The splendid, natural wonder that is the date.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Ummehani Mustafa (Media & Communications, Dubai)

(Warning – contains ideas of high calorie content!)

Dates are an essential part of the holy month of Ramadan and a fixture during iftaar. Prophet Mohammed SA used to break his fast with fresh dates. Following his way of breaking fast, the Dawoodi Bohras, like most Muslims around the world, continue the same practice for iftaar.

The sweet fruit is dense in essential nutrients, meaning a small serving – sometimes even a single date – can curb hunger very easily. With only 23 calories in the average date and having the ability to curb hunger pangs, dates can help with the battle of the bulge.

Why break the fast with dates? Firstly, being a sugary fruit (date is nature’s version of candy) a date provides an instant energy boost while going easy on a fasting stomach. The high fibre content keeps the bowels’ function smooth, especially during the change in meals during the holy month. Since high nutrient content of the fruit helps satiate hunger fast, it also prevents over eating.

Today’s post explores various ways dates are prepared in Dawoodi Bohra households. Maryam Badri, a med student living in Dubai had some leftover brownies. Inspiration struck when when she saw a packet of dates lying around too. She stuffed the date with a spoonful of brownie. Topped it off with some icing and carried it along to masjid. Needless to say, it became an instant favourite amongst her friends.

Since Ramadan fell during “mango mania” this year, Mariya Hamid, a housewife, decided to make chocolate coated mango stuffed dates. She stated “I love mangoes and I love dates, to have them together the most perfect idea in my mind.” Scroll down to the end of the article for the recipe of this chocolate dipped sweet treat.

Another popular sweet treat among the young Dubai Dawoodi Bohras is the childhood favourite Nutella with dates. Almost everyone I’ve encountered seems to have a love for this simple date variant. How is it made? Simply remove the seed from the date, fill it in with a spoonful of Nutella and voila! You have a delightful iftaar treat on your hands.

Lastly, my personal favourite date delight – date truffles. Need I say more? These easy to make, mouth watering sweets are a perfect way to break your fast. Recipe at the end of article.

Go on, try any of the delicious ways to eat dates. These scrumptious date ideas will surely leave sweet memories behind.

Chocolate Coated Mango Stuffed Dates

Ingredients:
1 ripe mango
1 cup cooking chocolate – melted
15 dates

Instructions:

Peel the mango and cut into small slices. Blend the slices without any additions, making a soft paste.
Pit the dates.
Fill it with a spoonful of the mango paste.
Dip each stuffed date into the melted chocolate. Make sure to coat the entire fruit evenly.
Place dates at a distance on a plate lined with butter paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Date Truffles

Ingredients:
23 soft dates
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cups of desiccated coconut
a pinch cinnamon powder
a pinch cardamom powder
Decorative coating ideas:
Dessicated coconut
Cocoa powder
Crushed pistachio
Sesame

Instructions:

Pit the soft dates.
Blend everything until the ingredients stick together almost like a dough. Do not blend the pastry too much give it a couple of pulses and then check the pastry if it is firm enough to form the balls off.
Form the balls with your hands.
Roll the balls in the desired coatings and place them on a plate.
Keep the truffles in room temperature and if it is for a later serving keep them cool in the fridge.