black dates

What is black dates (kala khajur) ? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes with black dates (kala khajur) | Viewed 62739 times

What is black dates, kala khajur?

Dates are a surprising combination of nice sticky sweetness and good health too! They are available in various varieties, of which the black and red ones are quite popular.

Black Dates are oval-cylindrical in shape, 3-7 cm long, and 2-3 cm in diameter. When ripe, they become black while the raw one ranges in colour from bright red to bright yellow, depending on variety. Dates contain a single seed about 2-2.5 cm long and 6-8 mm thick, surrounded by a thick pulp that gets sticky when ripe.

Apart from being an excellent source of iron, fibre and other nutrients, dates also have high tannin content, which is used medicinally as a cleanser and astringent effective in treating intestinal troubles. Dates consumed as an infusion, decoction, syrup or paste, also helps in other conditions like sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh and fever too.

How to select black dates, kala khajur
• While selecting dates, look for those which are plump and evenly coloured.
• The sticky surface of dates attracts dust and other impurities. Therefore, it is better to buy well-packaged brands, or from closed bins.
• As the date fruit dries, the sugars will concentrate in the dense, moist flesh, ultimately forming sugar crystals on the outside of the date. If a date has formed sugar crystals, it is usually less than ideal to eat, as the flesh will be dry and leathery.

Culinary uses of black dates (kala khajur) in Indian cooking

Indian recipes using black dates

date walnut balls recipe | khajur akhrot balls | 3 ingredient vegan date nut balls | sugar free date nut balls |

Thanks to sweet and sticky dates, this sweet requires no sugar, which means it is not too high on calories. On the other hand, this 3 ingredient vegan date nut balls tops the charts on nutritional aspects. Dates are rich in fibreantioxidants and natural sugar, while also being low in sodium, it can be enjoyed by those with high blood pressure too. 

To make date walnut balls, combine dates, walnuts and elaichi in a deep bowl and mix well till the mixture binds well like a dough. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape each portion into a round ball. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an air-tight container and serve it within 3 to 4 days.

Ever yearned for a mithai that is fuss-free yet irresistibly tasty and comparatively healthy? Well, here is your wish come true. All it takes to make these khajur akhrot balls. Chop, mix and shape, yet it is so good. 

Walnuts, which are ably teamed with the dates in sugar free date nut balls, are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and arginine. These ensure proper blood flow to the heart and keep the heart’s lining healthy. These also help us fight inflammation. Those with heartailments can treat themselves with 1 to 2 of these balls occasionally. 

2. Easy, quick, irresistibly delicious – that describes the Date and Nut Slice best of all. 

A mouth-watering combo of dates and condensed milk cooked in butter is further enhanced with a generous dose of mixed dried fruits, all of which is then prepared into handy-sized slices. 

Store it in an airtight container, to enjoy anytime you wish. Put some in your kids’ snack box, or carry a few to office; you will love to bite into it any time of the day.

3. Date and Almond Balls are rich in iron, calcium and dietary fibre. The best part is that they have a sweet taste and chewy texture that kids will love. You can prepare this quickly and easily, so you can even make slightly larger batches and store for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature – to enjoy in between meals or to send to school in the tiffin box. Take care not to stow it into the fridge as it tends to get hard.

Indian dessert using black dates

1. An elegant dessert ready in minutes! The chocolate and date mousse is a brilliant combination of streams of dark chocolate and dates streaked with whipped cream and dotted with chopped dates and walnuts. You will love the sweet creamy feel of this mousse, well balanced by the crunchy walnuts in every mouthful.

• Dry or soft dates can be eaten just plain, or pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange, lemon peel, Tahini, marzipan or cream cheese.
• Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savoury dishes such as the Moroccan Tajines (Tagines), Arabian Ka’ak (cookies), puddings, etc.
• Dates are also processed into cubes, a paste called ajwa, spread or syrup.
• Recent innovations include dates jam, chocolate-covered dates, and sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan.

How to store black dates, kala khajur
• Fresh dates will last for up to two weeks under refrigeration, while preserved dates can last much longer, depending on how they are preserved.
• Always preserve dates in a dry and clean airtight container, away from direct sunlight or moisture.

Health benefits of black dates, kala khajur
• Black dates contain a high percentage of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and dietary fibre.
• They contain elemental fluorine that is useful in protecting teeth against decay.
• Selenium, which improves immune function and is believed to help prevent cancer, is also found in dates.
• The protein in dates contains 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits.
• The black date is a laxative food if soaked in water overnight and consumed as a fine syrup the next morning.

Chopped black seedless dates
Place the seedless black dates on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut them into thin strips vertically. Now place these strips together and chop them into small or big pieces as per the recipe requirement. Make sure to place a plastic sheet on the chopping board as these dates tend to stick on the board.