Dried fruits and nuts give much-needed energy and nutrients when produce isn’t readily available.
One example of their significance is found in the traditions of the Middle East at Ramadan, when evening Iftar (breaking of the fast) commences with a date.
At the moment I’m suffering from one of the pregnancy niggles, where you, ahem, simply ‘can’t go.’ Lucky then, that when Murat went to Green Lanes, Harringey last week he returned with kilos of dried fruit and nuts!
Apart from enjoying them in their deliciously sticky state, I decided to make Khoshaf, a perfumed compote of rehydrated fruit and nuts, hailing from various Middle Eastern kitchens.
Use whatever you have at hand.. It’s the type of recipe free to artistic licence (aren’t they all?) Most versions call for the use of sugar too, however let’s keep it healthy and appreciate the natural sweetness of the fruit themselves.
For four people you will need…
450 g Dried fruits (I used figs, apricots, dates, sultanas & blueberries)
150g Nuts (I used walnuts, hazelnuts, almond, pistachios and pine nuts.)
2 tsp Orange flower water
4 1/2 cups boiling water
Cut large fruit (figs/apricots/dates etc) up into small pieces then place all fruit in a bowl. Cover with 2 1/2 cups boiling water & 2 tsp orange flower essence.
In a separate bowl, cover nuts in boiling water.
Leave both fruit & nuts to steep over night. The fruit will soak up the perfumed water and plump out, while the nuts will restore their former milkiness.
When ready to serve, drain nuts and if needed, peel off skins (this will be easy after a good soaking.) Chop roughly.
Add fruit & their syrupy liquid to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with nuts.
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