This recipe is an easier, literally effortless version of the more complicated Qubani-ka-Meetha. Qubani means apricots and qubani-ka-meetha is a traditional Hyderabadi sweet delicacy that is served with fresh cream or, in the modern version, with ice-cream. It's a personal favorite, but I have never made it myself because the thought of stewing the apricots, mashing them, pitting them, and sieving them-as needed in the traditional recipe-used to put me off.
That is, until today, when I had a version of it that tasted divine, just the same as the ones you get traditionally in Hyderabad, but made absolutely effortlessly, by Liz (Koshy) aunty. That is her trademark anyway-that of simplifying cooking and not breaking into a sweat even if she had to host a party for 50 people (check out her Greengram Pulao). So here's her recipe for stewed apricots.
To serve 6, or more
- 300 g dried apricots
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- In a pan, tip in the apricots, sugar, and water-the water level should ideally be about 2 inches above the apricots.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes until the apricots become soft (if you are planning a party, you can cook the other dishes within this time!).
- Just check from time to time to make sure the water has not evaporated. Add more water if necessary.
- Let the apricots continue soaking in the sugar syrup after you take it off the flame, and through your dinner party (the apricots should be floating in a thick sugary syrup at the end).
- Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or vanilla ice cream on top.
For best results with this dish, buy the whole dried apricots (with seed), which is brown in color. You will not get the same taste with the Turkish dried and pitted (seedless) apricots, which have a bright orange hue.