This modern twist on the traditional Charoset recipe for your Passover Seder,was created by my new friend Jennifer Abadi, author of a wonderful new cookbook, A Fistful of Lentils . Jennifer’s passion for carrying on her family’s Syrian Jewish tradition is evident within the 125 recipes that she shares with us.
Upon reading that Jennifer’s recipes were inspired by her grandmother Fritzie Abadi A’H I realized that Jennifer and I have a connection. Five years ago, I set out to produce a coffee table book documenting the artwork of 200 of our communities artists of which all of the proceeds were donated to Magen David Yeshivah in Brooklyn.
“Our Art”- A collection of the Artists of the Syrian Jewish Community.
Guess which artist’s work is on the first page? None other than Fritzie Abadi A’H’ herself!
The quote on the page, as told to me 5 years ago by Mrs. Luna Sutton (who recently passed away in her late 90’s and who bought the painting from Fritzie 50 years ago), is,
“When Fritzie Abadi painted these in the 1920’s, it was said that she was inspired by the strong features of the typical Syrian woman that immigrated to America at the time.”
So, you can see that in her own way, Jennifer’s grandma Fritzi was also trying to preserve memories of her heritage!
You should also know that Fritzi’s father Chacham Matloub Abadi was a great Rabbi of the Syrian community in the early 1900’s, but that is another story…..
Hope you enjoyed that little tidbit of info!
Moroccan Charoset “Truffles” with Dates, Raisins, and Walnuts, Rolled in Cinnamon
photograph by April Selditch
“Here they are!! I rolled the Moroccan Charroset Truffles in three flavors: cinnamon, crushed almond and coconut.
They are so delicious! Yep, I tasted one. April. “
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 6 large Medjool dates or 10 regular-size dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dark raisins
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sweet Passover wine, such as Manischewitz
1 box of matzah sheets or tea size matzahs
Cinnamon (for dusting the outside)
1. Place the walnuts and almonds in the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, but not into a meal-like consistency (about 30 seconds).
2. Add the dates and raisins and combine in the food processor until a thick paste is formed.
3. Add one tablespoon of the wine at a time until the paste is smooth but not so sticky that you cannot roll it into small balls.
4. Taking approximately one tablespoon at a time, roll the thick paste into 1-inch balls* (if the paste is sticking too much to your hands, try dipping your hands in cold water and then rolling them) and sprinkle the outsides lightly with cinnamon. Store balls in a tightly covered plastic container in refrigerator for up to one week.
5. Dust the outsides of the balls with ground cinnamon. Serve charoset balls at room temperature on a platter, alongside tea matzahs (can also be served as a paste in one or two small dessert bowls, placed at either end of the seder table.)
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 (approximately 1 ½ cups or 24 one-inch balls)
*Note: If you wish to serve the mixture in the more common way of a paste in a bowl, then add a little more wine and warm water to make a bit smoother and softer for spreading.
©Jennifer Felicia Abadi
(Author of: A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen)