Ajwa (Ajw) dates in Malaysia date back to the colonial era. The locals call them by different names such as Perang or Perl, Putra and Taman. Today, people still use these terms to describe their local cuisines. They are grown in the wild and sell in bunches at market stalls. The flowers of Ajwa can be eaten on their own or mixed with rice, fish curry and chicken curry for a spicy Rajmani recipe.
During the 19th century, the nearby Andaman & Nicobar Islands were discovered by British. The island was named after them for their trade in ivory & gun powder. British East India Company (EDC) set up a consulate there to trade with the locals. A narrow strip of land on the south side of the island is called as “Ajwal” & this is the location of Ajwa Distillery.
As the colony expanded, there was an influx of people from various places like England, Ireland, West Indies, Germany and America. This is why the local cuisines became more diverse and Ajwa became a part of it. From what we can conclude, Ajwa is basically a generic name for a variety of sweet Maang Teow that is native to the Southern region of Malaysia.
There are many varieties of Ajwa. Some varieties like the Kementer or Kerator, have a sweeter taste than the regular ones. They are available in boxes or in bunches. Another variety is the Langkawi or Langkah or Lang Tak, which has a deeper and richer flavor and more sugar content. It is also available in bunches.
Over the years, the region has expanded its bazaars or malls across the country. They have become popular not only in rural areas only but in major cities too. They display local arts & crafts, woodwork & jewellery. Sometimes, paintings of historical events are displayed, along with traditional meals. The locals are quite fond of these bazaars as they take time out to talk to visitors, discuss local matters, while browsing through trinkets, accessories, & curios.
Today, a variety of products like Ajwa Desserts, jellies, pastries, jams, desserts & even chocolates can be found in malls in this region. The demand for such local products has made their popularity increase tremendously. So now days it is easy to find Ajwa Desserts in almost every mall in the country. If you have not tasted an Ajwa Date before then you must do so, to experience the sweetness and flavors of this regional delicacy.