So what is Kugel?
Kugel is a baked pudding or casserole, most commonly made from egg noodles (Lokshen kugel) or potato. It is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish, often served on Shabbat and Yom Tov.
The name of the dish comes from the Middle High German kugel meaning "sphere, globe, ball"; thus the Yiddish name likely originated as a reference to the round, puffed-up shape of the original dishes (compare to German Gugelhupf—a type of ring-shaped cake). Nowadays, however, kugels are often baked in square pans.
Yerushalmi or Jerusalem kugel
The first kugels were made from bread and flour and were savory rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles or farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency common in today's dessert dishes.
In Poland, Jewish homemakers added raisins, cinnamon and sweet curd cheese to noodle kugel recipes. In the late 19th century, Jerusalemites combined caramelized sugar and black pepper in a noodle kugel known as "Yerushalmi kugel" or "Jerusalem kugel," which is a commonly served at Shabbat kiddushes and is a popular side dish served with cholent during Shabbat lunch.
In Romania, this dish is called Budinca de Macaroane/Paste Fainoase (Maccaroni/Pasta Pudding), and it is a traditional Romanian dish. In certain villages throughout the country it is known as "Baba Acolo". It is made with or without cheese, but it most always includes raisins.
1 lb Egg Noodles
1 cup Sugar
1 lb Cottage Cheese
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 cup white or crimson raisins or other dried fruit but chopped
3 cups milk
1 pt Sour Cream
¼ lb Melted Butter
½ cup cornflakes, crumbled
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
Cook noodles according to package instructions.
Mix all pudding ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a large pan and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 3 hours. Consistency will be loose before refrigeration but will set when chilled. When ready to bake, mix topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over pudding.
Dot with butter and bake at 350 for 1 and a half hours or until golden brown on top.