It’s Always Deli Time at Mamaleh’s in Cambridge, MA

It’s Always Deli Time at Mamaleh’s in Cambridge, MA

Episode 34



Alon Munzer

Co-Owner of Mamaleh’s Delicatessen & Restaurant


It’s Always Deli Time at Mamaleh’s 

Whenever I’m in the Boston area to visit with family one of my new favorite restaurant stops is Mamaleh’s Deli in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I made a promise to myself after my visit in December that whenever my next trip to Boston would take place I would find a way to be more than a diner at Mamahleh’s. My goal was to manage to get an interview with one of the co-owners so I could get the inside story on this wonderful place. I managed to do just that in March. I had the opportunity to talk with Alon Munzer and it was great fun. Alon was generous with his time and was a wonderful host and even better we had a great conversation about Mamaleh’s. I hope you enjoy the episode and if you get a chance to stop in let them know you heard about their deli from The Big Schmear! I also encourage you to try out his family recipe for Chopped Liver. 


Mamaleh’s Chopped Liver

Mamaleh's Chopped Liver


  • 1 lb chicken livers
  • 1/3 lb carmelized onions a little burnt is OK!
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 2.5 oz Hellman's Mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Clean livers, always making sure to keep them cold. Toss with schmaltz (or canola oil) and salt & pepper. Sauté until just barely cooked through (a little bit pink in the center) remove and cool in refrigerator.
    2) Cook onions in same pan, caramelize them until soft. (A little burnt edges are encouraged by Alon)
    3) Once onions and livers are cold mix together and run through a meat grinder (or hand chop until desired consistency) mix in mayo and salt & pepper until proper taste and texture. Eat with challah, bagel chips or crackers. 

Mamaleh's Chopped Liver

If you are a fan of chopped liver in any way — you have to try this recipe.  Alon and I talked about the importance of the putting together a deli menu. It’s clear that you need to consider the choices that are always available and those that come and go depending on the Jewish holiday celebration calendar. I asked him what some of the first items were that appeared on the menu and he said that it was important to him to include something from his own family background to the restaurant. We felt it only made sense to include that recipe here for you to try. It’s the chopped liver recipe that originated with his grandmother, Shoshana Munzer (Sapta). So that tells you a few things – it is a family traditional food, it was made with love and it’s withstood the test of time and flavor – so give it a try. And a big thank you to Alon for sharing his story and this recipe. Please let me know what you think.


More on Dough with Challah Hub

More on Dough with Challah Hub

Episode 33


Guest: Sarah Klegman of Challah Hub

More on Dough with Challah Hub

I had a great time talking with Sarah Klegman, co-founder of Challah Hub. This is another virtual challah story taking place in Los Angeles. Sarah and I talked a lot about challah and about Sarah’s life outside of baking. At the very least you owe it to yourself to check out Challah Hub’s website for amazing photos of what’s possible with Challah. They are so generous with recipes, baking and braiding instructions and innovative ideas of what makes a great challah. Give the show a listen and check out their amazing vegan challah recipe they’ve shared with me.

The photo above is Sara Klegman and co-founder Elina Tilipman. Photo by Sally Claire.



The Original Vegan Challah – Challah Hub Style

The Original Vegan Challah


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkt rapid rise yeast
  • 3-4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
  • flour extra flour for kneading and braiding

Egg Replacement Mixture

  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil


  • 1. Empty your yeast packet into a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and pour 1 cup warm water over top and stir lightly. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes or so until bubbly and creamy. After that, add 2 tablespoons of veggie or coconut oil to the yeast mix in the same small bowl.
    2. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup sugar. Whisk well.
    3. Egg replacement time: In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons veggie or coconut oil, 3 tablespoons warm water and 2 teaspoons baking powder (it will fizz). Then, pour into your yeast bowl.
    4. Add the yeast and egg replacement mixtures to your bowl of dry ingredients, stirring as you pour.
    5. Mix dough with a spatula or wooden spoon, then get in there with your hands and knead until smooth.
    6. Add up to 1 cup additional flour until dough leaves the side of the bowl
    7. Coat the inside of a big bowl lightly with oil and drop your ball of dough inside.
    8. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise on your counter for 2 hours.
    9. After your dough has doubled in size, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface.
    10. Gently knead the dough to get out any big air bubbles, then braid as desired.
    11. Place your braided dough onto a lightly greased and foil - lined baking sheet.
    12. Cover with damp cloth and let rise 1 more hour.
    13. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees, and toss that bad boy inside for 26-32 minutes.
    14. Once it is evenly golden brown on top, take your challah out of the oven, place on a cooling rack.
    15. Do not cover. Allow to cool, then put it in your face.


Challah Baking Schedule
30 Min prep
2 Hours first rise
20 Min braiding
1 Hour second rise
25-35 Minutes oven time

Straight from the folks at Challah Hub: Bringing your challah to a dinner party? Never cover a hot challah! It’ll get soggy and sad. Transport uncovered on someone’s lap (we call this person the Guardian of the Challah), or wait until it totally cools, then wrap in foil.


Mexican Jewish Flavors: Masa Madre

Mexican Jewish Flavors: Masa Madre

Episode 32


Tamar Fasja Unikel & Elena Vazquez



Mexican Jewish Flavors: Masa Madre

It’s all about a very cool virtual bakery in Chicago’s PIlson neighborhood. The story starts with two college friends from Mexico City that discover they both like to bake. Fast forward a few years and they find each other a few years later in Chicago, both still baking. They decide to do this for real and start a company called Masa Madre. They sell their amazing and unique babkas, challahs and much more. Be sure to listen to their story on this episode. One of the perks of doing this podcast episode? I had the opportunity to sample a slice of still warm challah with Alicia’s Mexican Za’atar and olive oil. The bread melted in my mouth- a crisp flaky crust and a soft, ever so tasty middle. OMG! A special thank you to Chicago Magazine for the use of this great shot of Tamar and Elena in the kitchen.

Alicia’s Mexican Za’atar

Alicia's Mexican Za'atar


  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Anise seed
  • 1 Tbsp Dried hibiscus flower crushed
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 Tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon salt


  • Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a 300º for about 5-8 minutes. Toast sesame seeds separately. Grind the oregano, hibiscus flower, coriander, cumin, and anise seed until powdery. Add the salt, sesame seeds, and lemon salt. Store in an airtight container. 

This spice has a wonderful twist to the usual recipe for Za’atar. The flavor is different, see if you can guess why. Alicia’s Mexican Za’atar has a slight pink hue; a really fun plus.