It’s hard to forget pretty boxes made of cardboard and sometimes metal, dressed with shiny ribbons and glitter, that came to our houses during Diwali. The compartments inside the boxes were filled with dried fruits - almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews and sometimes if one got lucky, there were the rare, dried figs and dried apricots. In India, Ladakh is home to some of the sweetest dried apricots you’ll ever taste. It is a tradition in Ladakh, to welcome guests with apricots especially in the harvesting season.
If you are looking to lose weight, dried apricots are definitely your allies. They are naturally sweet and low calorie! If you find yourself craving sugar bite into a dried apricot and you’ll be satiated for a long time.
A single dried apricot packs in a whole lot of nutrients. It helps strengthen your bones with calcium, aids good vison with Vitamin A and E, calms you down with magnesium and is also rich in iron and antioxidants. It’s compact and easy to carry as your any-time healthy snack.
It’s very easy to incorporate in your daily diet. While we are certain that you’ll enjoy eating a dried apricot plain, you can also add it to a salad, a trail mix, muesli, yoghurt or mix it with other dry fruits.
If you want to eat it the Ladakhi way, then you can try this traditional Ladakhi dessert recipe. Boil the apricots in water for about 30 minutes till the dried apricots fully soften. The result is sweet and tangy stewed apricots. To use dried apricots in tarts or pies, simmer them in wine.
The dried apricot contains the kernel (seed). Boiling the apricots makes them lose the kernel. If you are eating the apricot plain, make sure you remove the kernel and then use a heavy kitchen tool to crack open the kernel. The little nut found inside is tasty too. Don’t use your teeth to try and crack the kernel open though. You’ll need something heavier and sharper than that.
The quality of apricots from Ladakh are at par with the one’s grown in Turkey and the rest of the world.
To buy some of these delicious dried apricots, directly from the farmers who grow them, please click here!
About the Author: Suprita Mitter is a storyteller at heart and luckily one by the virtue of her work as well. She truly believes that we are who we are because of our stories and that's what people remember us for. Her favourite way to find stories that she wants to tell is discovering them accidentally on her travels - through people, folklore, food, and art.