Walnut Date Squares with Flax seeds and Dark Chocolate
Cannot believe this year has flown by so fast, it is that time of the year already!
Deepavali or Diwali, the most awaited festival of the year and the festival of lights is here.
As if for the first time, it struck to me that Diwali is analogous to Christmas in myriad ways. The anticipation, the sweets, the shopping, the gifts, the lights, festive spirit, the grandeur, the time of year and the sheer concept of shared joy and camaraderie!
Anticipation, the feeling of butterflies fluttering in the stomach days before, is always the sweeter part.
Deepavali and sweets are so conjoint, I cannot talk about Deepavali without mentioning sweets in the same sentence.
When I was a little girl, that sentence wouldn’t have been complete without new clothes and tons of fire crackers. Gulping a Gulab jamun dripping with syrup first thing in the morning would mark the beginning of the festivities. A customary oil bath at wee hours of the morning, new clothes, sweet in our mouth, cracker in one hand and agarbatti (incense stick) in the other meant it was time to hit the streets for some action and fireworks.
As the times changed, meaning of the festival itself has evolved naturally too. Waking up hours before dawn was the first one to slide back as I entered college. Weaning away from firecrackers came next in the logical progression. Buying new clothes for the festival became a thing of the past as shopping began to be dictated more by the sales in malls unlike festival times in my childhood.
Call it “grown up” or whatever, much of the celebration now is about lights, sweets, new clothes for my little girl and some sparklers if we’re lucky. Then, I love to draw ornate Rangolis in my doorway and flood it with diyas, tons of them.
Talk about sweets, almost all of us Indians love them. Me, I have a massive sweet tooth.
So, I wanted to make something special this Diwali. Intended to post the recipe of Mysore Pak, which I made only for the second time in four years! Stopped at the consistency 20 seconds before time and ended up with Mysore Burfi instead. If not for the right consistency, it isn’t Mysore Pak. Another time, I promise.
Sulking for my near failure, an idea sprung up with the possibilities of Walnuts, flax seeds, dates and dark chocolate. So, here it is.
The recipe is so simple. if you’ve read the heading, you pretty much know it.
Wish you a very happy, festive and safe Deepavali!
May this Deepavali drive away all the darkness and the demons inside us and bring light, happiness, joy and inner peace!
How do you plan to celebrate?
Here are some more decadent sweets by blogger friends:
Laddoos by Lakshmi of Pure Vegetarian by Lakshmi
Kaju Katli by Prerna of Indian Simmer
Shortcut Gulab Jamun Recipe from Sala Kannan’s Veggie Belly
Jaggery and Whole Wheat flour Halwa by Anushruti of DivineTaste
Khajur ka Halwa by Kulsum of Journey Kitchen
Raskadam by Kankana of Sunshine and Smile
Walnut Date Burfi Recipe
makes 5 half tea-spoon size diyas and 8 mini squares
Things you’ll need:
1/4 cup Walnuts
scant 1/4 cup flax seeds
3-4 good quality medjool dates, pitted
1 square, good quality fair trade 60-70% cacao bittersweet baking chocolate
pumpkin seeds for garnish
a dot of ghee or butter for greasing ~ optional
1/2 teaspoon measure and small tins for molding
mini chocolate wrappers ~ optional
How it’s done:
Pulse flax seeds in a small jar grinder or spice grinder to a fine meal.
Measure 1/4 cup flax-seed meal storing the rest for use later. Alternatively, you can start with 1/4 cup flax-seed meal.
Add walnuts and pulse to a fine meal. Add pitted dates and dark chocolate and pulse until ground to a lump which can be molded easily.
To mold and decorate:
Mini Diyas Fill a 1/2 teaspoon measure with the burfi mix and press tight. Tap on the edge of the spoon to release onto a plate. Place it in a mini chocolate wrapper of your choice and garnish with a single pumpkin seed, for a mini diya.
To mold into squares, use a the lid of a rectangular tin or anything similar (ikea tins are quite handy). Grease the clean and dry lid with a dot of ghee or butter, fill it with the burfi mix and press tight. if needed, flatten the surface with a knife or spatula.
Turn it over on to a plate and tap it gently to release the burfi and cut into small squares, garnish with pumpkin seeds.
To make more, just double the quantity.
Because ground flax seeds and walnuts can go rancid soon, recommend consuming this sweet within 2-3 of days.
Take care not to grind the walnut or flax-seed meal too much to avoid ending up with nut butter.
Mini chocolate paper wrappers are available in TJ Max, Marshalls, Michaels