Welcome winters with tangy murabbas

Pickle panache

The tradition of preserving fruits and vegetables in the form murabbas has been quite popular in our country.

Not only are murabbas tasty, but they are also healthy must-haves during the winter season. A large number of spices and fine quality edible oils are used in preparing murabbas that add to their piquant taste. 

‘Murabba’ is an Arabic word that refers to savoury and sweet jam pickle or achaar. It is traditionally sweet, prepared with raw mangoes, plums, apricots, amla or Indian gooseberry, sugar, and spices, and resembles a fruit preserve, such as an apricot conserve or orange marmalade.

Chef Deepak from Shraman, The Ashok, says, “There are two types of murabbas – fruit murabba and allam murabba. Made from a fruit like apple, Indian gooseberry (amla), mango, etc which can be preserved for long periods. Murabbas can be both syrupy and dry and are said to have medicinal properties too. Murabbas are also widely used as Indian traditional medicine. On the other hand allam murabba is made from ginger and sugar, wherein the ginger is cooked and cut into round pieces. Allam in Telugu language is ginger, hence the name.”

Other fruits and vegetables that can be used to make murabbas are strawberry, apple, mango, orange, pineapple, etc. In vegetables carrots, ginger, kathal, pumpkin, parwal, etc are also used.

“Murabbas have various health benefits too. Like amla murabba is full of vitamin C, gulab ka murabba (gulkand) is used as a cold tonic for indigestion. One can also team up murabbas with curry dishes, rice and biryani also. Many people have apple murabba with their breakfast as well,” added the chef.

Dheeraj Mathur, masterchef, Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar, says, “The most important thing to keep in mind while making murabbas is the ratio of sugar and vinegar and then the addition of spices like kalonji, moti saunf (fennel seeds) and dalchini (cinnamon). One should also keep the murabbas dipped in sugar syrup in an air-tight container after keeping it in sunlight for three days.”

According to Mathur they also prepare lauki (bottle gourd), papaya and red pumpkin murabbas along with the regular amla and mango murabbas.

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