If you are a fan of sweet sticky dates and a chutney vibe, then you will love this hearty treat that’s a little sweet and tart. The ingredients are easily found at any spice market and in lieu of messing around trying to boil down the tamarind you can also buy it already filtered an ready to go.
3 0z sour tamarind pulp or paste ( or 8 1/2 oz pre- made concentrate)
1 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (can substitute with whole wheat)
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
20 Medjool dates, pitted an finely chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts (plus 8 halves for the top)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup packed jaggery sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
Place the tamarind in a heat proof bowl and add the boiling water. Press the tamarind down with a spoon so it is submerged in the water. Cover and let sit for an hour.
Massage and squeeze the pulp to soften it and press through a fine strainer and discard the solids.
Measure out 8 1/2 oz and reserve a 2-3 tbsp for glaze.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan, and cut a piece of parchment to line the bottom. Spread with a little butter.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, ginger, pepper, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Place the dates and the walnuts in a bowl and add 2 tbsp of the flour mixture. Toss to coat evenly.
In a cuisinart or blender pulse together the olive oil and the jaggery sugar for a few seconds til emulsified.
Add 1 egg and pulse for a few seconds, then add the other and pulse again.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk together.
Add 8 1/2 oz of tamarind you made (or pre -made concentrate) and whisk together.
Fold in the dates and walnuts.
Spoon the batter into the pan and place the 8 walnuts halves down the center.
Bake for 55-60 minutes rotating the pan half way through.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the loaf on a baking rack for about an hour and glaze.
To make glaze:
Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp tamarind, 1 tbsp olive oil.
Note: Recipe heavily adapted from Nik Sharma of a Brown Table.