Soak the walnuts in boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove the skins. Dry on absorbent kitchen paper. Soak, the red dates in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and remove the seeds. Heat the oil to 180°C/350°F. Deep-fry the walnuts until golden brown. (Walnuts burn easily, so remove them from the oil as soon as the color changes). Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Put the walnuts and dates in a blender and grind until very fine or rub through a sieve.
Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan. Stir in the sugar and the walnut mixture. When the sugar has dissolved, add the cornstarch mixture and simmer, stirring continuously, until thickened. Serve hot.
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