The Festival of the Lights… and treats!
Happy Chanukah, the Festival of Lights! What better city to celebrate this holiday than Hong Kong? Every year, I always look forward to seeing the buildings light up for the festive season. Back in the 80’s as a little girl I remember going on a tour with my grandfather to look at all the lights. He’d pack up our big video camera and we’d walk the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui looking at the lights, then ferry over to HK Island and do the same. It’s something we looked forward to every year!
Other traditions that have been very important in my upbringing as a Jewish girl in Hong Kong was the Chabad Giant Menorah Chanukah Lighting in Chater Garden. Where many of the Jewish community come together to celebrate in the joys of Chanukah.
The first lighting took place 31 years ago with only 40 people in attendance, last year over 1,000 people showed up and I’m sure this year we are expected to grow even more. It’s a tradition that has passed onwards to various Asian cities and a tradition I very much enjoy sharing with my family.
This year as we celebrate the 31st annual Menorah Lighting in Chater Garden, it’s sure to be a show stopper again with lots of latkes, doughnuts, games for kids, games for adults and endless fun to be had!
This holiday has amazing lighting, beautiful Chanukia (candelabra) that is lit for eight nights, playing with the dreidel and chocolate coins, receiving of gifts for each of the eight nights, and the tradition of feasting on fried foods such as latkes and doughnuts.
As tradition dictates, we dive into a feast of fried foods, staples such as Latkes and Doughnuts to represent taking back of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the miracle of when a day’s canister of oil burned for eight nights.There are many ways to enjoy this holiday without having the extra fatty oils pile on. So here’s my take on some of the traditional fares made healthier and nutritious without sacrificing on taste!
1 1/2 all purpose gluten-free flour
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 Tsp vanilla
3/4 cup of almond milk (or other non dairy milks)
1 cup of your favourite jam of choice
1/4 cup of water
Coconut Oil Melted
3/4 cups of coconut sugar
2 tbsp of cinnamon
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt
- In a separate bowl whisk melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk until smooth
- Combine dry and wet ingredients until well blended
- Using a Mini Muffin Tin, coat each muffin mould with melted coconut oil.
- Scoop batter into each muffin mould.
- Bake in pre-heated 172 degree Celsius oven for 15 mins.
- While doughnuts are baking combine jam and water and mix well over low heat on the stove until smooth.
- Prepare the topping by having one bowl for melted oil and one for sugar and cinnamon combination.
- When doughnuts are ready let them sit for 30 minutes to cool.
- Fill a piping bag with the jam mix.
- Using a tiny tip insert about a teaspoon worth into all doughnuts.
- When all are filled take the doughnuts and dip into melted coconut oil, then into the sugar mixture.
Baked Veggie Latkes
2 cups of cooked broccoli and cauliflower
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1 large egg
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
- Blend all ingredients with a S blade until the veggies and onion are in small pieces.
- Scoop out heaping tablespoonfuls into your hand and shape into rounds.
- Place on to lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, whilst flipping them half way through until they’re a golden colour.
- Take out when they are firm to touch.
Happy Chanukah, mamas!