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Mix the chia seeds with 6 tbsp water, then set aside for 5 mins until thickened. Blitz the orange juice and dates in a food processor until puréed.
Put all the other ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl and mix with the date purée. Drizzle over the chia seed mix and mix well. Oil a 1.2-litre pudding basin and line the base with a circle of baking parchment. Spoon in the pudding mix, pressing down firmly. Cover with pleated baking parchment and foil, and secure with kitchen string (see our how to video).
Lower the basin into a large pan with an upturned saucer or scrunched-up foil in the base to stop the basin from touching the bottom. Fill the pan with boiling water so it’s halfway up the side of the basin, then cover and simmer for 6-7 hrs, topping up the water as needed. It’s ready when a skewer poked into the centre of the pudding comes out with only moist crumbs – there should be no wet mix. Leave to cool. Will keep in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a year.
On the day, re-steam as above for 2 hrs. Leave to rest for 10 mins before carefully turning out. Serve with coconut custard (see below).