Madinah Dates Market

While dates don’t appear to be particularly appetising with their wrinkled, brown exterior, many types are sweet and flavourful. While many enjoy dates as a snack they can be used many different ways, popular uses from around the world include date butter, date vinegar, chutney, date paste for bakery products, flavourings and roasted whole date seeds. The tree’s buds (hearts of palm) are tasty additions to salads.

Dates have been used throughout history as many believed they possessed healing powers. Dates are mentioned several times in the Bible, and 20 times in the Quran showing their importance.  Dates are naturally easy to digest, making it easy for your body to maximise use of their goodness. Dates contain many vitamins such as vitamins A and K. Vitamin A protects the eyes, maintains healthy skin and mucus membranes, and also protects the lungs and mouth from developing cancer. Vitamin K is a blood coagulant that also helps metabolize your bones.

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Barhi Dates: 

These fresh Barhi dates are soft and somewhat chewy in texture. The Barhi dates have a butterscotch candy flavour to them. IMG_7593


Ajwa Dates:

Ajwa is a dry type of date fruit with a soft and fruity taste. Ajwa dates are highly cultivated in islamic regions due to them being The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) favourite dates. It is reported that the Prophet said in reference to eating Ajwa dates  “If Somebody takes seven ‘ajwa dates in the morning, neither magic nor poison will hurt him that day.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book #71, Hadith #664 (also 663, 672). 

If consumed regularly Ajwa dates possess many benefits for the human body such as:

  • Preventing abdominal cancer
  • Preventing anemia
  • Strengthening the nervous system
  • Energy production
  • For healthy skin and eyesight
  • Treating dementia and fatigue
  • Reducing cholesterol levels
  • Protecting against heart problems, and for protein metabolism

Poaching in Olive Oil

To poach any kind of fish

  1. Lay the fillets in a shallow, oven-proof casserole dish or skillet, just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Cover the fish with a 1/8-inch thick layer of olive oil (a good brand, but not your best), season with a flakey sea salt and any other herb or spice you like, then send it into a 275-degree oven, basting it often, until it’s cooked through. For a 1-inch thick fish fillet, it takes about 30 minutes.
To poach shrimp, scallops or lobster

  1. I like to cook them on the stovetop. Place them in a single layer in a saucepan and pour in enough oil to just cover them. My default aromatics are thyme and lightly smashed garlic cloves (see photo above). Then set the pan over low heat, letting it warm enough so that tiny bubbles begin emerging on the sides of the pan, but none of the shellfish are bouncing around. Baste often and you’ll see the shellfish slowly turn opaque and constrict. When they’re cooked properly, they’ll be bouncy and light and not at all tough.