Tag Archives: golden raisins

Shrab (Libyan Golden Raisin “Wine” with Cinnamon Sticks)

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From Libya to Georgia, several individuals described to me the process of making their own special wine or unfermented grape juice for the Passover holiday. Some said that as children they couldn’t wait to stomp on the fresh grapes that were used to make actual wine, while others remembered helping their mothers or grandmothers combine dried grapes (raisins) with sugar and water to create a syrupy treat. Either way, it was a great activity for kids who looked forward to it year after year, and a new tradition that I started with my two girls this Passover.

Yield: Serves 12 / Makes 12 eight-ounce cups

1 1/2 pounds golden raisins (black raisins may be substituted)
20 cups cold water
3 cups sugar
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks, about 4 inches long each

1. Soak the raisins with the cold water in a large pot for 12 hours or overnight, covered.

2. Bring pot of soaked raisins  with the sugar and cinnamon sticks to a boil over high heat.

3. Reduce to a medium heat and slow boil until the liquid reduces by about a third,
approximately 2 1/2 hours.

4. Remove from heat and cool completely before pouring into two large pitchers.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or preferably 12 hours or overnight.
Drink will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

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Ajeel: Iranian “Trail Mix”

Dried fruit and nuts are among some of the most important ingredients used during the Passover holiday. Usually some kind of dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, apricots, or figs) is blended with a variety of nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios) to make charoset. Other times nuts are ground up finely to replace flour in cakes. In Iran, it is not uncommon to serve Ajeel, small bowls of nuts mixed with raisins, as a snack before or during the Seder, or as part of dessert along with fresh fruit. Like a Persian “Trail Mix,” Ajeel can be a mixture of walnuts, pistachios, almonds, dried roasted chickpeas, dried mulberries, and almost always maveez (Iranian golden raisins). When I was in Great Neck, Long Island recently (cooking a Passover rice dish with an Afghani-Bukharian woman) I was lucky enough to stop into a small Iranian grocery store before jumping on the train back to Manhattan. I grabbed a bag of maveez, as well as fresh dates and roasted chickpeas (all of which the owner hinted at having been “smuggled” in from Iran by unknown sources). I noticed that the shape of the maveez were slightly more elongated, and more chewy/less sticky than the ones found here in the United States. When combined with the dried chickpeas the textures and flavors were addictive.

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