Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, starts on Dec. 22 this year. Like any good Jewish holiday — barring Yom Kippur — it’s all about the food on Hanukkah. It’s the perfect time to throw a festive dinner party for friends or family — who can say no brisket and latkes?
If you’re not familiar with Hanukkah, here’s what you need to know: The holiday commemorates the defeat of the ancient Greeks by the rebel Jewish Maccabees in around 200 BCE. After their victory, they wanted to rededicate the Jewish temple that had been damaged by the Greeks and relight the Menorah but only had enough oil for one day. That oil miraculously lasted for eight days, hence the length of the holiday and the tradition to eat fried foods (yes!).
With deep-frying a major tenet of the holiday, Hanukkah is a fan favorite and the perfect opportunity to invite your friends over and cook (or fry) a fabulous dinner. I’m talking latkes, of course, brisket, sufganiyot (Israeli jelly-filled doughnuts), homemade applesauce, matzah ball soup and more. Any of these 12 dishes would be the perfect addition to your Hanukkah party this year.
A version of this story was originally published December 2017.