A taste of Passover recipes from around the globe
March 21st, 2013
09:15 AM ET
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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:
Moroccan Fish
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)
Lemon juice
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.

Got a favorite family Passover recipe or tradition? Be a mensch and share it in the comments below.


Stephanie Izard's favorite matzoh toppers
Seder meal 101: From matzo to lamb bones

Read more about Passover on CNN Belief

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Filed under: Holiday • Holidays • Make • Passover • Passover • Recipes

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Jenny Rodgers

    Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!


    June 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  2. Mazeltuph


    My aunt makes the WORST passover food.

    BLECH!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was nasty-ass dried up chicken and 'meat' and potatoes that looked like dicks. Yuck yuck yuck yucklyuck yuck!!!

    March 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  3. rad666

    Funny how there is a meal to celebrate the passover of God's Angel of Death that killed the first born male of non-believers.

    I bet parents don't teach their children that fact.

    March 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • VladT

      Actually, they do. It's referred to as the 10th plague, genius

      September 10, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • Riv

      Now here's a guy who clearly knows nothing about the Jewish holiday. God didn't kill the first born because they were "nonbelievers". The Egyptians were punished because they enslaved and tortured the Israelites for a few hundred years. And the Seder isn't about glorifying the death of the Egyptians. It's celebrating that the Jewish nation was freed from slavery. And yes, we do teach our children that the Egyptians were punished for beating and murdering Jews.

      April 13, 2014 at 7:52 am |
  4. Cindy

    "All over the world, people gather to celebrate Passover – the holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt" That is SO not true. Passover is not a holiday, it is a solemn observance of the night God passed over the Israeli people as He killed the Egyptian firstborn (people and animals alike). It is the Feast of Unleavened Bread (7 days beginning the day after Passover day) which commemorates fleeing from Egypt and slavery. Unfortunately, the Jewish faith is steeped in man's traditions rather than God's laws. Don't believe me? Do your research. Jews do not even observe Passover on the correct day, they do it one day late and lump it in with Unleavened Bread, which is foolish. Jewish leaders know better, they just choose not to rock the boat.

    March 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Joshua

      Oh boy, here's the know-it-all who thinks she knows it all. Uh, the Paschal sacrifice is on the 14th of Nisan, that is correct. This is what is Biblically referred to as Chag haPesach. And true, what we call the festival of Pesach is Biblically referred to as "Chag haMatzot". And yes, the 10th Plague was on the night of the 15th of Nisan. HOWEVER, what know-it-all Cindy fails to recognize is that EVERYTHING is tied in! And oh, without a functioning Temple, we cannot perform the Paschal offering, so DUH!!! She also fails to understand what the 7th day of Pesach, known as Shiv'ah shel Pesach, commemorates, and that is the crossing of the Sea of Reeds (corrupted by English translations as "the Red Sea"). Like I said, everything tied in with the same meaning. Otherwise, what does Matzah mean by itself, know-it-all Cindy?

      March 24, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  5. fifi

    thank you for sharing those recipes. The fish- no thanks. But I'm going to try the turkey and the sweet potato's. Matzo, whats a matzo? Would somebody pls tell me!

    March 23, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  6. ohioan

    The sweet potato roll up thing sounds delicious. I might have to try that sometime.

    March 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  7. VladT

    I remember every year at my Aunt's house, she would make matzo ball soup from the package. I enjoy it, so no worries, except she was a health nut and never use the mix or salt. It was just a tasteless broth in hot water broth. Disgusting.

    Fortunately, my dad would make some the next day

    March 22, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  8. buongiorno

    CORRECTION! oops in nuts.

    March 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  9. buongiorno

    nice posts amazed at some of the ideas can't wait to try the sweet potatoes rolled im nuts

    March 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  10. don

    kirkewilliams i guess you don't know a shit about palestinians.......
    you are a joke

    March 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  11. kirkewilliams

    "Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt."

    Now it's the Palestinian people's escape from slavery in Israel.

    March 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      They have the opposite problem. They're free to leave, but no other countries want them.

      March 22, 2013 at 2:53 am |
      • Paul Urban

        Exactly. No one wants the Palestinians which is how they ended up in Israel. They actually originated from the Saudi Peninsula. Read Alan Dershowitz'z book, "A Case for Israel." He talks all about the origins of "Palestinians" and how they multiply like rabbits and many are poor and under or unemployed. They want land that was never theirs and have outgrown the land that they have because they have such large families. Stop feeling sorry for them. They keep sending rockets from Gaza into Israel. They are nothing but troublemakers.

        March 24, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • VladT

      Good one.

      Can I make an irrelevant comment based on incorrect topical humor too?

      March 22, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • meifumado

      Very ignorant.

      Now do us a favor and go martyr yourself.

      March 22, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Alias

      To much, too fast kirke.
      just go with bacon jokes to warm them up.

      March 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • paul232

      Oh yea, the Jews really want them there....lol.

      March 24, 2013 at 6:48 am |
  12. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Know what's good? Pilot Bread

    March 21, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • golfsteveinVA

      Here is the problem. The article is about Passover food. Pilot Bread has leavening, and during the period of the holiday, all products must be unleavened.

      March 22, 2013 at 9:34 am |
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