Charoset for Passover Recipe

PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter with me, you know that I’ve been in the kitchen today cooking for Pesach – and I’ve definitely got a lot of company out there in internetland.

Next on my to-do list is the seder plate “stuff”. The eggs are boiled, the potatoes are in the pot now, so all that’s left is cleaning the romaine, grating the horseradish root (I leave that tear-jerker to DH) and … making my charoset.

I go with a traditional Ashkenazi recipe, loaded with tons of cinnamon. But there are many, many more recipes for charoset than the apple and walnut one that graces our table.  In fact, I would love to try the following Syrian charoset with dates – mmmmm!

This recipe was printed in the Kansas City Star this weekend as part of a lovely article about the Pesach traditions of a Syrian family that recently joined our shul.

The article is definitely worth a read if you have five  minutes to spare, but if not, at least you can enjoy Nouri and Claudette Levy’s charoset recipe.

Charoset (or Hilleq in Arabic)

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 pound dates, whole and pitted, or chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 head romaine lettuce leaves, cleaned and dried and cut into 2-inch pieces

Two days before usage, make the date syrup (called Silan in Arabic): Place dates in a large stock pot and fill with water 2 inches above the fruit. Allow to soak overnight.

Over the lowest heat possible, gently simmer dates in the soaking liquid for about 2 hours or until the fruit falls apart.

Allow date mixture to cool. Over a large saucepan, strain dates through a large piece of cheesecloth, squeezing out all liquid.

Liquid should be slightly cloudy but free of any date pieces.

Over the lowest heat possible, reduce date syrup until it is the consistency of maple syrup. This can take another 2 hours. Do not allow the date liquid to boil.

Remove from heat and allow date syrup to cool. Pour syrup into glass jars, cover tightly with lids and refrigerate.

On the night of the Seder: Right before eating, combine syrup (or Silan) and walnuts in a small bowl. Serve by placing a teaspoonful of Charoset on a romaine leaf.

What’s your family’s charoset recipe? Are you trying something new this year? Please share in the comments section

Looking for more Passover Recipes? Check them out here.


  1. Ronnie Fein says
  2. Thanks for posting Mara. After making myself crazy trying to find another nut-free recipe I made my usual, which I thought my family didn’t like, and this year they couldn’t get enough. Anyway, I know at this point people probably don’t need another Charoset recipe, but I figured I’d go ahead and post just in case someone needs a nut free recipe. I really like this one, it’s from a cookbook called “Kosher Kettle” that I found years ago on a bargain rack somewhere. I’ve modified it over the years to our taste.

    Turkish Charoseth (adapted from Kosher Kettle)
    2/3 cup golden raisins (I usually just use regular)
    Wine (I use about 1/3-1/2 cup wine or grape juice)
    1 pound dates, pitted
    1 orange, cut up (I used clementines this year)
    1 apple, peeled and cored (something firm and a little tart works best)

    Pulse everything in food processor to desired consistency.

    • wow! interesting recipe! ive never seen nut free chatoset! i shall try making it this pesach please gd.
      thank you!

  3. I’m also Syrian- this recipe is so easy – we’ve been having it every morning for breakfast with whole wheat matzo!! try it!

  4. stephanie says

    Mine is dried fruit, nuts, wine, honey, lemon zest and spices. It was based on a friend’s sephardic recipe. It changes a bit every year based on what is available at trader joes. Last year included hazelnuts, poppy seeds and dates.

    chop up and mix:
    golden raisins
    dried apricots
    dried cherries
    dried figs
    dried bananas
    minced lemon zest
    kosher red wine

    add and mix to taste:
    a dash of nutmeg
    a dash of clove

    I made 2.5 quarts for the first two nights (40+ people total) and came home with less than three cups left.

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