Date Pancakes

date pancakes
Photo: Bobbi Lin

Martha uses scallions instead of the usual onions in these sweet-and-savory Saudi Arabian pancakes and adds yogurt and stewed fruit compote as an enticing garnish.


For the Stewed Dried Fruit

  • 6 dried California apricots, diced

  • 6 dried pears, diced

  • 4 pitted prunes, diced

  • 4 dried Calimyrna figs, diced

  • ¼ cup golden raisins

  • 3 strips lemon zest

  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the Pancakes

  • 12 dates, pitted and chopped

  • 1 cup hot water, plus ½ cup lukewarm water

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Pinch of saffron threads

  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions, plus more for garnish

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil

  • Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, for serving


  1. Make the stewed dried fruit: Place apricots, pears, prunes, figs, raisins, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until liquid is reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  2. Make the pancakes: Place dates in a glass measuring cup and add hot water; let stand for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree until some small pieces remain.

  3. In a bowl, sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water; let stand 5 minutes. Add date puree along with eggs.

  4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add date mixture, mixing until well combined. Let rest 20 minutes.

  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Using a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop batter into skillet. Use an offset spatula to spread batter out into 2 1/2-inch rounds, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat process with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and batter. Serve pancakes with yogurt, stewed fruit, and a sprinkling of scallions.

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