Persian Charoset or Halek

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Persian food is as beautiful as it is complex in flavor and perfume. The liberal use of nuts and dried fruits gives the Charoset character. I am a fan of rosewater which adds complexity and elegance.

Rosewater is commonly used in Persian and Indian recipes in desserts as well as savory dishes. In Europe, rosewater is used to flavor marzipan, marshmallows, and scones.  

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 2 CupsServings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup shelled and skinned pistachios
  • ¼ cup walnuts, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup pitted dates
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup pitted prunes
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater

Preparation

1. Pulse almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, dates, apricots, prunes, cherries, red wine, vinegar, and rosewater in a food processor until the mixture resembles a paste. Or chop fruits and nuts finely with a sharp knife and transfer ingredients to a bowl along with wine, vinegar, and rosewater. Stir to combine. Any remaining liquid will be absorbed by dried fruit.

2. Cover the charoset and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours before serving or refrigerate overnight. The charoset can be made up to 3 days before serving and can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator.