An exotic Yemenite charoset recipe (or Yemenite haroset recipe) will add intrigue to any Passover / Pesach Seder. A Yemenite charoset recipe will usually include figs, dates, and many exotic spices that are available where the Yemenite-Jewish family lives in Yemen. In addition, different Yemenite charoset recipes will contain variations in quantities of the spices and variations in the kinds of fruits added to the Yemenite charoset recipe. For many centuries, Yemenite-Jewry was considered one of the purest forms of Judaism. Since Yemenite Jews were uninfluenced by other non-Jewish communities and lived unto themselves for many centuries, practicing their version of Judaism uninterrupted since the 1st century B.C.E., their version of Judaism was similar to the Judaism that was practiced in late Temple times in Israel.

Yemenite charoset (also spelled: Yemenite charoses, Yemenite haroset, Yemenite charoseth, Yemenite haroseth, and Yemenite haroses) usually contains many ingredients. A Yemenite charoset recipe will contain fruits and spices native to Yemen, and different amounts of each ingredient will be present in different Yemenite charoset recipes. There are cooked and uncooked versions of Yemenite charoset recipes. The following Yemenite charoset recipe contains dates, figs, and spices such as coriander, ginger, and cayenne pepper, typical fruits and spices that are found in Yemenite charoset recipes for the Passover / Pesach festival.

As mentioned, Yemenite Jews follow a form of Judaism that is considered by many scholars to be the purest form of Judaism since Yemenite Jews were untouched by the influences of other cultures for centuries and so they continued to practice Judaism as it was practiced in the 1st century B.C.E. in Israel until Sephardic Jews from Syria and the Ottoman Empire arrived in Yemen after the start of the 17th century C.E. to bring printed Sephardic prayer books to the Yemenite Jews, who until then, had their own handwritten prayer book, called the "Tikhlal". There are three groupings of Yemenite Jews: the Baladi, Shami, and Maimonideans or "Rambamists" (followers of the 12th century C.E. Jewish scholar and physician Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon or Moses Maimonides, also known by his acronym, the "Rambam", who was born in Spain and lived in both Spain and Egypt). The Maimonideans are close in philosophy to the Baladi Jews and so are considered a type of Baladi Jew. The "Dor Daim" ("generation of knowledge" in Hebrew) was another Maimonidean group created in the early 20th century and served as a sub-group of the original Maimonideans. The Dor Daim's goal was to bring Yemenite Jewry back to the original Maimonidean method of understanding Judaism that existed in pre-1600's Yemen. The Baladi Jews were originally Maimonidean, but after Syrian-Sephardic Jews brought the Jewish Kabbalistic mystical book known as the Zohar to Yemen after the 1600's, the Baladi Jews modified their liturgy to be a compromise between Maimonidean philosophy and the Kabbalistic philosophy of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the latter which was followed for the most part by the Shami Jews after they came into contact with the Syrian-Sephardic Jews after 1600.

Yemenite Charoset Recipe (Active Work and Preparation Time: 15 minutes) (Makes 1 1/2 cups)

One way of making a unique presentation of this dessert is by rolling the charoset into 1-inch balls and dropping the balls into 8 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate. Smooth over, then refrigerate until firm.

1 cup pitted, chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup sweet Passover wine
3 tablespoons sesame seeds (Note: Ashkenazim are prohibited from eating sesame seeds during Passover)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons matzo meal or Passover potato starch

Instructions for the Yemenite Charoset recipe:

  1. Blend dates, figs and wine in bowl of food processor.
  2. Transfer to bowl, add sesame seeds, ginger, dash coriander, cayenne and matzo meal and mix thoroughly.

Nutrition Information Per Tablespoon: Calories: 40; Sodium: 1 milligram; Cholesterol: 0; Fat: 1 gram; Carbohydrates: 9 grams; Protein: 0; Fiber: 0.42 grams.

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