Agwa – Middle Eastern Date Spread


My friend Emmanuel shared with me this simple recipe from Egypt called Agwa, a type of date spread. His mom used to make it for him for breakfast or lunch, served on pita bread. It’s also used as a filling for cookies. Here’s how you make it…

Recipe for Agwa
(Date Spread/Paste)

Makes about 1 1/2 cups


Dates – 1 pound (454 g.)
Butter 3 – 4 T. (56 g.)
(Use only 3 T. Butter if it’s for a cookie filling)


Cinnamon (to taste, about 1 t.)
Sesame Seeds (1 – 2 T.)

1. Boil enough water to cover the dates. Place the dates in a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for about 15 minutes. This makes it easier to remove the skin.




2. Peel the skin off the dates and remove the pits.

3. Place butter in a frying pan over medium to low heat and let it melt enough to coat the pan. Then add the dates.


4. Cook the mixture and stir using a wooded spoon, pressing down on the dates. The goal it to get a smooth mixture. I used a wooden spatula with a squared off edge. It helps to break down the dates. I also started with 3 T. butter but added another tablespoon to help soften the dates.


5. Once it’s all a paste you can place it in a jar or glass container. I made some with cinnamon, some without. The darker paste in the photo below has cinnamon.


Serve on slices of pita.


Bon appétit!

Notes: According to Amira’s Pantry, you can keep Agwa in the refrigerator for up to 4 -6 months and in the freezer for a year. She used Deglet Noor dates, I used Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s. Her mom also made her Eggs with Agwa when she was a kid. It sounds delish!

Many thanks to Emmanuel Aghazarm for sharing this recipe with us!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 9:01 pm and is filed under Agwa - Date Spread, Breakfast and Brunch, Countries & Cultures, Egypt, Egyptian Cuisine, Lunch, Mama Lisa, Middle Eastern Cuisine, Recipes of the World, Sudan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Agwa – Middle Eastern Date Spread”

  1. Debra J Kasunic Says:

    Hello Mama Lisa,
    I have a couple of friends who are Coptic Christians from Egypt and wanted to make a little treat for them for their Christmas. Your recipes are wonderful! I especially appreciated knowing the types of dates to use and loved that you added “Trader Joe’s” to your notes.

    Personally, I’m thinking that I would make kahk with date paste without the cinnamon. Which would be more traditional? No need to reply if you don’t have time. I really just wanted to thank you.

    Deb Kasunic

  2. Lisa Says:

    Hi Deb, I sent your question to my Egyptian friend and will get back to you with his response. Cheers! Mama Lisa

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