Qubbani ka Meetha or Dried Apricot Pudding
This simple dried fruit dessert, made with abundance of apricots from Central Asia, was given a ‘shahi’ or royal makeover by the entourage of khansama (cooks) of the Nawabs of Hyderabad.
Hyderabadi or Deccani cuisine evolved during the rule of the Qutb and Asif Jahi rulers of this Deccan city. The food bursts with fullness of flavour, spice, richness of ghee or cream and assorted nuts. The culinary journey reminds us of history, leisure and artistic splendour in both food and architecture. Hyderabadi cuisine boasts of an amalgamation of imported Turkish and Mughlai cuisines combined with regional Telugu and Marathwada flavours that are full of spice and tangy taste. For a historical narrative on the city market see here.
Qubbani or Kubani is the Urdu word for apricots. Meetha means sweet in Urdu and Hindi.
Nowadays this dessert is popularly served at weddings, banquets and Eid celebrations, as Hyderabad has a mix of cultures of both Hindu Telugus and Muslims.
15-20 dried apricots
2 cups water to soak
150 gms. sugar ( 5-8 tbsp.)
1 tsp. lemon juice
Double cream as desired
For garnish: 2-3 almonds, 2 pistachios, apricot kernel/seeds and few saffron strands
Soak the desired number of dried apricots in water in a big bowl, allowing space for them to plump up in size. Leave aside for at least 6-8 hours. Strain them with a sieve or ladle and de-seed them. Place them back into the bowl of water. Keep the kernels aside. Later break them and use the small seeds for garnish. they add a wonderful nutty texture to the pulpy pudding.
In another thick pan (traditionally brass or copper) or any other heavy bottom pan place the soaked water . Add the de seeded apricots. Add sugar as desired sweetness. Bring to boil on very low flame. Add some lemon juice, to prevent crystallization of sugar.
Once apricots are fully cooked, switch off flame. Rest them to cool. Place little pulpy mixture in bowl. Top it with fluffy cream. Garnish with pistachio nuts, apricot kernels and if desired, some saffron milk and strands.
Keep cool on ice cubes or in refrigerator. Serve hot or cool as desired after a perfect Hyderabadi spicy Biryani and Ghosht curry.
Have you tasted this dish before? What are your views? Do you have a similar recipe. Do share with us.
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