Cooking With Dates: 6 Delicious Indian Recipes
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Dates, nature's natural sweetener, have been cherished for centuries in Indian cuisine for their delightful taste and nutritional benefits. Whether enjoyed as a snack or incorporated into various dishes, dates bring a natural sweetness that enhances the flavours of both sweet and savoury preparations. In this article, we will take you on a culinary journey through the world of cooking with dates, showcasing six delectable Indian recipes that celebrate the versatility of this luscious fruit.

From traditional Indian sweets to innovative savoury dishes, get ready to embrace the natural goodness of dates as we unveil recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth and ignite your culinary creativity. Whether it's a festive celebration or a simple family meal, these date recipes are sure to become treasured favourites on your dining table.

1. Date and Nut Ladoo: A Festive Delight

Indulge in the traditional Indian sweet treat - Date and Nut Ladoo. These delectable energy balls combine the sweetness of dates with the nutty goodness of almonds, cashews, and pistachios, making them a perfect sweet for festive occasions.


- 1 cup pitted dates

- 1/2 cup almonds

- 1/4 cup cashews

- 1/4 cup pistachios

- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

- A pinch of cardamom powder


- In a food processor, grind the dates to form a smooth paste.

- In a separate pan, dry roast the almonds, cashews, and pistachios until lightly golden. Allow them to cool and then coarsely grind them.

- In a large mixing bowl, combine the date paste, coarsely ground nuts, ghee, and cardamom powder. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

- Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into round ladoos (balls).

- Store the Date and Nut Ladoos in an airtight container, and enjoy these festive delights whenever you crave a sweet treat.

2. Stuffed Date Samosas: A Unique Twist

Give the classic samosa a sweet and delightful twist with Stuffed Date Samosas. These bite-sized treats feature a date and nut filling wrapped in crispy pastry, making them a delightful addition to any tea party or dessert spread.


- 1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped

- 1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, and pistachios)

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 10-12 spring roll pastry sheets

- Vegetable oil for frying


- In a bowl, mix together the finely chopped dates, chopped mixed nuts, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon to create the filling.

- Lay out a spring roll pastry sheet and place a spoonful of the date and nut filling at one corner.

- Fold the pastry sheet over the filling, creating a triangle shape. Continue folding the pastry in a triangle pattern until the entire sheet is used, and the filling is fully enclosed.

- Seal the edges of the samosa with a bit of water.

- Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Fry the stuffed date samosas until they turn golden brown and crispy.

- Serve these unique samosas warm, and watch your guests delight in this delightful fusion of sweet and savoury flavours.

3. Date Chutney: A Sweet-Tangy Accompaniment

Add a burst of sweetness to your meals with Date Chutney. This tangy and sweet condiment pairs perfectly with Indian chaats, samosas, and snacks, elevating their flavours to new heights.


- 1 cup pitted dates

- 1/2 cup tamarind pulp

- 1/2 cup jaggery or brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to your spice preference)

- Salt to taste

- Water as needed


- In a saucepan, combine the pitted dates, tamarind pulp, jaggery or brown sugar, roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, and salt.

- Add enough water to cover the ingredients, and simmer the mixture over low heat until the dates become soft and the flavours meld together.

- Once the mixture thickens and turns into a chutney-like consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

- Blend the cooled mixture into a smooth chutney using a blender or food processor.

- Store the Date Chutney in a clean jar and refrigerate. Serve it as a delicious accompaniment to various Indian snacks and appetisers.

4. Date and Chicken Curry: A Savory Surprise

Experience a delightful blend of sweet and savoury with Date and Chicken Curry. This unique preparation pairs succulent chicken pieces with the natural sweetness of dates, creating a curry that tantalises the taste buds.


- 500g boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped

- 1 large onion, finely chopped

- 2 tomatoes, pureed

- 1/2 cup yoghourt

- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

- 1 teaspoon ground cumin

- 1 teaspoon ground coriander

- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

- 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped

- Salt and pepper to taste

- Vegetable oil for cooking


- In a large pan, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.

- Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw aroma disappears.

- Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes until the spices release their aroma.

- Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook until they turn golden brown on all sides.

- Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil starts to separate from the gravy.

- Add the chopped dates and yoghourt to the pan, stirring well to coat the chicken with the creamy and sweet mixture.

- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the curry simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the flavours meld together.

- Garnish the Date and Chicken Curry with fresh coriander leaves before serving. Enjoy this delightful savoury surprise with steamed rice or Indian bread.

5. Date and Spinach Salad: A Nutritious Delight

Treat yourself to a healthy and nutritious Date and Spinach Salad. This refreshing salad combines the sweetness of dates with the vibrant freshness of spinach, creating a medley of flavours and textures.


- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped

- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

- Salt and pepper to taste


- In a large bowl, toss together the fresh spinach leaves, chopped dates, crumbled feta cheese, and chopped walnuts.

- Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette dressing over the salad, and toss to coat the ingredients evenly.

- Season the Date and Spinach Salad with a pinch of salt and pepper, and serve it as a refreshing and nutritious side dish.

6. Date and Coconut Kheer: A Creamy Dessert

Indulge in the heavenly flavours of Date and Coconut Kheer, a creamy Indian dessert that celebrates the natural sweetness of dates and the richness of coconut.


- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped

- 1 cup grated coconut

- 1 litre full-fat milk

- 1/2 cup condensed milk

- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (cashews, almonds, and pistachios)

- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

- A pinch of saffron strands (optional for garnish)


- In a heavy-bottomed pan, combine the chopped dates, grated coconut, and full-fat milk.

- Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously, until the dates become soft and the kheer thickens.

- Stir in the condensed milk, chopped nuts, and ground cardamom, and continue to simmer until the kheer reaches a creamy consistency.

- Remove the Date and Coconut Kheer from the heat, and let it cool.

- Garnish the kheer with a few strands of saffron before serving this delightful and creamy dessert to impress your guests.

Cooking with dates in Indian cuisine opens up a world of sweet and savoury possibilities. Whether it's traditional sweets, innovative samosas, or savoury curries, dates bring their natural sweetness and richness to every dish. So, embrace the culinary magic of dates and elevate your meals with these six delicious Indian recipes that celebrate the versatility of this luscious fruit.