As we know Ramadan is around the corner, and we will have many iftar gatherings to come. Even if you don’t host an iftar party, you can always add an element of surprise for your family when they come for iftar.
What better way to do than using the symbolic fruit of Ramadan, ‘The Date.’ Dates (khajoors) have positive effects for your body and yes, the date can be eaten in many ways besides being just a date. As delicious as it is, it can get even better with your creativity and hard work. Here are some ideas that we have compiled for you.
Apple and Date Crumble
Time to bake: 30 minutes
4 apples, peeled and chopped
2 table spoons castor sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
8 fresh dates, seeded, coarsely chopped
½ cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut
80g butter softened
Vanilla ice cream (optional to serve)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Take a pan and place the apples in it, sprinkle the apples with castor sugar. Place the pan over low heat and cook. Keep stirring occasionally and keep the pan covered. Continue this for 10 minutes or until the apple is tender. Remove the pan from heat and add dates to the mixture. Stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a dish with a capacity of 1 liter (4 cups).
- Combine all the dry ingredients, oats, flour, coconut and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Include the margarine and utilize your fingertips to rub the spread into the blend until it takes after coarse breadcrumbs. With a spoon, add this mixture over the apple mixture in the tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
Sweet Date Ravioli
Servings: 30 raviolis
Time to bake: 3 hours
2 cups red grape juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups dates (pitted and quartered)
1 1/2 cups butter (unsalted)
1 2/3 cup flour
1 pinch salt
2-3 tbsp. ice water
1 egg, beaten
- Combine the red grape juice, sugar and honey in a pan and let them simmer under medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved, add the chopped dates and cinnamon to the pan. Reduce the flame to low and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cool the mixture after 30 minutes and remove the cinnamon sticks.
- Strain the remaining liquid and take the sludgy date mixture and blend it. Blend it till you achieve your required consistency.
- Now prepare the ravioli itself. Take the butter, wrap it in a foil and freeze it for 30 minutes. Stir the flour and salt in a large bowl. Take the frozen butter and coarsely grate it on the flour. Use 2 knives to mix it until the butter is the size of peas. Add water slowly and continue mixing until it forms a soft dough. Bring the pastry together with your hands. It should not be sticking to the bowl. Wrap it in plastic and keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the pastry in 2 pieces, keeping one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the smaller piece to about 10 X 12 inches on a lightly floured board. Brush with beaten egg. Leave a space of 1 inch in the corner and place the date mixture after every 2 inches of space. You should have 30. Roll larger piece of pastry to 11 X 13 inches and carefully place over first sheet and dates. Gently press the pastry to seal the pockets. Cut into 2-inch squares with a cake cutter and seal edges with a fork or utilize a ravioli mold. Make a little cut in the highest point of every ravioli.
- Place a parchment on the baking try, place the ravioli and bake for 15 minutes until the ravioli is golden. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Serve warm
Nut Filled Dates with Melted Chocolate
20 large dates
1 small bag of raw almonds
1 small bag of pistachios, chopped
1 dark chocolate bar, melted, 225 grams
- Remove the seeds from the dates but do not break them
- Fill the dates with almonds
- Drizzle the melted chocolate over the dates
- Sprinkle some pistachios on top
Spiced Date and Walnut Brownies
Servings: 16 brownies
Time to bake: 1 hour, 5 minutes
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup sweet cocoa powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
16 dates, unseeded
4 egg whites (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spray an 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
- Take the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Stir in the walnuts.
- Take the eggs, egg whites, oil and vanilla, and blend them to form a puree. Gradually mix wet ingredients in the dry ones, do not over mix.
- Spread batter into a prepared pan and bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes
- Cut it into 16 pieces.
Grab your family and make these four different recipes to enjoy khajoor in a different way during iftar or even for dessert.