Adapted from Mozelle Sofaer
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
10 cups large pitted dates, preferably Mejdoul
2 teaspoons ground anise
2 cups coarsely ground walnuts
2 cups coarsely ground almonds.
1. Place the dates and anise in a large saucepan with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 15 minutes more, stirring frequently, until the dates are opened and the consistency of chunky applesauce.
2. Puree the date mixture in a food processor. In a smaller saucepan, simmer slowly, uncovered, over very low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the halek thickens enough to coat a spoon. Cool.
3. To serve, place 2 cups halek in a bowl. Sprinkle with half the walnuts and almonds. Reserve the remaining halek and nuts separately. Use as a dip for matzoh, or sprinkle with tahini and eat with pita bread.
Yield: 4 cups halek.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 220 calories, 6 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium, 4 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrate.