Pepitada - a Drink to Break the Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av Fasts

Drink cold, to break the fast.

Doram Gaunt

This recipe is from Haaretz's archives.

Serves: One liter of beverage


1 cup melon seeds, cleaned and dried
3 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
a few drops of rosewater or citrus flower water


Collect the melon seeds throughout the year: With a tablespoon, scoop the seeds into a sieve with large holes, wash well with water and make sure to remove all the sticky stuff that surrounds the seeds. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a tray and place in the sun until thoroughly dried (a day or two). Keep the seeds in a well-closed tin.

Two days to a few hours before the start of the fast, grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle (or of course a food processor, which is much easier). Wrap the ground seeds in piece of muslin or a clean diaper, tie with kitchen string and soak the package for four hours in a bowl of water in the refrigerator. After four hours, discard the soaking water and soak for an additional two hours in three cups of fresh water. Remove the cloth sack and wring it well and with a lot of force, squeezing the ground seeds, through the cloth, into the soaking liquid. The white cream that is the inside of the seeds should come through the weave of the cloth. In order to squeeze out as much of the cream as possible, open the cloth a few times, stir the seeds around and squeeze again.

After all the cream is extracted, discard the remnants of the shells that remain in the cloth. To the rich milky liquid that has been obtained, add the sugar and very little rosewater or citrus flower water (carefully, so that it does not overwhelm the flavor). Mix well, taste and add more sugar or rosewater, as needed. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.