Taruna Deepak had a chance to taste a date and nuts bar that a family friend had brought from Hyderabad and then created her own version.
The homemade bars turned out even better than the store-bought one!
"Go make yourself a batch now and thank me later," she says.
A home chef, Taruna loves making-over festive recipes into healthier fare.
Her Date and Nut Bars store well in the refrigerator.
Date and Nut Bars
- 10 or around 200 to 220 gm Medjool dates, stones removed (please see the note below)
- ½ cup or around 85 gm almonds
- ¼ cup or around 35 gm cashews
- ¼ cup or around 35 gm pistachios
- 3 tbsp shredded desiccated coconut, optional
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds, toasted (available for purchase online)
- 2 tsp ghee or edible coconut oil
- Oil for greasing the tray
- Prep a small tray, with raised edges, by greasing it with ghee or oil.
Or use parchment paper -- it makes it easier to release the contents from the tray.
- Roughly chop the dates.
In a blender, pulse them to attain a puree.
Do not worry about the puree being too smooth.
- Roughly chop the nuts.
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, toast them in 1 tsp of ghee over medium heat till the nuts begin to change colour.
Add the shredded coconut, hemp seeds and toast till the nuts become aromatic.
Be careful not to burn the coconut.
Take off heat and pour onto a plate or in a bowl and keep aside.
The whole procedure won't take more than 2-2½ minutes.
In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tsp ghee and add the pureed dates.
Saute the puree for 30 seconds and then add the nuts.
Take off heat and mix everything together using a spatula or a serving spoon.
Pour the mixture onto the prepped tray.
Using the back of a spoon or spatula, spread out the contents and even out the surface.
Keep aside to cool and then place in the fridge overnight.
If in a hurry, refrigerate for 2-3 hours before slicing them.
Use a really sharp knife for cutting clean slices, else the nuts will break and make the bars uneven.
Editor's Note: Medjool or Mejdoul dates are larger, oval, dark brown Moroccan dates that have a sweet, caramel flavour. Slightly more expensive than other date varieties they are easily available.
Taruna's Note: If using regular dates, soften by soaking in water for a short while.
Discard the water before blitzing. This will make it easier to convert the dates into a rough puree.
Feel free to add any aromatics/spices like vanilla extract or essence or green cardamom powder to the bars. I drizzle the bars with dark chocolate.
Taruna Deepak lives in Mumbai and is the creator of the food blog Easyfoodsmith.