Kugel is a baked Jewish pudding or casserole most commonly made from egg
noodles or potatoes, served as a side dish or a dessert.
Left: Kugel made
from egg noodles.
The name of the dish comes from the Germanic root meaning
"ball" or "globe", thus the Yiddish name likely
originated as a reference to the round, puffed-up shape of the original dishes.
However nowadays kugels are often baked in square
The first kugels were made from bread and flour and were savory rather than
sweet. About 800 years ago, cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with
noodles or farfel (small pellet-shaped noodles).
Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk
created a custard-like consistency which is common in today's dessert dishes. In
Poland, Jewish homemakers added raisins, cinnamon and sweet farmer's cheese to
noodle kugel recipes.
Savory kugel may be based on potatoes, matzah (a cracker-like
flatbread made of white plain flour and water), cabbage, carrots,
zucchini, spinach or cheese.
Kugels are a mainstay of festive meals in Ashkenazi Jewish (Jews of Eastern
European descent) homes, particularly on the Jewish Sabbath and other Jewish
A similar Belarusian dish is