Sagai Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Sagai Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

The Sagai date is a classic date of the Arabian Peninsula, and now it is also widely consumed across Asia. Their unique texture and colour set them apart from other types of dates.

These dates have a distinctive two-toned look, with a dry golden top and a softer brown body. Sagai dates have incredibly tender skin that is easy to chew and has a wonderful flavour. 

In this article, we will explore all the unknown facts about the Sagai dates and the reasons why you should incorporate this date into your diet. 

Origin, Geographical Presence and Seasonal Availability

The Arabic word “sag,” which means “to dry,” is believed to be the source of the name “Sagai” This is because, historically, sagai khajoor were eaten only after being dried in the sun.

Sagai dates are said to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula, however, this is just speculation. For centuries, this area has been a major centre for the production and distribution of dates. 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now the world’s third-largest date producer. While it is popular in Saudi Arabia, these dates are also cultivated in neighbouring countries including Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.

Seasonal availability

The best time to buy Sagai dates is from the late summer to early fall. Their peak season is from September to October.

Types of Sagai Dates

There are three common types of Sagai dates. These unique types are:

  1. Shahi Sagai Dates: They are the most common type and are beneficial for your cardiovascular health. They have a slightly nutty flavour.
  2. Khajoor Sagai Dates: They are slightly smaller than Shahi and have a positive impact on bone density. They have a caramel flavour.
  3. Chhuha Sagai Dates: They are the smallest in size and have a sour flavour.

Characteristics of Sagai Khajoor

Appearance & Texture

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

The appearance of Sagai khajoor is unique owing to the golden hue and the slightly dry feel that characterizes the date’s tip, while the rest of its body is brown and chewy.

The texture is a combination of crunchy and soft. The outer layer is crisp, while the inner layer is chewy and tender. 

Additionally, depending on the type and the growing circumstances, Sagai dates may range in both length and breadth.

But on average, medium-sized Sagai dates are around 2-3 inches and 1-1.5 inches in length and breadth respectively.

Flavour

Sagai dates have a sweet flavour, with a molasses undertone. They are not as sweet as some other date varieties, such as Medjool dates, but they are still exceptionally delicious. The flavour is said to remind you of warm brown sugar.

They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Overall, Sagai dates have a delicious and complex flavour. After each mouthful, you will be left with a pleasant aftertaste that is both sweet and savoury.

Moisture content

Sagai khajoor has a moisture content of 15-20%.

Nutritional Values in Sagai Dates

Sagai dates are packed with essential nutrients and provide several essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium.

Furthermore, Sagai khajur is an excellent source of energy and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Nutritional Value per 100g of sagai dates
Energy349 cal
Carbs85 g
Dietary Fiber7 g
Sugars65 g
Protein2 g
Sodium17 mg
Calcium7% 
Fat0.2% 

Culinary Uses of Sagai Khajur

Culinary Uses of Sagai Dates

Sagai dates can be enjoyed in several different ways. You may eat them right from the tree for the easiest preparation or chop them up to use them as a great natural sweetener for sauces like salad dressings marinades and other recipes.

They are also a great addition to cereal and smoothies by blending them, for that extra dose of sweetness and nutrition. Sagai dates may also be used in energy balls or snack bars when combined with almonds and seeds.

They can be used to make cakes, pies, cookies, and other delicacies. They can also be used to make date syrup, which can be used to top pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.

However, they are not limited to just desserts; they may be used in savoury dishes as well. By blending or processing the date’s flesh with some water, you can make a sagai date paste which can be used in stews or curries, giving us a juicy and sweet, tangy taste.

Price

The average price of Sagai dates is 1000 INR per kg in India and 8 to 10 USD per pound in the USA.

Where to Buy?

You can buy sagai dates online on the below websites.

India:

Palmtreeshopping

Amazon

Occasionsdryfruit

USA:

Onestophalal

Fruitandnutco

Zumzumstore

Final Thoughts:

Sagai dates are a versatile fruit, famous for its crunchiness and softness making it a popular snack because no other food quite like it exists. The taste is sugary, and the consistency is both crispy and chewy. During Ramadan and Eid, the demand for these dates is at an all-time high. If you’re seeking a nutritious snack, then these dates are your best bet.

Some other dates that are similar to Sagai dates are Barhi dates and Deglet Noor dates. Barhi dates are also native to the Arabian Peninsula and are known for their soft, chewy texture and sweet flavour. They are a good source of potassium and iron. However, Barhi dates are softer and have a more pronounced sweetness.

Deglet Noor dates are also a popular variety of date that is grown in North Africa sharing a similar taste palette to Sagai dates in terms of their sweet and chewy texture, but Deglet Noor dates are slightly drier and have a more complex flavour.

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