Originally Persian. This is a very delicious and rich dessert. I prefer to use sukary dates which are soft and sweet. The soft exterior goes perfect with the crunch inside and the topping is a perfect mix to tune down the sweet taste of the dates. Arabs love to have this dish with Arabic coffee to sugar the taste. This dessert is usually served in a large baking dish however I think its much more elegant to serve in individual small baking dishes. Make sure your dishes are oven proof.
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
24 fresh dates, stoned
12 walnuts, cut into half
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or pistachios
dash ground cardamom
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Place a walnut half inside of each date. Carefully arrange in 1 large baking dish or several small ones. Bake for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, In a saute pan on low heat add flour. Stir until color turns beige and a delicate aroma arises. Avoid burning flour. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add butter and 2 teaspoons of cardamom. Whisk continuously until mixture is well combined.
3. Carefully pour mixture over prepared baked dates. Sprinkle top with chopped nuts and cardamom.
Yields: 6 servings
Noor is the author of Ya Salam Cooking