Khubani ka Meetha

I discovered that Chinnayna really likes this. So I make it relatively often nowadays, keeping little pots of it in the freezer for him. It is basically very easy, but to make it properly, with the washed and bashed up kernels etc.... it is a labour of love. But totally worth it.

Dried apricots (not the orange chewy ones but the brown, hard ones) about 2 mugs full 

Sugar - about 1.5 tablespoons

Put a saucepan on the fire, with the apricots and enough water to just cover them. Let the whole cook gently for maybe half an hour or more, add the sugar and let it cook some more. The shapes of the individual apricots should begin to soften. Bash the apricots a bit, with a wooden spoon to make the apricots more softened and loosening the stones inside. At this point you could stop, let it cool, then refrigerate it and serve it, letting the guests remove the stones as they eat. But they are a little irritating.

If you want to go the whole hog, now cool the mixture a bit. Wash your hands thouroughly and lifting up spoonfuls of the mix with your left hand, remove the stones with your right, keeping them in a clean bowl. When all done (it does take ages) wash the stones in a bit of water to get the remaining pulp off, and add that pulpy water to the dish and stir in.

Now dry the stones, and bash with a strong pestle (or is it mortar) just a hard, single bash. Remove the kernels from each stone, and cut them in half to reveal the beautiful white insides. Lightly roast the kernels and decorate on top of the apricot dish. Eat with vanilla ice cream - and perhaps cream too! - although in India it is eaten with cold pouring custard and ice cream. 

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