I mentioned a month back about husband’s detox journey. Pampered in the serene, tranquil greenery of a naturopathy center on the outskirts of Bangalore, had made him fuss about what he puts in his mouth. I thought the zen like state would last a week or so. But nature had other plans. The man still sticking to all things “satvic”, has made me guilty of even smelling some food for the soul(which is sweets, desserts… ). What to do, I like my sugar at the cellular level 🙂
I have an insatiable sweet tooth. This paranoids Mr.MFT(myfoodtapestry -ha!). Really. He finds me delving into a jar of Nutella after dinner. And he reels with shock. Arguing the fact that chances are I will remain true and loyal to my North Indian genes (READ: Turn FAT), he tries to snatch the prized possession. Haggle-Fight-Beg-Plead one-last-bite look, and then I decide that tomorrow is going to be a brand new day. I am going to stop my crazed obsession. I will be officially off chocolates for a few days. Sigh! Not an easy feat.
Today is day 5. Its going allright, but night times are the worst. When the day’s work is done, Milee has been tucked in and I have the privilege to dive my nose into a fantastic book or watch my fav show, is when the craving kicks in. No. Im not talking about dope here. But I AM all dopey(coz no good has gone into my system). The sadist keeps an open eye.
But, the world seems brighter again, the flowers bloom and the skies turn azure, when my light bulb burns bright – meaning, I hit upon this novel idea to appease the new health recruit and calm my turbulent saccharine needs.
Without much ado, I scooted off to chop-toast-mix-roll-cut process.
What happens when you mix super soft sweet deseeded dates, dried figs, toasted chopped almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashewnuts in a wok??
Nothing. But you do find yourself fighting with the ladle which hardly moves in that big highly viscous messy mix. It’s quite a task to bring in all into a harmonious little bundle. And you want them to stick together so that neat rolls can be sliced or perfect squares/bars can be cut. Oh Boy did I bruise my palms that day.
Now don’t let my inexperience with things like these deter you into making something so divinely healthy and salubrious. My mom later told me I could have achieved greater success and lesser damage to my stumbling fingers if only I had the sense to use the right ladles and a chopping board to deal with the nuts. Sigh! now what’s done is done. But the fruit of my labor was fabulous. Now that’s “compensation” for my stupidity.
The recipe –
- 2 cups soft dates, pitted and chopped roughly
- 1 cup dried figs, chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped fine
- 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped fine
- 1/2 walnuts, toasted and chopped fine – I used 3/4th cup but 1/2 cup is also enough
- 1/2-1/4 cup cashew nuts, toasted and chopped fine
- 1 tsp sesame oil or ghee – optional
- 3-4 tsp sesame seeds – toasted – optional
Note: you can even use PECANS, MACADEMIA NUTS, HAZEL NUTS or any other that you like.
To toast the nuts, I prefer to do them individually, but you could throw all in together and roast them. Individual roasting is preferred because some nuts brown faster than the others. Like cashew changes colors the fastest where as almonds take a long time to brown.
Once you have all the ingredients ready with you. Take a big wok, if you are using the oil/ghee, heat. Heat it now. Throw in the dates and figs. With the help of a big flat heavy spatula(preferably wooden) beat the contents and turn them around. After 3-4 minutes, add all the toasted nuts and sesame seeds(if using). Now hold the wok tightly(with a cloth) and with your working hand try to get all of them to stick and mix together. Keep beating it and mixing it, till one big brown nutty amalgam is formed. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Switch the flame off. After a couple of minutes. Although still hot, use a bowl of water to wet your scalding hands… grab portions of the mixture and form cylindrical pieces. You’ll find yourself yelping with mild burns for sure… but be careful.
Roll it with your hands by pressing the mix. Now refrigerate the cylinders for an hour or two. Once done, remove from the cooler and slice them with a sharpened knife to make rounds of equal measurement.
Store neatly in a close lid box and refrigerate the rounds.
Enjoy with a glass of milk(like how I try to give Milee) or devour them as it is.
Note: alter the nuts, but keep the dates and fig quantity more than the others as they help in binding and sticking.
My nectarous needs comforted. I bite into the crunch yet gooey alloy of health and Life feels Good again.