Discovering Date Berries

I am back to my transit home the Indian Railways. This time it is to Ahmadabad.

It is the first time we travelled to Ahmadabad, as we entered the city; it gave an impression of opening the skies and allowing us to fly, instead of the usual claustrophobic urban appearance.

Wide roads, no doubt messy, and busy, but they were definitely more conscious of where they dumped their garbage. As we zoomed through to Gandhinagar, the road side vendors had heaps yellow and red berries; I made a mental note check it out. Somehow I could not really do so.

On our way back there was young boy Abu Bhakar, a Malayalee, who was conducting his first business trip on behalf of his family. They were into trading fresh dates to the Middle East. Apparently these dates came into the market at Gandhigram annually during early monsoon; they would be processed and dried in the Middle East. The boy was pretty excited with this venture he shared the samples with us.

The red berries apparently turn into the deep brown flesh fresh dates that are known as Karjura in kannada, while the yellow ones would be processed into uttute.

On my second trip of course I picked up quarter kilo of each, on eating them raw they were crunchy and mildly sweet, though the yellow one left a mild acrid after taste.

Then came the big question what do I do with it?

Though I scourged the net there seemed no recipe for the date berries… when I remembered a fresh date recipe my mother made though it was a disaster then I thought it might work with as these were berries.

I had a collective of ½ kilo dates, which I soaked in hot water for few minutes and skinned. The acrid after taste reduced after being soaked in hot water and the sweetness enhanced.

dates 2
cooked yellow and red dates with dry nuts and spices.
  • The berries had to be deseeded, which I did.
  • Added in about 1 and half cup of sugar, and left it over night.
  • next morning I picked dates out, measured the sugar syrup left behind, added twice the quantity of water and let it simmer,
  • I then made a powder of:
    • ¼ cup dry coconut scraping.
    • 1 pod cardamom
    • 1 clove
    • Pinch of cinnamon powder
    • ½ cup of assorted nuts like cashew nut, walnut, pistachio’s, and almonds.
  • Fill in the deseeded dates with this mixture and put it back into the sugar syrup.
  • Let it simmer for about 2-3mnts and take it off the fire,

This was really interesting; alternately maybe I should have just chunked it all. Anyway all experiments now  are deferred for another year


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