--to eat matzah and maroir combined in a sandwich.


Kreplach
Jewish version of wonton or ravioli. Simple dough stuffed with a mixture of ground meat--typically liver--and onions. Served floating in chicken soup or as a side dish.


Knaidlach
Yiddish word for matzo balls.


Krupnik
Polish word for barley soup.


Kubneh (Alternate spelling: Kubaneh)
Sweet Yemenite bread prepared for the sabbath and typically eaten with zhoug.


Kugel
Jewish version of a casserole, often with a pudding-like consistency. May be made with rice, noodles, vegetables, or potatoes.



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Latke
Crispy potato pancake fried in oil. Typically served for Hanukkah.


Lebneh (Alternate spellings: lebne, labne, labneh)
Home-made yogurt cheese common in the Middle East.


Lekach
Honey cake. Traditionally eaten on Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year) for a sweet year.


Leviyim
Levites, members of the tribe of Levi, who served in the Holy Temple.


Lokshen
Yiddish word for "noodles." Lox: Smoked and salted salmon.






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Ma'ariv
the evening prayer services.


Magid (lit. "telling")
the fifth activity of the seder--the telling of the story of the Exodus.


Mah Nishtanah (lit. "What Is Different?")
the "Four Questions" asked by the children at the Seder.


Malchut "Kingship"
the last of the ten sefirot (Divine Attributes)


Mandlen
Yiddish word for almonds.


Mandelbrodt
The Jewish version of biscotti. Crispy cookies with almonds.


Maror
bitter herbs.


Mashiach (lit. "the annointed")
the Messiah.


Matzah (pl. matzot)
unleavend bread.


Matzo
Unleavened bread eaten at Passover to remind the Jews of the haste with which they left slavery.


Matzo Balls (Alternate spellings: matzoh, matza, matzah)
Also called knaidlach. Round dumplings made of ground matzo meal, fat, and egg. Typically served in chicken soup or as a side dish for roasted meats.


Mayim acharonim (lit. "last water")
the practice, mandated by Torah law, to wash the tips of one's fingers at the conclusion of a meal.


Mevushal
Refers to wines that are rendered kosher by the process of boiling.


Midrash
the non-literal interpretation and homiletic teachings of the Sages, on Scripture.


Milchig
Yiddish word for dairy foods or meals with dairy ingredients.


Minchah
afternoon prayer service.


Mishnah
the codification of the Oral Law that forms the crux of the Talmud; a specific paragraph of that work.


Mitzrayim
Egypt


Mitzvah (pl. Mitzvot): "commandment"
the precepts of the Torah; also used to mean "good deed".


Motzi (lit. "take out" or "bring forth")
the blessing, thanking G-d "Who brings forth bread from the earth," recited before eating bread or matzah.


Musaf (lit. "additional")
additional prayer service held following the morning service on Shabbat and Festivals, commemorating the additional offerings brought in the Temple on these days.



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Nirtzah
"accepted".


Nissan
the Hebrew month in which Passover falls; mandated by the Torah to occur in the (beginning of) spring.


Nosh
Yiddish noun for a little bite to eat--there are no calories in a nosh, incidentally--or verb for the act of snacking.





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Omer
biblical measure (approx. 43 oz.); the barley offering from the spring harvest which was brought on the second day of Passover.

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Pareve (Alternate spelling: Parve)
Hebrew word for "neutral" foods that are neither meat nor dairy, such as fish, fruits, vegetables, and eggs.


Passover
Passover.



Perech/Parech
breaking labor.


Petcha

Calves' foot jelly.


Pita
Middle Eastern flat bread with a pocket. Typically used for sandwiches containing falafel.




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Rachtzah (lit. "washing")
the sixth activity of the seder--washing before eating the matzah.


Rugelach
Small pastries made from rich cream cheese dough and filled with jam, chocolate, honey, or nuts.



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Schav
A Russian soup with a pungent, tangy kick from its main ingredient, a sour grass called sorrell.


Seder (lit. "order")
the gathering and meal which takes place on the first two nights of Passover and follows a specific order.


