A bowl of traditional date batheeth.
Aisha Hamad AlMidfa
My grandmother’s batheeth is the most comforting Emirati dessert out there to me. It is heavenly curated to fulfil every taste bud with its smoothness and satisfying flavour.
It may not seem appealing to the eyes, but the taste makes up for it. It is essential for my grandmother to have us take when travelling because it travels well and can last long, also it feels like a part of her is always with us. The modern spin on the batheeth is that it can be shaped in smaller shapes making it easier to eat.
Historically, this dessert became popular in the UAE amongst the pearl divers because it is very durable and can last long during their trips. They used to take large quantities with them because it provided them with energy and nutritious values from the dates.
Total time: 20 minutes
2 cups flour (white or brown)
¾ cups butter
2 tsp pure ghee
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup pitted dates
½ cups crushed almonds
½ cups crushed pistachios
1. In a pot on the stove with medium heat add the sifted flour until golden brown. Remove the flour from the stove once golden and add it in a mixing bowl.
2. In the mixing bowl, add the butter and ghee. Mix well.
3. Add the dates to the mixture. Make sure the dates are pitted and have the consistency of a paste, so it is manageable before mixing.
4. Add the mixture back on medium heat in a pot. This will ensure that the mixture is well combined.
5. In the same pot add the saffron, cardamom powder, and fennel seeds. Mix well.
6. Once everything is mixed well add the batheeth in a serving dish and sprinkle on some crushed almonds and pistachios. Others may like to shape the mixture in small shapes, but don’t forget to roll them in the crushed almonds and pistachios for texture.
Aisha is an intern with Gulf Today. She covers the Emirati community, culture, and food.
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