Taste of Passover around the globe
Families from Israel, Estonia and India share favorite recipes
All over the world, people gather to celebrate Passover - the holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt. For seven or eight days (depending on where you live), families and friends come together for festive seder meals packed with ritual foods and a few dietary restrictions (for instance, no leavened grains).
And while many traditions remain the same the world over, favorite regional recipes can bring communities closer together. Here, families from Israel, Estonia and India share a few of their favorites, courtesy of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, to make your celebration a little larger in spirit.
Appetizer From Israel:
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Tachvilian from Beit Shemesh, Israel (serves 4)
4 slices tuna or Nile perch (if available)
2-3 ripe tomatoes
Salt (for marinating fish and for sauce)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chicken-flavored (meatless/"pareve") soup mix
2-3 cups boiled water, plus more boiled water if using tuna
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into wide strips
1 long chili pepper, preferably dry, cut into wide strips
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
About 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon sweet red paprika.
Sprinkle salt and lemon juice over fish and let marinate for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare sauce by peeling the tomatoes and placing them in a wide pot. Add salt, turmeric and soup mix and bring to a boil.
Mash cooked tomatoes (can use a potato masher), then add 2-3 cups boiled water to pot. Bring sauce to a simmer.
Rinse fish: if using tuna, rinse it first with boiling water and then with tap water; if using Nile perch, rinse it with tap water. Place fish in sauce in a single layer, then place chopped coriander, pepper strips and chopped garlic on top of fish. Bring fish to a boil.
In the meantime, thoroughly combine the oil and sweet paprika in a separate dish and add this mixture to fish. After fish has boiled for 10 minutes, reduce flame to simmer. Simmer fish about another 30 minutes.
Serve fish with sauce, hot or at room temperature.
Entrée From Estonia:
Turkey with Matzah Stuffing
Recipe courtesy of Larisa Simonova from Tallinn, Estonia
1 large turkey
For the stuffing:
10 pieces of matzah
1 1/2 cups of white wine
vegetable oil (for frying onions)
2 medium-sized onions, cubed
2 tablespoons of soup mix
1 stalk of celery, diced
10 rosemary twigs
1/4 to 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
For the basting oil:
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of mustard
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Clean turkey thoroughly.
Soak matzah in a dish with the white wine, until soft.
Fry the onions until the color is golden. Mix the onions together with matzah, then add the celery, rosemary and walnuts.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix olive oil, mustard, black pepper and paprika in separate dish and then smear on turkey using your hands. Stuff turkey with the matzah stuffing, placing any additional stuffing under the turkey.
Cover with foil and roast for at least 3 hours, turning it from time to time, until it gets tender and golden.
Dessert From India:
Rolled Ratalu (Sweet Potato) with Nuts
A specialty of the Bene Israel community; recipe courtesy of Rosy Solomon Moses of Mumbai, India
1 lb of sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons of mashed dates
1/4 cup of crushed almonds, pistachios and cashews
Boil sweet potatoes with a little salt. When tender, peel and mash potatoes and add the mashed dates. Mix and create small balls. Roll in crushed nuts and serve.
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