Ayesha Erkin shares one of her delectable date recipes

We’re turning page after page of Ayesha Erkin’s recipe book Date of the Day, featuring 30+ recipes for the modest date. Ayesha started the series during Ramadan three years ago, where she created date combinations and shared them with friends and family in exchange for honest reviews. Timely for breaking fast and after, her recipes are a sweet and savoury mix of Kashmiri Chai Panna Cotta Dates, Crispy Cheese & Dill Dates, Sticky Toffee Pudding Dates and more. Our dear friend Ayesha has now kindly shared a recipe for you to make at home. Try it this Iftar or any time you need a salty-spiced sticky treat.


I love chilli oil. I put it on everything. My Uyghur grandmother is the reason for this. Lazajan is an Uyghur chilli oil that is a staple in the Erkin household. We make it in bulk because panic will ensue if we don’t have any. The fridge is never without butter, evaporated milk and lazajan.


10 Medjool dates, pitted

100g halloumi cheese, cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of chilli oil

2 tablespoons of honey


1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). 

2.  Stuff each date with a small cube of halloumi cheese.

3.  Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of chilli oil over each date.

4.  Place the stuffed dates onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

5.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dates are slightly caramelized.

6.  Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of honey over each date. Best served warm.

We hope this recipe adds sweetness to your Iftar, and we look forward to breaking fast with some of you soon at our very own celebration. Ramadan Mubarak to you and your loved ones, and happy feasting.

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The holy month of Ramadan is upon us, when Muslims around the world fast daily from dawn till dusk. It is a time of private worship and spiritual discipline, but also of shared joy and abundant feasting. Families and communities come together at suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and at iftar, the evening meal, to break their fasts with copious, delicious dishes. Join us on 7th April for our own Iftar celebration – for an evening of feasting and live music.

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