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How to cook a knaidel

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Matzo Balls (iStock)

The German-Yiddish word knaidel didn't stump Arvind Mahankali this time. 

Mahankali, 13, nabbed the title of Scripps National Spelling Bee champion on Thursday night, after losing two previous championships on German-derived words.

But like many, you may have wondered, what the heck does knaidel mean?

In its basic form, it means a small ball of unleavened dough.  But it is essentially a type of dumpling popular in Jewish cooking.  One type of knaidel most are familiar with is a matzo ball, commonly made of matzo meal, (unleavened wheat flour) chicken fat, and eggs.

You can also make them out of potatoes for a gluten-free version.

Mahankali told the AP that he'd never tried the Jewish comfort food.  So in honor of spelling bee whiz kid, make a bowl of matzo balls this weekend. 

Recipe: Matzo Ball Knaidel