Murabba tamar I

Murabba tamar I

Dates in syrup

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Photographer
Alan Benson

Cooking dates are required for this confection. The fresh dates available in non-date growing countries are table varieties, usually imported frozen. These are too soft to be prepared in the traditional way. If these are the only dates available, then follow the directions for murabba tamar II.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g fresh cooking dates
walnut halves, for filling the dates
660g sugar
1 thin strip lemon rind
1/2 lemon, juiced and strained
4 cloves
small piece cinnamon bark

Method

  1. Wash the dates and remove the stems. Peel off the skin using a sharp knife. Place the dates in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then boil gently for 15 minutes, or until the dates are tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. When the dates are cool enough to handle, push the date seeds out with a chopstick.
  3. Cut the walnut halves in half to give quarters, about the size of the date seed. Insert a piece of walnut in each date.
  4. Place the filled dates in a bowl in layers, sprinkling the sugar generously between each layer and over the top. Leave for 12 hours, or overnight.
  5. Measure the reserved date cooking liquid and make up to 500 ml with water if necessary. Pour over the dates and leave for 2 hours to dissolve the sugar, shaking the bowl contents occasionally.
  6. Drain the sugar liquid into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the lemon rind and juice, the cloves and cinnamon. Boil, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes without stirring. Skim off any froth as required.
  7. Add the dates and return to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, or until the syrup is thick when tested on a cold saucer.
  8. Remove the lemon rind and cinnamon. Pack the dates into sterilised jars and pour the syrup over them. Seal when cold and store at room temperature.
  9. Serve in small dishes with a spoon, or as a sweetmeat.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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