How to Make Date Paste (two ways)

Date paste is used as a filling in many Moroccan and Mediterranean pastries. It is also great for making date bars and truffles. It is sold in Middle Eastern stores and online. In the absence of a store nearby or if one can’t wait for the online purchase to arrive, one can make it at home, easily and quickly. Date Paste Recipe

Here are two different ways to make date paste:

1. In the microwave:
Place 1 cup chopped, pitted dates in a bowl. Add 2/3 cup water. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. Remove the bowl carefully from the microwave as it will be very hot. Drain the dates. Discard the liquid. Place the dates on a cutting board and press with a fork or potato ricer to mash them into a paste. Alternatively, process in the food processor until desired smoothness is achieved.

2. In the steamer: Steam 1 cup chopped, pitted dates in a steaming basket over a pot of boiling water or in an electric steamer until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the dates to a cutting board and press with a fork or potato ricer to mash them into a paste. Alternatively, process in the food processor until desired smoothness is achieved.

1 cup chopped dates yields about 1/2 cup date paste.

Note: Date paste from steamed dates is stickier and darker than the one obtained from microwaved dates.

Left: Paste from steamed dates. Right: Paste from microwaved dates.

P.S. When buying dates to make paste, you don’t have to buy Medjoul or other high quality dates. Cheaper, smaller, lower quality dates are all you need.

Related Recipes:
Chocolate Date Truffles
Makrout: Date and Semolina Bars

24 Responses to “How to Make Date Paste (two ways)”

  1. 1

    Miriam — 03/14/2011 @ 11:40 am

    Very interesting! I really think microwave is an underrated appliance.

  2. 2

    1000+1 — 03/14/2011 @ 12:12 pm

    great tip! thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) — 03/14/2011 @ 12:21 pm

    This sound so easy to make. And I like your small
    Enamel plate .

  4. 4

    optiko — 03/14/2011 @ 1:03 pm

    I liked the idea. :) i love dates.

  5. 5

    Dawn — 03/14/2011 @ 5:56 pm

    I LOVE dates. In fact, that reminds me, I was thinking of getting one of those clay pots to do tangines in. Maybe I can get by on the way home and start doing more moroccan dishes.

  6. 6

    Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy — 03/14/2011 @ 8:56 pm

    I really like this post coz u have given precise times of cooking and quantities.Thanks so much.

  7. 7

    Ilke — 03/14/2011 @ 11:50 pm

    I like dates in cookies, meat and rice dishes. The taste is nice and not overwhelming, goes well with everything!

  8. 8

    Helene — 03/15/2011 @ 12:08 am

    I had a Lebanese neighbor and she would make those pastries. I was always curious how she was doing the dates filling. Thanks.

  9. 9

    Mary — 03/15/2011 @ 4:15 am

    Never heard or seen this! Sounds lovely though!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  10. 10

    Julia — 03/15/2011 @ 7:37 am

    Why have I never heard of or seen date paste before? It's only recently we've started to use dates more so I'm going to give this a try. Looks great!

  11. 11

    heidi — 03/15/2011 @ 10:01 am

    wonderful tip, now let´s wait you can share with us some delectable mediterranean pastries with it!.

  12. 12

    Mary — 03/15/2011 @ 11:30 am

    It is always nice to have this kind of information at hand. I use dates quite a bit and it is nice to know that this can be done. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  13. 13

    Nisrine Merzouki — 03/15/2011 @ 12:28 pm

    They're coming, Heidi. I promise.

  14. 14

    Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow — 03/15/2011 @ 12:35 pm

    I love dates! These look like a delicious filling! Can't wait to see wait you do with them!

  15. 15

    foodwanderings — 03/15/2011 @ 12:42 pm

    Those look like a great quality dates you got there. Raw quality starting point is always key!! Never thought of making date paste by myself! :)

  16. 16

    Fimère — 03/15/2011 @ 4:42 pm

    merci pour la recette d'habitude je l'achète toute prête
    bonne soirée

  17. 17

    Dimah — 03/15/2011 @ 7:54 pm

    Great tip..
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. 18

    blackbookkitchendiaries — 03/16/2011 @ 12:17 am

    thank you for sharing this post! it looks so good:)

  19. 19

    Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook — 03/16/2011 @ 6:08 am

    This is fantastic as I am coming across date paste in several recipes lately. Thank you for sharing!

  20. 20

    Indie.Tea — 03/16/2011 @ 8:03 am

    Really interesting. I think I'd do the steamed version. Yum!

  21. 21

    El — 03/16/2011 @ 1:58 pm

    I would have never thought of this. Great idea!

  22. 22

    Magic of Spice — 03/16/2011 @ 8:19 pm

    I just completed a recipe the other day with dates, this would have been a lovely accompaniment. Wonderful!

  23. 23

    Anna's Table — 03/17/2011 @ 6:04 pm

    Loving the posts on dates! I recently got into revitalizing a recipe which we rarely see today, the date nut loaf. Date squares are another favourite of mine and which are not as popular as they were years ago. Thanks or sharing.

  24. 24

    A Canadian Foodie — 03/24/2011 @ 10:22 pm

    Every Christmas we have made this – didn't call it date paste, called it date filling – and placed it between two not at all sweet oatmeal rounds. Just a delicious snack. Love the detailed tutorial – and yes, delicious with any plain date. YUM!
    ANd many more uses than the one I have used… I must try more!

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