The smell of chai always transports me to somewhere foreign, somewhere mysterious.

Luckily these fig balls satisfy my chai longings as I’d never survive such a milky drink in reality. I always eat them alongside a small espresso in a fancy cup (weird I know, probably should be with tea), usually in my reading corner with a good book on hand. It makes me feel worldly.

If you aren’t a chai fan, experiment with your own spice combinations — use a teaspoon of cinnamon, a sprinkle of nutmeg and maybe an extra tablespoon of cocoa, or add in a teaspoon of ginger — you can’t go wrong with a fig and ginger combo!


MAKES 12-15


1 cup dried figs
1/2 cup dried dates
1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cocoa
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons chai spice*
dark chocolate and chia seeds for garnish (optional)

*chai spice

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of finely ground black pepper
(makes more than the 2 tsp required, throw the rest in the next lot of meat patties you make)



Cut the stalks of the dried figs off and discard. Place into a food processor with the dates and the nuts – blitz until smoothish.

Add all the other ingredients and blitz some more until well combined and mixture is paste-like.

Spoon out a tablespoon into your hand and roll into a ball, continue until finished.

Melt chocolate (I use about 4 squares of Green & Blacks 85%) by popping it in a cup and sitting it in a stainless steel bowl with some boiling water – only takes a few minutes usually.

Spoon melted chocolate over each ball using a teaspoon and sprinkle a few chai seeds on top – chill until set.

Close your eyes for a moment when you take your first bite and imagine yourself in an Indian teahouse.

Share with friends, so they too, can feel wordly.

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