Grandma Mala's Veggie Patties on a floral china plate with a red silk scarf in the background

Grandma Mala’s Veggie Patties

My Grandma Mala’s veggie patties are savory and crisp with a delightfully cruciferous flavor that’s enhanced simply with just the right amount of salt and pepper. It’s a recipe with only a handful of ingredients, but the way they come together makes the patties truly something special, and not just because they’re one of my family’s precious recipes that survived the Holocaust. They’ve always been a staple in my Grandma’s household, as they now are in mine. In fact, they’re a popular dish with my husband in particular. He’s a major potato enthusiast, but he always says that he’d rather have Grandma Mala’s veggie patties over potatoes sides any day, so that’s saying a lot.

Because of its history, this recipe is one that I hold very close to my heart. It was taught to my Grandma Mala by her mom, my Great-Grandma Esther. Grandma Esther, as I call her, perished in a gas chamber at Auschwitz at 42 years old, but she had so much life in her. She was a loving mother, spectacular visual artist, intuitive cook, dedicated businesswoman, pristine homemaker, and she had a wisdom beyond her years. She had a good head on her shoulders, and a big heart bursting with love and pride. Her spark of life was snuffed out, but her recipes remain. They are the cherished links to my family’s past, and to the dreamed future that never materialized. When you make these veggie patties, and you recreate the tastes and smells that wafted through Grandma Mala’s childhood home, you’ll be doing the mitzvah (good deed) of honoring my Great-Grandma Esther’s life and legacy.

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Fill a large steamer or pot with water and bring to a boil. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower until fork-tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Let the vegetables cool until they’re room temperature, about 15 minutes. It’s important to let them cool down or they will cook the eggs.

Using a potato masher, mash the broccoli and cauliflower.

Add the matzah meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and mix until combined.

Add the eggs, and mix again until fully combined.

Heat a skillet filled with oil, about ½ inch high, on medium-high heat. Form the mixture into patties (the ones shown are about the size of my palm, but you can make them any size you’d like). Once the oil is rippling from the heat, place as many patties in the skillet as will fit, leaving enough room between them to let any steam escape from the pan.

Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and place onto a wire rack to let the oil drip off, or place onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the patties.

Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of salt on top, if desired.

Grandma Mala's Veggie Patties on a floral china plate with a red silk scarf in the background

Grandma Mala’s Veggie Patties

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
My Grandma Mala's veggie patties are savory and crisp with a delightfully cruciferous flavor that's enhanced simply with just the right amount of salt and pepper. It's a recipe with only a handful of ingredients, but they are truly something special, and not just because they're one of my family's precious recipes that survived the Holocaust.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Ashkenazi, Ashkenazi Jewish, Eastern European, Jewish, Vegetarian
Servings 25 patties

Equipment

  • Potato masher

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb broccoli, leaves removed
  • 1 lb cauliflower, leaves removed
  • 2 cups matzah meal
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • avocado oil, for frying

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large steamer or pot with water and bring to a boil. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower until fork-tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Let the vegetables cool until they're room temperature, about 15 minutes. It's important to let them cool down or they will cook the eggs.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Add the matzah meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and mix until combined.
  • Add the eggs, and mix again until fully combined.
  • Heat a skillet filled with oil, about ½ inch high, on medium-high heat.
  • Form the mixture into patties (the ones shown are about the size of my palm, but you can make them any size you'd like). Once the oil is rippling from the heat, place as many patties in the skillet as will fit, leaving enough room between them to let any steam escape from the pan.
  • Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and place onto a wire rack to let the oil drip off, or place onto a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the patties.
  • Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of salt on top, if desired.
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