Zahidi Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Zahidi Dates: Origin, Appearance, Benefits & Culinary Uses

Zahidi is a name of pure delight. With a meaning like “of a small quantity” or “nobility,” These dates are a more exotic variety of dates.

The Zahidi date falls under the semi-dry category as opposed to the dry and soft categories. These dates are oval and are known as the “butter date” for their mild taste and muted hue, this variety of date is often overlooked. 

These are the dates for you if you’re looking for something with the richness of caramel and the health benefits of a superfood.

In this article, we will explore all the unknown facts about Zahidi khajoor, starting from their origin to their culinary usage, and why you should put them at the top of your list of date options.

Origin, Geographical Presence and Seasonal Availability

Zahidi dates first appeared in the early twentieth century and may trace its roots back to northern Iraq. In the dry, desert-like environment of California in 1902, the Zahidi date palm was first imported to the United States.

Despite being able to flourish in any of Iran’s tropical cities, the vast majority of the country’s Zahidi Date fruit is grown in the provinces of Fars and Kerman.

About one per cent of the world’s date fruit supply comes from the Zahidi plant. The Zahidi palm, with its distinctive compact crown, is robust and productive, producing between 91 and 136 kilograms of fruit every season. It also produces a large number of offshoots, anywhere from 15 to 25.

In 1946, the Zahidi date fruit industry in California covered 183 acres, with all but 30 of those acres located in the Coachella Valley making the valley the primary location for its cultivation.

As the most extensively spread cultivar in northern Iraq, Zahidi is by far the most prevalent. Moreover, half of the date palms in most Baghdad-area date-growing regions are Zahidi. 

Approximately 6 million trees have been planted since 2015, making it the most popular date variety in Iraq. Although harvests frequently reach 100 kg per tree, the average yearly yield in Iraq is 73 kg.

Dubai, Egypt, Djibouti, Chile, Peru, India, Iran, Israel, Palestine, and Syria are among the other countries where it is cultivated. The Zahidi date palm is also much sought after for decorative purposes.

Seasonal availability

The best time to harvest Zahidi khajoor is the beginning of autumn, that is, the middle and end of September and early October.

Characteristics of Zahidi Khajoor

Appearance & Texture

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

Zahidi dates are medium-sized measuring around 3.5 centimeters in diameter, have an unusually elongated oval form when mature, and have a beautiful golden amber hue.

A semi-dry date, as the name suggests. The outer layer is light brown, while the thick, golden meat within protects a solitary seed. 

Zahidi khajur dates will quickly replace other types of dates as your go-to snack because of their rich, sugary taste and tender, chewy texture. 

The unripe fruit of the Zahidi palm is yellow. As time goes on and the temperature becomes warmer, the mature fruit’s moisture causes it to fade from amber-brown to a lighter shade of brown.

Flavour

The Zahidi date has a pleasantly sweet, nutty, and buttery flavour with a delicate tang reminiscent of dried apricots, and it has a semi-dry, chewy texture.

They are far lower in sugar than the Medjool variety, which is often held to be the gold standard of dates. However, they are still just as tasty.

Moisture content

Zahidi dates have a moisture content of 14%.

Nutritional Values in Zahidi Dates

Zahidi dates are high in fibre, potassium, and antioxidants, making them a healthy and delightful snack. The fibre content of Zahidi dates is among the highest of any date variety. They have nearly all the twenty essential amino acids plus a plethora of other vitamins and minerals.

Average nutritional value per 100g of zahidi dates
Energy300 Cals
Protein3 g
Total carbs78 g
Dietary Fiber8 g
Total sugars73 g
Calcium50 mg
Iron0.9 mg
Potassium600 mg

Culinary Uses of Zahidi Khajur

Culinary uses of Zahidi Dates

Zahidi dates, with their subtle sweetness and nutty undertones, may be used in both sweet and savoury preparations. Their solid texture makes them a go-to baking ingredient because they don’t lose shape when baking. 

Zahidi dates, when diced, offer a delightfully sweet punch to baked goods including bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies. They are a better option than using refined sugars in your baked products since they are low in fat and include natural sugars.

It may also be eaten raw as a snack or used in savory dishes because of its mild sweetness. Flavors like dark rum, brandy, almonds, fresh cheeses, bacon, chicken, and maple syrup are all great complements to chocolate, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cream, butter, coconut, orange, ginger, rosemary, and dark rum.

Price

The average price range of Zahidi khajoor is 250-400 INR in India and 10-12 USD in the USA.

Where to Buy?

You can buy zahidi dates online on the below websites.

India:

Amazon

Kharifoods

USA:

Oasisdate

Shieldsdategarden

Final Thoughts:

Zahidi Dates are a good option for people who prefer Savory Flavors over sweet ones because they are not too sweet. Because of its high quality, low price, and easy storage and care requirements, Zahidi dates are among the most often purchased kinds of dates.

They have similar tastes to Deglet Noor and Mazafati dates. But, they are slightly smaller compared to Mazafati and Deglet noor. If you haven’t explored the world of dates yet, take this as your cue to sample a delectable new kind.

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