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Dates Penda

Dates Penda recipe

Penda as they are called in Gujarati or Peda in the rest of India, are Indian sweets that originated in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Penda are usually made using an ingredient called khoa which is made from concentrating full fat dairy milk. In western countries like the UK, it is usually made using milk powder. Refined sugar is usually added to this and then fragrant flavourings such as cardamom and saffron.

These pendas are made with only Whole Food Plant-based ingredients and sweetened only with dates. Saffron is the most expensive spice worldwide but only a few strands are needed to elevate the flavour of these penda. If you wish you can mix up the ingredients and add cloves

and different flavoured extracts such as orange. I’ve kept these simple and reminiscent of the penda I ate as a child. These pendas are not only better for you but comparable in taste!


2 cups pitted dates.

1 cup unsalted cashews

¼ cup unsweetened almond of soya milk

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

A pinch of saffron strands (optional)

¼ chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)


  1. Begin by soaking the dates in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften them.

  2. While the dates are soaking, dry the roast (you can skip this bit if you want) the unsalted cashews in a pan over low heat until they are golden. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool.

  3. In a food processor, combine the roasted cashews and drained dates, almond or soya milk, cardamom powder, ground nutmeg and saffron strands (if using)

  4. Process the mixture until it forms a smooth, thick and dough like consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor to ensure everything is well mixed.

  5. Transfer the mixture to a clean, flat surface and knead it for a minute to ensure it’s well combined.

  6. If you need to add a splash more plant milk to be able to process the mixture, you can add in extra almond flour (add a tablespoon at a time) to ensure the mixture isn’t too wet and resembles a dough.

  7. Roll the mixture into small bite sized penda or round shapes or use a mould to create decorative shapes.

  8. If you want, garnish each penda with chopped pistachios in the centre.

  9. Allow the penda to set on a lined baking tray in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. This will help them firm up.

  10. Once they’re set, your dates penda are ready to enjoy!


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