Botanically a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable; cashew is not really a fruit; a peanut is a legume and not a nut; an almond is a seed and not a fruit. And there are fruits that may not necessarily be naturally dry but dried either by sun bathing or with a help of a dehydrator.
However, in a culinary sense dry fruits would refer to not just fruit that’s dry but also all nuts whether fruit or seed and even ordinary dates, even if they also happen to be sold in another drier “dried” form . Since definitions are so wildly varied, even if one is looking at an ingredient from a purely culinary standpoint, how does one define if something qualifies or not as a dry fruit?
When we chose “Dry Fruits” as the theme for AFAM in December 2007, we anticipated these differences in definitions and we decided that we’ll not set any boundaries of what would qualify as a dry fruit and what wouldn’t. We decided to let the food lovers in the virtual world define what a “dry fruit” is – although this might seem like making things very vague, we were quite confident that no one would drastically call a cabbage a dry fruit.
So here’s the round up of all the lip smacking entries we’ve received.
Khajoor Niblets (recipe follows)
Jigyasa and Prathibha at Pritya
500 gms seedless dates; 1 tin condensed milk (400 ml); 100 gms cashewnuts; 100 gms almonds; 100 gms dessicated coconut
- Chop the dates into fine bits.
- Toss them with the rest of the ingredients into a thick-bottomed wok. On a low flame, stir the mixture for 6-8 minutes. As the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan, switch off the flame. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Grease your palms with a little ghee (clarified butter or oil) and roll the mixture into thick long pieces – 1 inch thick and 5-7 inches long. Coat them lightly with dessicated coconut so that they do not stick to each other.
- Freeze them for 20 minutes and then chop them with a sharp knife into bite sized pieces. (Freezing them helps to retain the shape while chopping. Use a sharp knife so it may cut through the cashews and almonds.)
We wrap this round up with Coffee and Dried Currants Cake from our side.
Thanks to all those who participated.