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By Claudia Roden

Published 1986

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This is my mother’s recipe for a traditional Jewish Passover date and raisin paste which, according to tradition, symbolizes the cement used for building and the hope that Jews will continue to build. To the Jews of Egypt, the colour and texture of harosset are reminiscent of the rich, red Nile silt.


  • 250 g (8 oz) pitted dates
  • 250 g (8


Finely chop the dates and raisins. Put them in a bowl with about 1 tumbler water or enough to cover, and leave them to soak overnight. The following day bring them to the boil in the same water and simmer over very low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the fruit burning, and squashing it to a smooth, thick paste against the sides of the pan. No sugar is required as the fr