Khasab Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Khasab Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Khasab or Kheshab dates are a smaller variety of dates commonly found in the UAE. These bright red nuggets of goodness not only taste delicious but are also extremely nutritious.

Khasab dates get their name from the Khasab region in Oman, which is where they are thought to have originated from.

These dates are thought to be one of the oldest types of dates to be cultivated in the North Africa and Gulf of Persia regions. Today, Kheshab dates are highly valued all over the world and are popularly eaten in the USA and other Western countries. 

Origin and Seasonal Availability of Khasab Dates

Khasab dates originate in the dry and desert areas of the Middle East and North Africa. Today Khasab dates are mostly cultivated in the UAE and Arabic Gulf region.

These dates have historical importance to the Middle Eastern countries. The Khasab date tree has been considered a “blessed tree” in many countries from ancient times. 

Seasonal availability 

Khasab dates are harvested in the fall, like most other date fruits. It is then allowed to ripen further for a few weeks. So the best time to purchase Khasab dates is around October and November. 

Characteristics of Khasab Khajoor

Appearance and Texture

Khasab dates - origin - texture - taste - price - culinary benefits - nutritional benefits

Khasab dates are light red to brownish red in color with shiny but slightly wrinkled skin. They are oval in shape and elongated.

They are around 1 to 1 ½ inch long. Khasab khajoor has a seed inside it, covered by a fibrous layer, which is edible. 

Khasab dates are consumed at the Rutab stage, which translates to “half soft fruit”. During this stage, the khasab khajur is wrinkled but not shrivelled and soft to the touch.

When you pinch one of these dates between your fingers, it should not break, but you should be able to feel the seed inside.

As the fruit ages, it can lose moisture shrivel up a bit more, and become harder to the touch. 

Flavour

Khasab dates are consumed when they are slightly soft in texture. During this stage, they are sweet but not extremely sweet.

In fact, out of the popular varieties of dates, Khasab dates have the lowest amount of sugar content. They have a fruity flavour and they are somewhat chewy.

Once they dry more, they become less sweet in taste and they become harder to chew on. They also develop a woody flavour as they dry more. 

Moisture Content

Khasab dates are harvested when they are still firm, but they are allowed to come to a soft stage before consumption. When you bite into a Khasab khajoor, it should feel like biting into a cake.

It is soft but not juicy; the moisture content is quite low. However, if the dates are allowed to dry out a bit more for preservation, they lose their moisture content even further. They become a lot harder to chew on. 

Nutritional Values in Khasab Dates

Khasab dates are one of the most nutritious varieties of dates. They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and carbohydrates. They also have a lot of good minerals such as potassium, calcium, and sodium. 

Per 100 grams of Khasab date contains:

Calories185 Klcl
Fiber 6-8 grams
Sugar 47.8  grams
Protein1.1 grams
Fat 0.1 grams

Per 100 grams of Khasab Dates contains:

Potassium407 mg 
Magnesium31 mg
Sodium107 mg
Calcium8.4 mg
Iron0.6 mg

Culinary Uses of Khasab Khajur

Khasab dates have a specific flavour and taste, making them ideal for some unique date dishes. 

Culinary uses of Khasab dates
  • Fruit salad: Cut one apple, and one banana into cubes. Add a handful of pomegranate seeds to the mixture. Take about 5 to 6 Khasab dates and remove the seeds. Cut them into small chunks and add them to the mixture. Add 2 teaspoons of sweetened Greek yogurt to the fruit mix and toss everything together. You can enjoy the fruit salad as a dessert. Or you can add some muesli to it and eat it as breakfast. 
  • Halwa: Take 2 cups of Khasab dates and remove the seeds. Put 2 tablespoons of warm water into the pitted dates and let them sit for 30 minutes or so. The dates will become softer and absorb some of the water. Pour the entire thing into a blender and blend it until a thick paste forms. Transfer the paste to a nonstick pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee into it and bring it to a low flame. Stir continuously until the ghee is absorbed. Add a handful of roasted cashews and 1 tablespoon of ghee to the mixture. Keep stirring until the ghee is absorbed and the mixture is thickened. In a separate bowl mix 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with enough water to form a slurry. Pour the mixture into the pan and keep stirring continuously until it combines together and separates from the pan. Pour the thickened mixture into a lined baking tray and let it cool down for half an hour. Then you can cut it into pieces and enjoy it as dessert. 
  • Energy bites: Take a few Khasab dates and split them down the middle on one side. Remove the seed and spread it open. Fill the inside with a dollop of cream cheese. Add a whole cashew nut to it and top it off with a sprinkle of kosher salt. You can store these in the fridge on a tray for times when you need an instant energy boost. Eating one or two of these energy bites can help you get energized quickly and the energy boost will last about an hour. 
  • Smoothie: The quickest way to use Khasab dates is in any smoothie of your choice. Add a few fruits or greens of your choice into the blender with 5 pitted Khasab dates. Blend it on high for 30 seconds and you can enjoy your smoothie without adding any sugar or artificial sweetener. 
  • Instant Pickle: Take 20 Khasab dates and remove the seeds. Cut them into small cubes or slices as per your preference. Take a thick nonstick pan and roast one teaspoon each of fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and black pepper separately. Also, roast a few dried red chili peppers. Roast these spices only until they release a nice aroma. It should take about 1 minute or so for each spice. Blend everything together in a blender on high until everything turns into a coarse powder. Heat 2 teaspoons of refined vegetable oil and add the Khasab dates. Fry them until they are slightly softer; make sure they are not overcooked. Add half a cup of water and allow it to reduce. Add the spices, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and a teaspoon of red chili powder. Add the juice of half a lemon and allow the mixture to reduce even further. The pickle is now ready, allow it to cool down and then store it in an airtight container. You can enjoy it on its own or with chaat. 
  • No bake dates and chocolate fudge: Take half a cup of Khasab dates and remove the seeds. Put them into the blender along with 50 grams of cocoa powder, ½ cup of almond or peanut butter, a dash of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Blend them on high until it becomes crumbly. Slowly add about 1/4th cup of coconut oil until the mixture becomes thick and dough-like. Mix in a few chopped cashew nuts if you want. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture on the tray evenly and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Cut the fudge into squares and keep them in the fridge for when you need a little snack. 

Price

Khasab dates retail at around ₹800 or $10 per Kg. 

Where to Buy?

You can buy khasab dates online on the below websites.

Luluhypermarket

Trueelements

Amazon

Final Thoughts:

The unique thing about Khasab dates is that they are less sweeter than other types of dates such as Medjool or Ajwa khajur. They are similar in taste to Hallawi dates

Khasab dates are wonderful for your health and they also taste really good. They are less sweet than other varieties of dates, making them suitable for unique culinary uses.

Due to their low sweetness, they are also ideal for diabetic patients and those who don’t like the sugary sweetness but still want to consume dates. 

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