- Every sunset, during the holy month of Ramzan, fasts are broken with Iftar, whose menu traditionally comprises dates and other fruits washed down with water, milk and juice.Chefs are now mashing up the traditional dry fruit into easy-to-make dessert to make iftars more special for family and friends.
Another chef Surjan Singh Jolly says he took inspiration from the Hyderabad-origin ‘Qubani ka meetha’ a dessert made from dried apricots to create the ‘Khajoor ka meetha’.
“All you need to do is blend the dates with milk till it gets mushy and garnish it with chopped almonds to get this quick-to-make dessert,” says Jolly.
Since the dates have a sludgy kind of a texture, it blends easily to be transformed into a dish.
Dates are good for health and are also sweet, so you need not add sugar. Hence, ‘Khajoor ka meetha’ can be a good addition to iftar parties, says the chef.
Dates are known to be a good source of fibre and since the ordinary eating pattern is restricted to two big meals during
Ramzan, dates ensure one doesn’t get constipation and there is clear urination. It also has enough calories to satiate the
peak of hunger after the fast ends.
“Dates are also good source of iron that helps maintain hemoglobin, prevents giddiness, dark circles, loss of hair and strengthens immunity. So it is advisable,” says Dr. Vidhya R, a nutritionist.
Another delicious way to have dates is to warm it up with water, squish it with saffron and have it with bread or mush dates with white chocolate and have it, suggests Jolly.
The chef says that these date recipes are also convenient to prepare for those living in hostels and who miss home-cooked iftar food.
Seeing the popularity of dates among youngsters, markets are now customising it to blend in more flavours.
Date shops and stalls are found in abundance near Jama Masjid in Chandni Chowk. These dates range from Rs 120 to Rs 1000, depending on the variety being bought.
“During our iftar and sehri walks, we take our guests to Khajoor factory where they get to taste chocolate dates, almond dates, apricot dates and other varieties. All these are from Middle East countries,” says Anubhav of Delhi Food Walks who is currently organizing Iftar Walk in Old Delhi.