Since being home, my family and I have done lots of cooking. From new Pinterest recipes to ancient, coveted family recipes, we have truly run the cooking gamut. Recently, we started planning our Passover Seder, which involves digging through even more old cook books and hand written recipes. There are, of course, a few family favorites that we cycle back to year after year because "It just would not be (fill in basically any holiday) without them". One of those favorites is a grandmother-approved matzo ball recipe (unofficially ranked #1 Passover food by Spoon). 

Every spring, both my mom and my grandma pull out these old-timey recipe cards labeled "Mavim's Knaidlach". The cards are the epitome of a well-loved, many times used, family recipe - covered in ingredients from matzo balls past, yellowed with old age, and ripped from use after use. On top of all that, the hand writing is legible only to the most trained eye (ie my mom or my grandma). Naturally, I assumed that Mavim was a distant grandmother whose memory we honored every year by bringing back her famous matzo ball recipe

But this year, digging through all those cookbooks, my mom and I found a recipe titled "Mavim's Knaidlach". Our secret family recipe is not one from a beloved grandma who cooked decades ago, but from Jennie Grossinger, author of "The Art of Jewish Cooking" circa 1958. Since that delicious matzo ball recipe is not in fact a secret family recipe shared only with the closest of kin, I thought I would share it here. It may not be a one-of-a-kind confidential recipe, but it sure does taste like it!

Mavim's Knaidlach

  • Prep Time:1 hr 20 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 50 mins
  • Servings:24
  • Medium


  • 4 eggs yolks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp grated onion
  • 2 T oil
  • 4 egg whites stiffly beaten
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal
Lily Trossman
  • Step 1

    Beat together the egg yolks, salt, cayenne pepper, onion, and oil until creamy.

    Lily Trossman
  • Step 2

    Fold in the egg whites, then gradually fold in the matzo meal.

    Lily Trossman
  • Step 3

    Chill mixture for 1 hour.

    Lily Trossman
  • Step 4

    Dampen hands and shape the mixture into 1/2 inch spheres.

    Lily Trossman
  • Step 5

    Bring pot of water to a boil, then carefully lower the matzo balls into the water one at a time (this should be done in batches or in multiple pots so the matzo balls are not overcrowded); Cover and let cook for 30 minutes.

    Lily Trossman

So no - these matzo balls are not a secret family recipe. But they are still homemade, they still remind me of my family, and they are, without fail, still delicious. Enjoy them in a chicken soup, a vegetable based soup, or on their own!