Qubani ka Meetha – Apricot compote

Hyderabad is known not just for its Biryanis…but it’s iconic desserts as well. One, Double ka Meetha, that is a bread based dessert. The other is a Apricot based dessert called Qubani Ka Meetha, which is amazingly simple, yet packed with flavour.

Now whilst you are here in Hyderabad, you might hear people suggesting you to try out the Qurbani ka meetha. But mind you…it’s not Qurbani…but Qubani! The difference seems rather minuscule, just with the addition and omission of the letter R, but we all know that a single letter can change the entire meaning of the word. So folks, the actual dish is ‘Qubani ka meetha’, wherein ‘Qubani’ means ‘Apricot’. Whereas ‘Qurbani’ means ‘Sacrifice’; which would make no sense if you called it Qurbani ka meetha, because “A Sacrifice Sweet” makes no sense, unless you are ready to sacrifice something to get your hands on this dessert…which would only then make sense! (Now that I am done venting, lets get on with the recipe! 😛 )

When I moved to Hyderabad, I would crave for this dessert almost everyday. It has got a concentrated sweet Apricot flavour, with a hint of sourness that adds the right amount of tart to the dish. Qubani ka Meetha is made very sweet and is hence accompanied with milk creme/cream to cut the sweetness.

This is a deceptively simple dessert, and like most Indian dishes, it is time taking, but not labour intensive.

All you need is dried apricots, sugar, water and lemon; and you are good to go. And of course lots of patience, which is a virtue that is lacking in me. Hence while the dish takes its own sweet time to get ready…I keep myself busy reading..so I don’t go nibbling at it while it is cooking. But oh the aroma is killer and it gets hard to resist sneaking a spoonful every now and then.


 

Preparation time – 8.5hrs (8 hrs to soak)                             Cooking time- 1 – 2 hrs
Serves – 4
Ingredients :

Dried Apricots – 250gms (seedless or with seed. I prefer with seeds…you will know why)
Water – 1 – 2 cups. (Enough to submerge the apricots)
Sugar – 5-6 tbsp
Lemon juice – 4-5 drops

Method :
  1. Soak the dried apricots in water until they are submerged to an inch deep in water, and let them soak overnight or minimum 8hrs.
  2. Once they are soaked well, they swell up in size and get soft to the touch, and you can remove the seeds easily from them by hand.
  3. Keep all these seeds aside. Do not throw them. You will know why in step no.6
  4. Now put the apricots along with the water it was soaking in, in a deep pan and keep it on a low flame.
  5. Add the sugar and lime juice and let it boil, till it reduces almost to half and gets to a thicker consistency. Now you can take it off the flame and leave it to cool.
  6. Now its time to deal with the seeds. Carefully crack the outer shell of the seeds to reveal tiny almonds inside each of it. These can be used as garnish and these taste just like almonds too.
  7. Once the apricot mixture is cooled, place it in the fridge to cool even more. Serve it with a topping of milk cream/Creme fresh, garnished with the tiny apricot almonds.

 

 

As you see, this is an extremely easy recipe, so do try it out and let me know if you love it as much as I do. You are sure to be a party favourite with this dessert.

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