Cardamom Coffee with Saffron & Almond filled Dates

For the longest time and for reasons unknown to me, I have been utterly seduced by all things Middle Eastern–the music, decor, architecture and, of course, the cuisine.
I especially love the way ingredients such as rosewater and orange blossom water are added to foods and drinks giving them a delicate, sensual, almost other worldly nuance. So when I’m in the mood for a little dreamy reminiscing about my previous trip to Morocco, I reach for this beautifully fragrant, easy to prepare aromatic coffee and date recipe.

Cardamom Coffee

 

You will need

For the coffee
Strong, freshly brewed coffee – 4 cups
20 Green Cardamom pods
Saffron, a generous pinch

For the dates
Medjool Dates –  12 pitted
Ground almonds – 3oz
Rosewater – 2-3 tablespoons
Soft brown caster sugar – 1 1/2 oz

Method

Put the brewed coffee into a saucepan, bash open the cardamon pods in a Pestel and Mortar and remove the seeds, stir them into the coffee along with the saffron. Keep the coffee hot by placing the pan over a medium heat, pop a lid on and leave for about 8-10 minutes. This will allow the spices to infuse into the coffee while you prepare the dates.

Mix together the ground almonds, sugar and 2 tablespoons of rosewater and make into a paste. Squeeze the paste together by hand to form a ball. Add more rosewater only if needed, as the natural oils from the almonds will help bind the paste together.

Take just less than a teaspoonful of the paste, roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands, then form a sausage shape. Fill a pitted date with the paste. Continue until you have filled all twelve dates.

Pour the coffee into cups through a tea strainer to remove the spices, and serve with the dates. The aromatic coffee is delicious either black or with a splash of cream. Enjoy!

 

Date recipe inspired: Tamarind & Saffron by Claudia Roden

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