DOMESTIC DILEMMAS solved
Don’t be daunted by that diva demeanour – Friday’s very own chef Silvena Rowe is happy to answer all your kitchen queries
gave me a large box of dried apricots. I love the fruit, but I don’t know what to do with the dried ones, apart from eating them when I feel peckish. Any ideas?
A There’s a lot you can do with this sweet dried fruit. It is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from sauces to delicious desserts – and it’s easy to work with.
Here are two recipes to get you started. The first is a sauce that you can refrigerate for a long time and the other
Add some roughly chopped dried apricots to biryani and salads for additional flavour
a dessert that is extremely popular on the subcontinent.
To make the sauce, wash 250g of dried seedless apricots and soak them in 2 cups of water for 4 hours. Add about 4 tbsp of sugar and boil on medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken and the apricots are completely soft.
Sieve the mixture, pressing down on the apricot pulp to extract as much as possible. Let it cool to room temperature and then add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir and pour into a clean, dry jar. Seal with an airtight lid and refrigerate. Use as an ice-cream topping or even with a slice of cake.
To make the dessert, called khubani
ka meetha, soak 2 cups of dried and seedless apricots in warm water for 2-3 hours. Drain and chop the apricots finely.
Heat about 4 tbsp of ghee in a large pan. Add the chopped apricots and sauté continuously on medium heat until oil begins to appear on the sides of the pan. This should take 10-15 minutes. Now add about ½ cup of sugar and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the sugar dissolves completely. Add 3/4 cup of grated khoya (solidified milk, available in shops selling Indian sweets.) and a teaspoon of cardamom powder. Stir until the khoya begins to melt and the mixture thickens.
Take it off the heat and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Absolutely delicious.
You can add some roughly chopped dried apricots to biryani and salads as well. Their sweet taste and slightly chewy texture can help to add some more flavour to the dish.
Q Please suggest a healthy yet delicious salad dressing for summer. A Summer fruits such as watermelon or cantaloupe make a great base for a salad dressing as they are sweet, refreshing and light. Here’s a favourite recipe. Blend together 1/2 cup of cantaloupe purée with 1/2 tsp of roasted and crushed cumin seeds and 3 tbsp of chopped coriander. Season with salt and black pepper. Pour over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately. You must use the dressing within a day as it does not have any preservatives.