Karaite Fact Card 8: Karaite Matzah Recipe (and Photo Contest)

Now that Purim is behind us, most Jews* are starting to plan for Passover, which they will be observing from the evening of March 25, 2013 through the evening of April 2, 2013.

Check out this matzah recipe used by the Egyptian Karaite community – which I promise you is better than store bought matzah.  Okay; that’s not really saying much . . . but give it a shot.

Karaite Fact Card 8 (Front): Karaite Matzah Recipe Karaite Fact Card 8 (Back): Karaite Matzah Recipe

If you make this recipe, please email me a high-resolution photo at Shawn@abluethread.com before April 2, 2013. Everyone who sends in a photo will receive a complete set of the eight Karaite fact cards printed to date. And the person whose photo I deem (in my sole and absolute discretion) to be the best will receive a copy of Mourad El-Kodsi’s Karaite Jews of Egypt (Second Edition). One condition:  by submitting the photo for the contest you are agreeing to allow me to use your photo (with accreditation) on my blog or other materials.

As always, thank you to Jason Sutherland for designing the fact cards.

*I say most Jews, because Karaites traditionally have waited for the sighting of the new moon to set the beginning of their months.  This might cause some variation from the aforementioned calculated dates. Further, some Karaites will be observing Passover in the first full month after the barley has ripened in the Land of Israel. That also might cause some variation from the aforementioned calculated dates.

Sound complicated? I hope to sort it out in a post very soon.


Filed under Holidays, Karaite Fact Cards, New Moon, Passover, Photo Contests, Recipes

13 Responses to Karaite Fact Card 8: Karaite Matzah Recipe (and Photo Contest)

  1. I love homemade Karaite matzah! It is much tastier than the store bought crackers. The cumin also gives it a little flavor. It is not as dry.

  2. This is the “rich” Massah that is made at home to supplement the regular thin round Massah (called فطير [Fatir] in Arabic) that the community used to have baked for them at a special Massah bakery in Egypt. In Turkey and Crimea, in addition to the thin round Massah, a type of Massah (called Tımbıl or Maça) was made that resembled the Turkish Pide or Persian Naan. Unlike the Egyptian “rich” Massah which is baked until it is hard like a cookie, the Turkish and Crimean Massah was still soft (although not as soft as ordinary Pide/Naan and much denser), although it would become hard after several hours as it dried out. That Massah was sometimes made with oil (on top, not in the dough like the Egyptian “rich” Massah), but most of the time it was without. Sometimes people would add Qara Zire (black Nigella seeds, حبة البركة [Habbat al-Barakah] in Arabic, Çörek Otu in Turkish) on top.

    • Jacob Gerardi


      My name is Jake. I have contacted you before on email, but I didn’t get a response. I am inquiring about karaite services in Albany. My mother traces direct paternal descent to her great grandfather, a karaite from Simferopol, and I am interested in learning about it and possibly attending a service, I was just wondering where they are and when. Please email me as soon as you can 🙂

      Thank you,


  3. Naomi Levy

    Yes! amazing! We call it ORSA! yummy

  4. Michael Nordhausen

    Coriander is tasty. Is that in the spirit of Passover?

    • Great question. We could do hours and hours of discussion as to whether certain foods are in the spirit of passover.

      As to this recipe, I have been told that the reason Karaites add Coriander is to remind them of the Manna in the dessert. See Number 11:7. But I don’t have any historical source that explains this.

      The recipe used in the card is not used during the passover seder, perhaps for the very reason you mention.

  5. Dev

    I do have ways to make it Gluten Free!! (see bottom link) Many people are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease but they can still have matzah!!

    Last year I made my Matzah with Einkorn wheat which is an ancient wheat that I bought here: Growseed.org. It is very low in gluten but folks with Celiac or severe gluten sensitivities should not use it. I did use it and it did not bother me. It was quite good. And I do use the Karaite matzah recipe each year only I make a batch with tiny onion bits and a separate batch with poppy seeds, our taste preference.

    Check this out, recipes are at the bottom of the page at this link.

  6. Matityahu

    I’ve used this recipe and Hakham Rekhavi’s “floppy” Massah recipe. Both are good.

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