Pesach Recipes: Tell Us Your Favorite!


Pesach Recipes:  Tell Us Your Favorite!

Pesach has come upon us, and while it has always been recognized as the Jewish Festival of Freedom, today its appeal goes beyond that because of intermarriage and ecumenical sedarim.  Seder in Hebrew means "order," because 6 symbolic foods are served in order.  While feasting on these foods, the Haggadah is read, which tells the story of the exodus out of Egypt.  Haggadah in Hebrew means "telling."   I have hosted ecumenical sedarim, with both Muslim and Christian guests.  The only modification I had to make to the seder was that I could not serve wine, because alcohol consumption is not approved by Muslims and certain Protestant Christian sects.  But all could identify with the story in the Haggadah, because the exodus is mentioned in the Bible, and Moses is mentioned in the Qu'ran 136 times.  I did not start celebrating Pesach and having a seder until adult years.  I was raised in foster care, but like all foster children, I wanted to know my roots.  Well, my father was a Hungarian Calvinist, and my mother was a Sephardic Jew.  So that lead me to have a strong interesting in the Sephardic cuisine.  Two of my favorite recipes for the Pesach seder are of Sephardic origin.  They are Sephardic charoset and huevos hamidados.  Here are the recipes for both of them:

Sephardic charoset:

1 cup dried figs

1 cup raisins

1 cup pitted medjool dates

1 cup almonds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

3 tablespoons pomegranate juice

Mixed up all of the ingredients in a food processor.

The charoset is served on the matzah (unleavened bread) during the seder.

Huevos Hamidados:

Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Line a casserole dish with dried onion skins.

Place up to 1 dozen eggs in the dish.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ground coffee over the eggs

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Pour water over the eggs until they are just covered.

Cover the dish, and place in the oven for 8 hours.

So obviously, you would want to make this dish the day before the seder.  But this represents the roasted eggs, that are one of the six symbolic foods served at the seder.

My personal preference for wine is Chianti Classico, a kosher wine imported from Italy.  This goes along well with a Sephardic seder, for Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, came from a Sephardic family in Venice.  But irrespective of your background or if you have not celebrated a seder before, or maybe once before, it is a wonderful experience.  The Dalai Lama was a guest at an ecumenical seder, when he was in Washington, D.C.  So if you have not celebrated one before, hopefully you will get the chance.  Happy Passover!

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Comment by Tim Upham on March 29, 2013 at 6:58am

The interesting thing about al-Andalus is that they resurrected the medical teachings of Hippocrates.  When the Sephardim arrived in the Ottoman Empire, they had a 100% monopoly in the medical profession.  Which led to the legend of the superior Jewish doctor.  But the legend went on into 1952, when Joseph Stalin had his notorious Doctors Plot in the Soviet Union.  During that time (1952 to 1954) numerous Yiddish writers and actors were executed.  It is ironic how the arts paid, because of resurrecting classical Greek knowledge.

Comment by Libby and Len Traubman on March 29, 2013 at 6:41am

Tim, thank you for your generous insights and also window to your own life.  Oh, yes, Al Andalus centuries of cooperation and translating Greek wisdom into Arabic was a key to European enlightenment.  Without Al Andalus of the Muslims, Christians, and Jews,, Greek insights would have been lost and so would the possibility for the Europen awakening.  Let us rebirth that kind of collaboration that dignifies all of us.  Thanks, Tim, for adding your own increment.

Comment by Tim Upham on March 29, 2013 at 6:34am

The Eretz Shalom movement collected massive quantities of chametz (leavened bread), and gave it to Palestinian families in the West Bank.  Which shows how Israelis and Palestinians can assist each other during Pesach.  The recipes you mention sounds fantastic.  I have numerous times in my travels been invited to Feast of Eid celebrations.  Fortunately, there is no text to read during the Feast of Eid celebration, but I have collected some beautiful haggadot, and one of them is a facsimile of the Sarajevo Haggadah.  I have been on-line today with Muslim historical blogs, and have told them about the strong Jewish influence in al-Andalus, and how this laid the foundations of the Sephardim, who after they were expelled from Spain, were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Beyazid II, who said "Spain's loss will be my gain."  My Sephardic roots do not go back to Turkey, but to Romania, which at that time was a part of the Ottoman Empire.

Comment by Libby and Len Traubman on March 29, 2013 at 6:02am

Some Passover narrative and foods are among many others in PALESTINIAN & JEWISH RECIPES FOR PEACE -- 100 illustrated pages of recipes for the table and relationship building -- described at    Please enjoy!!!


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