Perfect date

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Besides being delicious and the most popular fruit in the Middle East they are also what the holy Mohamed consumed to break his fast. Dates are one of the most ancient foods and can never go out of fashion. We give you 9 reasons to fix a date with dates this Ramadan or even otherwise. 

Complete food – Fresh dates are a premium source of vitamin C. As they dry up the content of Vitamin C goes down. But dates are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, potassium, also providing some calcium and iron along with other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. A combination of date and milk is known to fight against general weakness, virus’ and infections.

Easy to digest – Dates are easy to digest and are perfect to break your fast with. Eating a heavy meal right after a daylong fast can lead to acidity and other digestive problems. Eating dates provides the body with necessary energy to start the digesting process for other more complex foods.

Instant energy – Dates contain a large amount of natural sugar, which lifts your mood and acts as fuel, proving you with the much needed instant energy after a daylong fast.

Weight Gain - Fasting for the holy month of roza, can be a cause of weight loss for a lot of people.  While most of us will be glad with it, eating dates is a great way to prevent slimming down. A kilogram of dates contains about 3000 calories.

Fills you up – Dates are a good source of fibre and the best part about them is that they totally fill up your stomach.  This works out beautifully because it prevents you from binge eating, which is usually what happens when we eat after a long fast.

Heart Wealth - Dates are quite helpful in maintaining healthy heart health. Soak them over night, crush and eat in the mornings. Doing this even twice a week helps fortify heart health.

Intestinal Disorders -The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is beneficial for curing most kinds of intestinal disorders. Regularly eating dates helps control the growth of pathological organisms and increases the friendly bacteria in the intestines. Soaked dates can work as a laxative, while ripe ones help control stomach problems like diarrhea.

A chef’s delight - Dates are a chef’s dream ingredient. Soft and sweet they provide brilliant chocolatey colour, texture and taste to anything they are added to. Take for example, a simple date walnut cake which is soft and moist even when baked without eggs. Use dates in mithais like dry fruit laddoos, halwas, khajur paak or wadi and to make burfi’s. You will find that you can greatly limit the amount of sugar you add to them.

Variety - There are more than 3000 types of dates available in the Middle East itself – each with a distinctive taste and texture. Globally dates are classified based on their stage of ripening. Kimri, khalal, rutab and tamr are some popular types which are available in different ways -  seeded, deseeded, packed and lose.

Recommended recipes-

Chicken With Dates,  Dates Jaljeera,  Angoor Aur Khajur Ki Chutney,  Zucchini Wrapped Dates With Chilli Honey Dip,  Khajoor Biscuit Delight,  Iced Date Tea,  Date Chocolate,  Rice Pudding With Figs And Dates,  Nrg Milk Shake,  Sweet Wantons

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.