Celebrating Eid and Blog Anniversary with Khajoor Rolls (Sugar Free)

Wishing an advance EID MUBARAK to all my muslim readers and friends!

This week insha’Allah muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr. Can you believe Ramadan is coming to an end, how quickly does Ramadan pass by every year. May Allah accept our siyam, qiyam and all other ‘ibadah that we do for His sake, ameen! Taqabbalallâhu minnâ wa minkumMay Allah accept from you and us, our fasts and deeds. Ameen ♥

There is also an another reason to celebrate. My blog turned 6 this last month Alhamdulillah. I can’t believe its been 6 years since I started this little blog of mine. Masha’Allah!! Thank you everyone for being a part of my journey. With the arrival of my baby in my life Alhamdulillah, I haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I used to. But Insha’Allah I will continue to blog and share my recipe with you all for a long time. Your support and encouragement means lot to me ♥

With two special reasons to celebrate, today I am sharing with you all a very simple, sugar free and oh so yummy sweet that you can make for your loved ones on festivals and special occasions. They are healthy, tasty and look gorgeous. Also, this is a delicious way to use up leftover dates from Ramadan.

These date rolls are dense little discs that give you a bit of energy and also cure a sweet tooth. Nice, soft, dense and chewy. These date rolls would make a delicious Eid gift that’s also loaded with nutrients. A gift that’s playful enough for a child and sophisticated enough for an adult.

Khajoor Rolls – Date Rolls (Sugar Free)

Ingredients:

Pitted Dates – 1 1/2 cup, tightly packed
Dried Figs – 3/4 cup
Raisins – 1/8 cup
Cashew nuts – 1/8 cup
Pistachios – 1/4 cup
Almonds – 1/4 cup
Dessicated Coconut – 2-3 tbsp

Method:

1. In a food processor, add the pitted dates and dried figs. Process until it is a sticky pasty ball. Transfer it to a mixing bowl.
2. Add the dry fruits and nuts to a chopping board and chop them all up roughly. Add these chopped dry fruits and nuts to the dates and fig mixture and mix well.
3. On a chopping board, shape the mixture into a log about 3 inch in diameter. Sprinkle dessicated coconut and roll the log in it to cover the entire thing with coconut.
4. Refrigerate the prepared log for 1-2 hours. Then just before serving, slice them into discs using a sharp knife. Serve. These can also be stored in the refrigerator for a long time in an air tight container with lid.

Note:
1. Instead of using dessicated coconut, you can use icing sugar or warq.
2. You can add a variety of other dry fruits and nuts that you love instead of using them ones I have listed above.
3. You can also use dark chocolate chips, oats, ground flax, chia seeds, a little bit of orange juice or lemon juice, vanilla powder or cinnamon powder etc whatever you fancy to mix with the dates.
4. Instead of shaping them into logs and then cutting into slices, you can roll them into small balls and serve in gorgeous cupcake liners as date truffles to impress the guests. Or you can even shape in the form of Barfi.

Luv,
Mona

Dry Fruits and Nuts Biscuits

Just like Sharmila, and I believe many other Indians, I tend to get confused between cookies and biscuits. Back home in India, only those that are studded with chocolate chips were called as cookies, whereas all others are referred to as biscuits. So you are free to call them whatever you wish, fruit biscuits, or fruit cookies, these melt in mouth morsels studded with dry fruits and nuts are a treat.

dry fruits and nuts biscuits

The famous Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad city is popular for fruit biscuits, among many other baked food products that they are known for. I had always loved these when I was a little kid. These were perhaps one my most early loves. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered a recipe for fruit biscuits at one of my favorite TV chefs website, Ina Garten. I have tried and took delight in many of her recipes, her homely style of cooking is something that I can identify with.

Simple to prepare and delightful to taste, these biscuits have become a regular in my house. Ofcourse I miss those that were available at Karachi Bakery, but these have been successful enough to win my heart and rock my tastebuds. I have made a few changes to the original recipe so that it suites me. For an eggless version, try Priya’s version.

Dry Fruits & Nuts Biscuits/ Cookies
Adapted from this original recipe

Ingredients:

Dried fruits – 1 cup [I used a mixture of tutti frutti and raisins. You can use whatever dry fruits you fancy, like dried berries, candied cherries (or any fruits) etc]
Dried nuts – 3/4 cup [I used a mixture of cashewnuts and walnuts]
Honey – 1 tbsp
Fresh orange juice – 2 tbsp
Fresh lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Canola oil – 1/2 cup
Powdered cloves – 1/4 tsp
Light brown sugar – 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 2, large
All purpose flour – 2 2/3 cups
Salt

Method:

1. Chop the dried nuts and fruits roughly. Place them in a mixing bowl, add orange juice, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Cover with a plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.
2. In a mixing bowl add butter and oil, powdered cloves, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, beat for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and beat for a minute or two until mixed. Add the the dried fruits and nuts, including any liquid in the bowl. Now add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt just until combined. Don’t over-mix! Divide the dough in half. Place the half on a wax paper and using the long edge of the paper as a guide, shape them into logs. Cover the logs with plastic wrap entirely if you plan to freeze them now to use later. Or else, refrigerate the logs wrapped in wax paper for 1-2 hours or until firm (you can even freeze them for just 15-20 minutes) so that you can easily cut them into slices.

biscuit dough logs

biscuits, cut and ready to be baked

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a small, sharp knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices 1/2-inch apart on aluminium foil lined cookie sheets and bake for 14 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges. Mine were done in just 14 minutes. Once done, transfer the biscuits immediately on a rack and let cool. Once cool, store in air tight food storage containers.

Luv,
Mona

Dried Fig Jam

The other day while sorting out the pantry, I found some dried figs which I had bought long time back from the store. They were gorgeous and smelled delectable. Dried figs are easy to store and keep well for very long time at room temperatures.

I love to munch on a few dried uncooked figs at breakfasts usually. They are sweet, cooling, nourishing, heavy fruit low in saturated fat and help fight Cancer as they contain many antioxidants. Dried figs are a good laxative, helpful for those with constipation and also helps lower blood cholesterol. It is a good source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, fibre, copper and vitamin B6 and K. It has some anti-bacterial properties too. However figs should not be had in larger amounts at a time as they increase blood sugar levels quickly and can also cause diarrhoea.

This time I wanted to prepare a jam with these and went on with it. This is a preservelike spread and not a true preserve and must be refrigerated to avoid spoilage, because it contains a higher proportion of fruit to sugar and retain more fruit flavor. The jam was delicious and got prepared in less than an hour. I love the slight crunchy texture due to the seeds in the jam.

Dried Fig Jam

Ingredients:

  • Dried Figs/Anjeer – 250 gms, stems removed and finely chpped
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Citric Acid – 1/4 tp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Water – 500 ml

Method:

  • Add the chopped figs and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, simmer and let it cook covered for 25 minutes until the figs are soft. Remove from heat and keep aside until cool.
  • In a blender container, pour the contents of the saucepan and blend it till pureed.
  • Pour this back into the saucepan and add the sugar, lemon juice, citric acid and let it cook for about 15 more minutes on medium heat or until it reaches a jammy consistency.
  • Pour this into a sterlised dried glass jar with a tight lid and let it cool completely. Refrigerate to store.

Finish the jam within a month in order to avoid spoilage.

Luv,
Mona