Horseradish: How to Make Maror

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Every year, as part of the Passover Seder, we eat Maror. The bitter herb reminds us of the bitter times the Jewish people have faced. Growing up we used ground horseradish straight out of a bottle for this ritual. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that. We enjoyed the Maror product made by Manischewitz at each of our Seders. When I began making my own Seder one of the first things I was curious about was how to make Maror from scratch. I had no concept of where this spicy horseradish sauce came from, or how it was prepared.

Now, I make my own Maror, or spicy horseradish sauce, every year at Passover. I start by buying fresh horseradish root. Most health food stores carry it during this time of year. Fresh horseradish root is about the size of a carrot, and it is light brown in color, like a parsnip. After I buy the horseradish I get down to business!

If you’re wondering how to make Maror from scratch, fear not, this is an easy 2-ingredient recipe. Please though, read the instructions for the recipe below in detail. If you don’t follow the directions you can burn your nasal passages, so be careful.

Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor
  2. Pulse until horseradish is well ground
  3. Carefully remove lid; do not inhale or smell mixture, as it may burn eyes and nasal passages
  4. Store in a glass container
  5. Serve

Recently, I taught my older son’s third grade class how to make Maror along with my healthy Charoset recipe. We made enough of each to feed more than 100 people. It was so fun working with them to make Passover food! All of the third grade families attend the class Sedar, and the children were very proud of their work. So, no Manischewitz Maror for these little ones. They will not grow up thinking that ground horseradish comes from a bottle!

Making your own Maror, or spicy horseradish sauce from scratch, is easier than you think, and it tastes far better than store bought horseradish sauce! Here are some of my healthy gluten-free Passover recipes that we serve at our Seder. The Gefilte Fish is absolutely amazing with homemade Maror!

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Comments

32 responses to “Horseradish: How to Make Maror”

  1. OHH! Sorry! I thought you wrote that you made it with your son’s class and it was for 100 people :) Thanks for your super quick reply! It still helps me!

  2. Hi, Elana :) Hoping to get a response after so many years of this recipe being on the web. I need to make enough for 100 people. The recipe doesn’t include servings. Would you share how much horseradish I need? Thank you in advance! :)

    • Tatia, I haven’t ever served this to more than 10 people so not sure. I usually double the recipe for that many folks :-)

  3. I just discovered the wonders and EASE of making my own horseradish a couple weeks ago. I’m on my third batch because it’s good on everything – meat, salad dressing, eggs… I add a bit of my homemade mayo to make it creamy. I’m going to offer to bring it along with a few of your other recipes to a seder I’ve been invited to. Thanks for all the great recipes and inspiration.

  4. For the last seder we hosted I made my husband grate the root until he cried. We just used a microplane so it didn’t get as crazy as using the food processor sounds. Yikes. That sounds painful.

  5. i realize i’m writing this comment 4 years after your post, but this brought to mind a favorite memory of mine. one pesach i was going to try to make the chrain recipe my grandmother (now of blessed memory) told me that they used to make. similar to this one. so at the time i was living in a microscopic-sized apartment in san francisco and had a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. i made the horseradish in the food processor, and proceeded to send most of my neighbors on the 4th floor running for cover. my cats hid on the top shelf of the coat closet and wouldn’t be lured out even with a can of tuna. i had to prop open all the windows for about 6 hours to air the place out. my head nearly exploded from the fumes. when i told me grandmother about it she laughed and asked me why i did that indoors? they always made chrain in the middle of the back yard, wearing scarves over their faces as a gas mask. well she forgot to tell me that part ahead of time, and i was only about 25 and inexperienced in the kitchen. who knew? also, i didn’t have a back yard. thanks for triggering a wonderful memory.

  6. I know this is more than three years old, but I am just reading this as I am looking at your vanilla cupcakes recipe. (I know, I know — I am slightly distracted today!). My grandmother and her mother and siblings were taken from their village in Ukraine during WWII. The only things they were allowed to take with them as they scrambled to leave were those roots that they had put up for the next year: dried corn on the cob and horseradish root. Now, I don’t know how those two items made their eventual trip to America after WWII was over (my grandmother REFUSED to ever talk about her time spent in a work camp in Germany), but the corn and horseradish that were harvested every year came from those two items that travelled so far. NOTE: My grandmother and her mother and siblings were housed in work camps, not concentration camps, but they were each allowed to live with their respective German officer family for whom they cared (housekeeping, cooking, nannying) until the war was over. The only thing my grandmother would say about her time there was that she was treated very well.

    My horseradish story is that the men in my family would take part in a “Strongman” competition every year at the Easter table — the first to “cry” at the horseradish was . . . well, a crybaby. We ate horseradish peeled right atop paska (Ukrainian bread) and home-churned butter for Easter. YUM!

  7. If I were to go buy some store bought horseradish would it be less strong? I plan to make this and allow some 3rd-6th grade kids sample it in a Sader we are doing.

    • Horseradish can be fairly mild if it is coarsely ground. It is when it is finely ground that it becomes more powerful. If you try two different bottles with a coarse or fine grind, you will quickly tell the difference and learn how to adjust for tne presentation.

  8. I grew my own horseradish. Beautiful leafy plant. I used a vinegar based recipe with the horseradish. OMG! It was so strong I am afraid to serve it. It is sitting in my refrigerator in a glass jar. I was hoping it would lose it smell. Um, no.

    Great to clear your sinuses…

  9. Hi Elana,

    My dad really likes horseradish and, after trying some homemade horseradish at a party, he hasn’t been content with the pre-jarred stuff. I have two questions about this recipe. First, how strong is this to eat? Second, have you ever made a red/beet version? Thanks!

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