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They are a delicious way to give yourself the energy boost we all need!

March 31, 2018 at 8:00 am

I know I always claim to have quick and easy recipes up my sleeve, but this one definitely takes the cake!

Madkooka is a traditional Iraqi dessert, or snack that is usually served with traditional bitter coffee. There are many similar “coffee desserts”, as they are called in the Gulf, that give the perfect sweet balance to the slightly bitter coffees served in these countries. The word Madkooka is derived from the Arabic word “dak”, which means to crush, which is exactly what this dessert involves.

However, when I think Madkooka nowadays, I can’t help but think of the newest health and fitness craze: energy balls/bites. These high-protein snacks usually have dates in them, along with a combination of other ingredients and are usually pretty pricey. However, Madkooka can be a perfect alternative to them and can be tweaked to your liking! I like to serve it in Ramadan as a change to just plain dates.

I am always saying that I have the easiest dessert or savoury recipe, but honestly it doesn’t get simpler or faster than this! You only need three pantry staples and a few minutes to put this dish together! As an added bonus, it is even a healthy dessert! I don’t think you can beat that.

Traditionally, Madkooka is coated with toasted sesame seeds, which gives it a lovely crunch and a nutty flavour, but I like to also use some unconventional coatings, like crushed digestive biscuits, nuts, or shredded coconut. You could even dip them in some dark chocolate for an unusual but delicious combination.

Why not whip up some Madkooka and try for yourself? They are a delicious way to give yourself the energy boost we all need!


3 cups (550g) dates (remove seeds)

1 cup tahini paste

1 cup sesame seeds (toasted)


  1. Place the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until toasted.
  2. While toasting the sesame seeds, place the dates in a food processor, or a meat grinder if you have one. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  3. Mince the dates as much as possible, you want the mixture to be smooth enough to roll into balls. While mincing, add the tahini paste and continue mincing until the mixture comes together.
  4. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls, then roll into the toasted sesame seeds or any coating of your choice. I like to use nuts or crushed digestive biscuits.
  5. Enjoy with a steaming hot cup of Arabic coffee or tea.