Seder charoset balls

A blend of Yemenite and Moroccan tradition in one snack-sized ball


Photo: Penny De Los Santos

Naama Shefi – founder of the Jewish Food Society, who collated the recipes in The Jewish Holiday Table writes: 

There are countless ways to make charoset. Jewish cooks across the Diaspora have prepared it with the various ingredients available to them — apples and walnuts in Eastern Europe, dates in parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Rinat’s recipe charoset draws inspiration from both sides of her heritage. The cardamom and sesame seeds, she notes, are from her Yemenite family, while the dates, almonds, and hazelnuts come from the Moroccan side. Like her mom, Rinat forms the charoset into snack-sized balls, which can be enjoyed at Seder or anytime as an energy snack.

NOTE: Omit the sesame seeds if you do not eat kitniyot

Makes: 36 x 2.5 cm balls (approx)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes (plus refrigeration time)


55g raw walnuts
55g blanched raw almonds
40g blanched raw hazelnuts
30g raw sesame seeds
200g Medjool dates, pitted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
60ml sweet red wine
1 tbsp honey


  • Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and sesame seeds on the baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring once or twice for even toasting, until aromatic and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, put the dates in a small heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for 5 minutes to soften. Drain the dates thoroughly.
  • Put the dates, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, wine, and honey in a food processor and process the mixture until it forms a paste that’s uniform but not completely smooth. If the mixture seems too dry, add up to 1 tablespoon hot water and process a bit more (but you want the mixture to be stiff enough to roll into balls). Transfer the charoset to a bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, and up to overnight.
  • To shape the balls, coat your hands with a bit of neutral oil, scoop up a heaping teaspoon of the mixture, and roll the charoset into 2.5cm balls. The charoset balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Arrange the charoset balls on a serving plate and serve at room temperature.

Adapted from The Jewish Holiday Table by Naama Shefi and the Jewish Food Society (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2024.

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