Cooking with Dates: Recipes for Ramadan Leftovers

July 28, 2014

Hello everyone, we hope you're all enjoying the Ramadan Feast! We've noticed a number of question popping up on this topic of what to do with leftover dates, so here's a quick shortlist of ideas to whet your appetites and (hopefully) provide you with some culinary-inspiration!

Curries and Chutneys

Our favourite way of cooking with dates is adding them to curries (spicy meat curries are best), or as a counterpoint to a particularly tart chutney or pickle. Middle Eastern curries with a tamarind-base and plenty of masala spices benefit hugely from a handful of stewed dates thrown in and left to stew. Here are a few links to get your mental cogs turning:

Lamb Shank Tagine with Dates

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The use of pomegranate seeds in this recipe instead of tamarind to give the dish a tart flavour is marvelous! But don’t worry if you can’t find them right now (they are out of season); you can still easily pick up some pomegranate molasses from the supermarket. Our general rule with curries is 1 tbsp of molasses per two-person serving is a good measure.

Spicy Chicken Curry with Dates and Cashews

This curry avoids the use of strong/ tart flavours, instead using cashews and dates to soak up the heat from hot chillies and chili powder. Simple yet delicious!

Tamarind Date Chutney

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This recipe contains a few funny words you’ll probably need to know substitutes for: The first is jaggery, which you can replace with an equal amount of brown sugar; and the second (maybe) is tamarind, for which you can use a few tablespoons of pomegranate molasses.

'Stuffed' Dates

Stuffed dates are another fantastic option! It’s common to see recipes of dates sliced, stuffed with cheese and herbs, wrapped in bacon and grilled. However, bacon is probably not in your fridge (at least if you’re living in Istanbul!), and there are some equally-delicious alternatives that require no cooking and can be ready in a flash.

Here’s a great video showing how easy they are, and the key point to note is how much you can vary the recipe and mix in whatever you fancy. Grated orange zest and ginger make a great combination with Feta cheese; or you can go for more earthy flavours such as thyme and parsley with a stronger cheese like Parmesan.

Oh, and, If you do want a recipe for the bacon-wrapped version, here’s a delicious recipe from


This category is really as broad as your imagination! Dates are incredibly sweet, and as such they make a great substitute for sugar and/ or honey in any ‘raw’ desert (while dates can be used in baking it’s not the best use of them). The best thing about raw recipes is that there’s no cooking involved! Just mix everything together; roll into whatever shape morsels you desire; and refrigerate while they firm up! Luckily, as the Internet is awash in ‘paleo desserts’, and a quick Google search will provide a bounty of delicious options. While we encourage you to dip into blogs and try things to see what you like, here are a few we've tried and can definitely recommend (all gluten-free!):

(okay so this last one does need baking, but it’s not a cake so we’re okay with including it.)

Do you have any recipes or ideas for your Ramadan dates? Let us know in the comments below!



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