September 05, 2010

Ranginak, Persian Date Dessert

رنگینک Ranginak is a healthy, nutritious and wonderful tasty dessert from the southern region of Iran. The history of dates in Iran goes back to the ancient times and the beautiful dates and palm trees are a part of our southern landscape. I was lucky enough to grow up having palm trees in our yard and a tall and healthy date tree with red colored dates in our last home before we left Khuzestan. The date trees stand tall and strong against the brutal heat and the hot summer sun and with only  little water and care they produce the sweetest fruits. Dates are the most healthy, satisfying and nutritious snacks when you have no time to cook and are in a hurry. 

Ranginak is best when made with freshly picked and soft dates and that's how my mother used to make it back home. She wouldn't stuff dates with walnuts as it seems to be common now a days. The ranginak she made was soft and sweet and was covered with toasted wheat flour which would easily melt in your mouth.
Ranginak is traditionally served with a freshly brewed cup of tea. I've used my mother's ranginak recipe with a little twist of adding crushed walnuts and some garnish for presentation.

Ranginak - Persian Date Dessert

Serving 6-8

1 lb dates (preferably fresh and soft), pitted and cut in half
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups flour (whole wheat or all purpose), sifted
2 tablespoons fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom


Pistachios, coarsely chopped
Slivered almonds *optional
Shredded coconuts *optional

  1. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet for 3-5 minutes on medium-low heat. Set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the dates and cook them for 3 minutes until softened, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the toasted walnuts and ground cardamom. Stir well and cook for another 2 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  4. In large pan, toast the sifted flour over medium heat until the edges turn a light golden brown. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add a cup of oil to make a smooth and creamy paste.
  5. Add the cinnamon, cardamon and a tablespoon of sugar.
  6. On a serving platter spread half of the flour mixture, top with the dates and walnut mixture, press them down packed. Spread the remaining flour over the dates.
  7. Sprinkle a tablespoon of fine sugar and garnish with chopped pistachios, slivered almonds and shredded coconuts.
  8. Serve with fresh brewed hot tea and warm bread. 


  1. Azita,
    this truly make my mouth water, the ingredients have everything that I love, especially pistachios.

    Your photos are so beautiful!

  2. Azita,

    Thank you so much for this particular recipe and your blog. It's quite a cure for homesickness :)


  3. Azarakhsh jan, you are so kind. Thank you.

  4. Salaam Azita, how are you doing ? how is your's fasting day so far ? :) I loves to see the pictures you put here..very beautiful.

    What a healty dessert you have, need to try :)

  5. Mom's the little one, salaam and thank you! I'm doing fine and hope all is well with you and your family.

  6. That is a lovely recipe! I tasted ranginak, many, many years ago and had a craving for it recently, so I tried and tried, until it tasted like I remembered... Just posted it today and then, I found your blog and all its yummy recipes!
    I will try your recipe, which is definitely more authentic ;-)

  7. I love dates and pistachios, and our walnuts will be ripe in a week or two, so I'll definitely be trying this very soon. Thank you!

  8. This is a scrumptious treat with dates and nuts!

  9. Yummie, date and walnut is sure a great combination...not only sounds but looks delicious :-)

  10. My husband has never mentioned this dessert...but it looks so delicious. I am going to make this as a surprise.

  11. Oh my goodness, I am going to have to get me some fresh dates to make this incredible sounding dish. Do you recommend a certain variety? Thanks as always for sharing and inspiring.

  12. We have a similar dessert in the middle-east that comes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, countries with a lot of date trees; I love your ranginak! I was wondering why I have never seen it in Persian groceries?

  13. like everyone else my mouth water when I remember this fantastically tasty dish, so I am off to the local shop tomorrow and will surprise the family!. Many years of life and service in Khuzestan are filled with happy memories of warmth and hospitality, as well as mouth watering dishes. Thanks for reminding me of those happy times.

  14. This is one of my favorite desserts which my aunt would only make during Ramazan. My mouth is watering just reading your recipe. We're originally from Shiraz and my aunt doesn't saute the dates. We just put the walnuts in the pitted dates, put them side by side in the serving platter, top with the roasted flour (halva), and sprinkle confectionery sugar on top. I'm still really bad at making the halva part. I'm going to try yours next time. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

  15. I made this dessert today and it smells wonderful in the house! I have to say it has been one of my best Ranginaks... the roasted walnuts with some butter in the recipe gives a very different touch to this dessert! Thanks !