For years, I have made matzo balls for my family but been unable to eat them due to my issues (or rather my stomach’s issues) with gluten. Matzo balls have a really special place in my memories, though, thanks to having the world’s most amazing Jewish grandmother. This year, I decided to give some gluten-free ones a try, figuring that if they didn’t work, well, no harm, no foul.
Before I started trying to make them, I started combining ingredients in my head and on paper, which is often how new recipes start. I thought that potato dumplings, which are kind of reminiscent of matzo balls, was a good place to start. From there, it was figuring out flour blends to help them come closer to resembling matzo balls, plus a combination of baking powder to make them fluff up a bit, and fats to add smoothness and richness.
It worked! You cook these suckas up just like regular matzo balls. And they are full of dumpling deliciousness!
Okay, speaking of matzo balls, they are fussy, tender little fellas and gluten-free ones are only moreso. Be sure to not rush through any of the stages (like refrigerating) and be sure to give them ample space to boil (as opposed to overcrowding) to result in dumplings that are still intact. Thus, as with regular matzo balls, this is a multi-step process, though if you happen to have a giant soup pot, you could probably cook them all together and make it a quicker process. Otherwise, factor that they will need to be boiled in two stages into your timing.
These balls are a little denser and chewier than my grandmother’s fluffy matzo balls, but they needed to be hardy to hold up. They are still delicious and perfect. I hope you enjoy! Happy Passover!
5 cups Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and diced (for me, this was three large Yukon potatoes) 6 tablespoons JUST Eggs 2 tablespoons olive oil 1¼ cups quinoa flour, plus extra for dusting your hands 1 cup chickpea flour ¼ cup plus two tablespoons potato starch 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 64-ounces vegan chickenless broth (I usedOcean’s Halo, which was great!) 1 large carrot, peeled, then grated or peeled in short strips 4 tablespoons fresh dill, minced (reserving a little for sprinkling on each serving) Fresh pepper
Heat a large pot of water to boil. Add the diced potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Drain.
Place the boiled potatoes in a large bowl. Mash the potatoes, JUST Eggs and olive oil with a potato masher. Add the quinoa flour, chickpea flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt and pepper, mixing with a large spoon until smooth and combined. It will be thick and sticky but never fear!
Once it is smooth, put it in a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
Start a large soup pot to boil, filled ¾ of the way with water and salt generously. Have the lid nearby.
When ready to make, have a baking sheet nearby, and generously dust your hands with quinoa flour. Scoop up some dough, about the size of a large golf ball. It will be squishy so you won’t be able to pack it together much, but generally shape into a ball. Place it on the baking sheet and continue forming balls. You will likely need to re-dust your hands with flour. You may have to occasionally wash off your hands and dry before re-dusting if they get too sticky. I made 14 balls but your mileage will vary.
When the water is boiling, carefully lower about half the balls into the pot. If you overcrowd your pot, they will fall apart. I was able to do this in two rounds. After placing the first balls in, place the rest of the balls in the fridge until it is their turn. Watch your pot, and when the balls rise (after about two or three minutes), lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
About halfway through the cooking time, start your broth. Heat medium-high, add the carrots and dill; very, very gently, scoop the floating matzo balls from the pot of boiling water one at a time and place in the pot with broth. Lower the temperature of the broth so it’s just gently heating.
Cook the remaining matzo balls in the large pot of boiling water. I started with fresh salted water for the second round, which adds to the time but increases your likelihood of having balls that are undamaged.
Gently scoop the balls out of the soup pot along with the broth. Sprinkle on any reserved dill and grate on some fresh pepper.