JDC Passover Recipes for Your Festive Meal

You can heat up that matzah-ball soup and whip-up grandpa’s famous firehouse horseradish, but make room for new Passover tastes from India, Estonia, and Israel. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, sponsors hundreds of Passover seders around the world as part of its community building and welfare programs, and these recipes were chosen to represent some of more than the seventy countries JDC works in.

With remarkable regional flare, you’ll be bowled over by our spicy Moroccan fish appetizer, crave the delicious matzah stuffing with walnuts for your roast Turkey, and satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet potato balls rolled in mixed nuts. As we all know, Jewish food recipes can play fast and loose with ingredient amounts and cooking time, so be prepared to be adventurous for this year’s festive meal. Dayenu!

Recipe cards for these dishes can be found at: www.JDC.org/passoverrecipes

Enhance your other Jewish holiday recipes by downloading JDC’s Rosh Hashanah recipe cards: www.JDC.org/uploadedFiles/JDC_home/media_center/press/releases/Rosh%20Hashanah%20Recipes.pdf

Appetizer From Israel:
Moroccan Fish (serves 4)

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Tachvilian from Beit Shemesh, Israel.


  • 4 slices tuna or Nile perch (if available)
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes
  • salt (for marinating fish and for sauce)
  • lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chicken-flavored (meatless/"pareve") soup mix
  • 2-3 cups boiled water, plus more boiled water if using tuna
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into wide strips
  • 1 long chili pepper, preferably dry, cut into wide strips
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
  • about ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • and 1 tablespoon sweet red paprika.


  • Sprinkle salt and lemon juice over fish and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare sauce by peeling the tomatoes and placing them in a wide pot.
  • Add salt, turmeric, and soup mix and bring to a boil.
  • Mash cooked tomatoes (can use a potato masher).
  • Then add 2-3 cups boiled water to pot.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer.
  • Rinse fish: if using tuna, rinse it first with boiling water and then with tap water; if using Nile perch, rinse it with tap water.
  • Place fish in sauce in a single layer.
  • Place chopped coriander, pepper strips and chopped garlic on top of fish.
  • Bring fish to a boil.
  • In the meantime, thoroughly combine the oil and sweet paprika in a separate dish and add this mixture to fish.
  • After fish has boiled for 10 minutes, reduce flame to simmer.
  • Simmer fish about another 30 minutes.
  • Serve fish with sauce, hot or at room temperature.

Entrée From Estonia:
Turkey with Matzah Stuffing

Recipe courtesy of Larisa Simonova from Tallinn, Estonia.


  • 1 large Turkey

For the stuffing:

  • 10 pieces of matzah
  • 1 ½ cups of white wine
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of soup mix
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 10 rosemary twigs
  • ¾ to 1 cup of walnuts, chopped

For the basting oil:

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of mustard
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika


  • Clean Turkey thoroughly.
  • Soak matzah in a dish with the white wine, until soft.
  • Fry the onion until the color is golden.
  • Mix the onion together with matzah, then add the celery, rosemary, and walnuts.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix olive oil, mustard, black pepper and paprika in separate dish and then smear on Turkey using your hands.
  • Stuff Turkey with the matzah stuffing, placing any additional stuffing under the Turkey.
  • Cover with foil and roast for at least 3 hours, turning it from time to time, until it gets tender and golden.

Dessert From India:
Rolled Ratalu (Sweet Potato) with Nuts.

A specialty of the Bene Israel community; recipe courtesy of Rosy Solomon Moses of Mumbai, India.


  • 1lb of sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of mashed dates
  • ¼ cup of almonds, pistachios, and cashews.


  • Boil sweet potatoes with a little salt.
  • When tender, peel and mash potatoes and add the mashed dates.
  • Mix and create small balls.
  • Roll in crushed nuts and serve.



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