As far back as I can remember, Ranginak, or date brownie, has had a special place on our table during the month of Ramadan. Despite my sweet tooth, I was not a big fan of dates but there was something bizarrely appealing about this concoction: the colorful pistachio, sesame, cinnamon, almond decoration covering the coarse wheat paste. Whe I would bite a piece of Ranginak, a delicious surprise awaited me.
Whether serving yourself a piece in the morning to complement your tea or coffee or relaxing at the end of a busy day with a hot herbal tea in hand, the date brownie is a healthy snack loaded with tons of all-natural good nutrients. Ranginak is naturally sweet enough to satisfy any cravings without the high-fructose-corn-syrup. It is loaded with natural energy, making it suitable delight for the fasting month of Ramadan. It is also a great choice for athletes who would like to maintain a steady blood sugar without putting their body through a sugar high.
Prep time: 10 min.
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 2-12 hrs.
Ready in: 2-12 hrs 25 min.
2 cups Pitted Dates
1 cup walnuts, halved
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup canola oil
Pistachios, finely crushed
1. Insert one or two pieces of walnut into each pitted date then arrange them on a flat plate. Set aside.
2. Place the whole wheat flour in a pan over high heat and stir frequently for 3-4 miuntes until it slightly gets dark. This will help to eliminate the raw smell of flour. The flour will start to smell like pop corn when it is done roasting. Avoid over-roasting since it will taste bitter when mixed in.
3. Lower the heat. Gradually add the oil. For this amount of flour, I used a tad more than ¾ cup of oil. Depending on the texture of the whole wheat flour, some may absorb more oil. As soon as the oil touches the flour it will show you how roasted the flour has become. It should be the color of milk chocolate. If it is darker brown, there is a big chance that the flour is over-roasted and it might taste bitter. So be very careful when roasting the flour.
4. After adding the oil, stir the mixture constantly for few minutes until it is a smooth not-too-runny creamy texture. If the mixture looks too oily, tilt the pan and remove the excess oil with a spoon. The well-incorporated mix will look like dark almond butter. Later, as it sets, the color will get darker.
5. Remove from heat. Immediately spoon over the filled dates and level with the back of a spoon.
6. Let it cool off on the counter for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling the powdered sugar. The paste needs to be cooled so the powdered sugar will sit atop it, creating a white canvas for further decoration. Otherwise, it will melt into the paste. It is best to let it rest overnight in the fridge.
7. Cinnamon and powdered sugar are the main ingredients to garnish this delicacy. However, do not feel intimidated to experience with more nuts and fragrant spices. I absolutely love the subtle aroma and unique taste of cinnamon. You may also add ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom to flour mixture to make it more fragrant.
I had originally chosen to decorate with coconut flakes but then changed my mind to crushed pistachios as the colors looked more vibrant.