The Ashkenazi Synagogue is located in the neighborhood of Beyoğlu in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the only currently active Ashkenazi synagogue in Istanbul that is open to visits and prayers. (iStock)

Turkish Haroset

Haroset from Turkey is sweeter and zestier than its Ashkenazic counterpart.

On the Passover seder plate, haroset symbolizes the mortar used by slaves in Egypt.

Reprinted with permission from The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 


2 oz (60 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 - 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (optional)

1 cup (150 g) raisins

Juice and grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 lb (250 g) dates, pitted

2 sweet apples weighing 1/2 lb (250 g), peeled and cut into small pieces

1 cup (250 ml) sweet red Passover wine


Put all the ingredients except the sugar and the walnuts together in a saucepan and cook on very low heat until the mixture is soft and mushy and the liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally. Add sugar to taste. The amount will depend on the sweetness of the other ingredients. Blend to a paste in the food processor. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with walnuts.

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VIDEO: How to Make Ashkenazi Haroset

One of the most popular ways that North American Jews enjoy haroset.