Summers are the best time to have these excellent sherbets or sharbats made from fresh fruits. Some are chopped, pulped and boiled with sugar then strained while some others are raw. I prefer them uncooked but then do they become ras or juice rather than sharbats? Perhaps, they do. I will share both the methods here though I did not cook the apricots here. In case I was using the dried ones then soaking and cooking to make a concentrate would be a good idea.
These gorgeous sweet and juicy apricots or khubani came via Farmer Uncle straight from the Singha Farms (orchards) in Kothgarh, District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. The fruit is chemical residue free and one can feel the difference in taste between these and the ones I buy from local markets in Delhi. There are some more apricot recipes that you can check HERE. and HERE .
I over indulged myself and while I was licking off the dripping juices I got reminded of the old old days when I was young and partied hard whenever I could. It reminded me of Qamar al-deen, an apricot nectar beverage from Middle East made with a specific variety of apricots, orange blossoms, and sugar. Or, I think it was called lavāshak Qamaruddin made from apricot fruit leather. The beverage in itself was heavenly but the cocktails made from it with Vodka/Gin/White or Spiced rum were killer.
This recipe is simple and brings out the flavor of the fruit. You can also turn it into a slushy or a sorbet.
Fresh Apricots / Khoobani – 8-10 medium size
Lemon Zest – 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh Lemon juice – 3 -4 tablespoons
Jaggery powder / Sugar – As per taste ( depends on the sweetness of the fruit)
Rock Salt – 1/4 tsp
Water – about 3 cups
Fresh mint leaves – 3-4 muddled
Wash and pat dry the apricots. Pull them in half and remove the stones.
Chop them roughly and put them in a blender jar and blend.
Once the mixture is smooth and nicely blended strain it through a sieve in a pitcher. Rub the pulp with back of a spoon so that all the pulp san the tough fibers goes through the sieve.
Add a cup or two of water to dilute the concentrate and add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and jaggery powder or boora cheeni/ sugar.
Mix it well then pour some of the sharbat in an ice cube tray and freeze.
Add fresh muddled mint leaves to the remaining sharbat and chill it.
Once the cubes are frozen, add them to the chilled sharbat and serve.
Method 2 – Soak the dry seedless apricots overnight and pulse the swollen fruit in the blender with a little water, lemon juice and sugar the next day to make a paste.
Strain it into a pitcher, add water and mix well. Serve chilled.
If you are in a hurry then you can soak the apricot leather or dried apricots in hot water for 3-4 hours or just boil them a little to soften them with sugar and water over stove top ( like a compote) then cool to blend. Add more water to dilute as per your liking.
You may add a little orange blossom water to it before serving. You may also add Gin / Vodka / Spiced or White Rum to make a cocktail.
You can use tamarind paste instead of lemon to make Imli Khubani ka sharbat.
To make the tamarind Apricot Sharbat you need :
Dried apricots – 250 gms (soaked overnight & deseeded)
Imli ka gooda (Tamarind pulp deseeded) – 250 gm
Boora cheeni – 250 gm or as per taste
Water – 1 litre
Rock Salt – 1 tsp –
In a blender add dried soaked apricots & tamarind pulp. Blend well then strain with a sieve. Set it aside. In a heavy bottom pan add sugar and water, mix well and cook until sugar is dissolved. Now add the apricot pulp and mix well. Cook on medium low flame for 5 minutes then turn off the stove. Let the mixture cool down.
Add required concentrate to a pitcher, add salt and crushed mint leaves, add more water if needed and adjust sweetness if required. Place it in the fridge to chill.
In a serving glass, pour the sharbat, ice cubes. Stir well and serve.
Always use fully ripe juicy apricots. Ripe apricots are soft to touch. They should be firm, and orange gold in color.