17 April 2008

Happy Passover to readers!

A very happy holiday to all Tracing the Tribe's readers.

Whether you celebrate it as Passover, Pesach, Pessah, Pesaj or Santo Moises (as converso/anousim families do), it all begins this Saturday night.

As you gather to read the story of the Exodus, remember to discuss your own family history stories of immigration.

Enjoy your family's traditional favorites - Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Mizrahi - and try to pick up some new ones.

Our tradition is to have Ashkenazi chicken soup with matzo balls, followed by chopped liver, but the main courses are always Persian rice dishes with various khoreshts (stews). This year, I'm making green dill rice, as well as white rice, and the stews will be beef with eggplant and tomato and chicken with peach halves. I've already made my traditional Persian Pesach treats of badam-sukhte (literally "burned almonds," but actually toasted almonds covered in caramelized sugar).

Yesterday, I prepared the first step of my Persian halek (what we call charoset) by grinding all the nuts (equal amounts of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pistachio nuts and cashews) with golden raisins and lots of medjool dates, and flavored it with sweet wine, wine vinegar, pomegranate paste (rob-e-anar), pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, sugar. The container is sealed in the frig and the flavors are mellowing and marinating. On Friday, I'll mix in all the fruits (apples, banana, orange and various dried fruits) and let it continue to improve until the seder. We make a big bowl as we eat it all week long on matzo, rolled in romaine lettuce leaves, or as a filling for matzo bakhlava.

Continue with the old traditions, and add in a new custom from time to time, such as the wonderfully joyful Persian "Dayenu," where seder attendees whip each other (in fun) with spring onions (scallions) - the long green part, please, not the white bulbs, and definitely not with leeks (unless you like bruises!).

The blog will be slow for the next few days as there's just too much to prepare.


  1. Yes - Happy Passover!

    Are you willing to post some of these recipes, even after Pesach?

    They all sound great!

  2. Anonymous4:02 AM

    Happy Passover to you all