Sefer Torah
Torah Scroll


Sefirat Haomer (lit. "the counting of the omer")
the period between the Festivals of Passover and Shavuot (the Torah commands to count 49 days period from the day on which the omer offering was brought in the Holy Temple--the second day of Passover--and to observe the Festival of Shavuot on the 50th day).


Schmaltz
Yiddish word for rendered chicken fat. Gives incomparable flavor--and cholesterol--to traditional dishes. May be served with gribenes.


Sephardic
Used to describe all Jews who are not from Eastern and Central Europe. Sepharad means Spain in Hebrew--thus, the term originally referred to Jews from Spain and their descendants who lived in Greece, Turkey, and other Mediterranean countries after the expulsion in 1492.


Shabbat (lit: "rest", "cessation [of work]")
the Sabbath; the divinely-ordained day of rest on the seventh day of the week.


Shabbat Hagadol (lit. "The Great Shabbat")
the Shabbat before Passover.


Shacharit (lit. "the dawning")
the morning prayer service.



Shehecheyanu (lit. "Who has made us live")
the blessing recited over eating new fruit, wearing new clothing, or performing a mitzvah for the first time that season.


Shechinah (lit. "indwelling", "immanence")
the Divine Presence; that aspect of the Divine which resides within, or is in anyway connected with, the created reality.


Shemoneh Esreh (lit. "eighteen")
the eighteen blessings which comprise the Amidah--the solemn, silently recited prayer that is the climax of the three daily services.


Shmurah matzah (lit. "watched" or "guarded" matzah)
Matzah which has been made from grain which was guarded from the time of either reaping or grinding to ensure that it never came into contact with water or other liquids, to prevent it from rising.


Shochet
Kosher butcher.


Shulchan Orech (lit: "set table")
the eleventh activity of the seder--eating the festive meal.


Siddur (lit. "ordering", "arrangement")
the prayer book.


Siyum (lit. "completion")
the celebration held upon completing the study of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud.


Soom soom (Alternate spelling: sum sum)
Hebrew word for sesame seeds.


Sufganiot
Israeli donuts typically eaten on Hanukkah.




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Tabbouleh (Alternate spelling: Tabouli)
Cracked wheat salad typically made with parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, and mint.


Tahini (Alternate spelling: Tehina)
Middle Eastern condiment made of ground sesame seeds. Common topping for falafel.


Torah (lit. "law", "instruction")
the Divine wisdom and will communicated to Moses and handed down through the generations; includes both the "Wriiten Torah" (the Tanach or "Bible") and the "Oral Torah" (the interpretation and exposition of the Written Torah, as recorded in the Talmud, the Torah commentaries, the Halachic works, the Kabbalah, etc.)


Trayf (Alternate spelling: treif)
Literally, "torn." Refers to un-kosher food.


Tzafun (lit. "hidden")
the twelfth activity of the seder--to eat the afikoman which has been hidden away since the beginning of the seder.


Tzedakah (lit. justice, righteousness)
charity.


Tzimmes
Literally "a fuss" in Yiddish. A medley of vegetables (typically root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnip, carrots) simmered with prunes or other dried fruit. Typically served at Rosh Hashanah for a sweet new year.






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Urchatz (lit: "and wash")
the second activity of the seder--washing one's hands before eating the karpas.




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Varnishkes
Bow-tie pasta (farfalle in Italian). Typically served with kasha.





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Yachatz (lit: "divide")
the fourth activity of the seder--breaking the middle matzah in two.


Yom Tov (lit. "a good day")
a festival on the Jewish calendar.


Yoich (Alternate spelling: Yuch)
Yiddish word for chicken soup.

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Zaatar
Israeli spice mixture used for seasoning meats and flat breads.


Zeroah (lit: "shank bone")
the first item on the seder plate, commemorating the Passover offering; can be any bone with a bit of meat--commonly used is a chicken neck.


Zhoug
Fiery Yemenite condiment made of ground hot peppers.

 

 

 

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