Ranginak is best when made with freshly picked and soft dates and that's how my mother used to make it back home. She wouldn't stuff dates with walnuts as it seems to be common now a days. The ranginak she made was soft and sweet and was covered with toasted wheat flour which would easily melt in your mouth.
Ranginak is traditionally served with a freshly brewed cup of tea. I've used my mother's ranginak recipe with a little twist of adding crushed walnuts and some garnish for presentation.
Ranginak - Persian Date Dessert
1 lb dates (preferably fresh and soft), pitted and cut in half
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups flour (whole wheat or all purpose), sifted
2 tablespoons fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pistachios, coarsely chopped
Slivered almonds *optional
Shredded coconuts *optional
- Toast walnuts in a dry skillet for 3-5 minutes on medium-low heat. Set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the dates and cook them for 3 minutes until softened, stirring frequently.
- Add the toasted walnuts and ground cardamom. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.
- In large pan, toast the sifted flour over medium heat until the edges turn a light golden brown. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add a cup of oil to make a smooth and creamy paste.
- Add the cinnamon, cardamon and a tablespoon of sugar.
- On a serving platter spread half of the flour mixture, top with the dates and walnut mixture, press them down packed. Spread the remaining flour over the dates.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of fine sugar and garnish with chopped pistachios, slivered almonds and shredded coconuts.
- Serve with fresh brewed hot tea and warm bread.