Hot & Sweet Lemon-Orange Murrabo, an Indian-style jam
This past weekend we taught our Exquisite Indian Vegetarian cooking class (one of the most popular classes of the season, I might add) including snippets of Indian restaurant favourites…but all veg! The menu was Saag Paneer (paneer with spinach); Okra, Potato & Onion Curry; Vegetable Korma served with Flaky Paranthas.
Sampling bits and pieces of the menu in the class, I was reminded of a memorable meal I had in Mumbai about three years back, with the most unforgettable homemade Murrabo. Murrabo (Murraba) is essentially an Indian-style jam that is both sweet and hot.
Being greeted with a full Indian vegetarian dinner served in a thali (stainless steel plate with small bowls for each item) our hostess, Meena Aunty pulled out her homemade lemon zest Murrabo. An impeccable balance of sweet, sour and hot, this condiment acted as “the equalizer”, neutralizing the spicier flavours on the plate into a sweet harmony.
Murrabo, a balance of hot, sweet and sour tastes.
Most Indian meals are accompanied with chutneys and raita (a cooling yogurt with cucumber). In Gujarat, central western India however, the cuisine tends to be vegetarian and is known for its sweetness. Murrabo is one of those sweeter condiments you’ll find in Gujarati cuisine to balance out the many flavours found in an Indian vegetarian meal.
I’ve been meaning to make this recipe ever since I savoured Meena Aunty’s lemony version. Today I finally did!
Hot and Sweet Lemon & Orange Murrabo
5 oranges, zested
1 orange rind, finely cubed
2 lemons, zested
1 cup water
¾ cup raw cane sugar
juice of half a lemon
1-2 each, Arvinda’s Whole Spices (cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Madras Masala
½ tsp. sea salt
Additionally, Arvinda's Madras Masala, lemon rind and orange rind was also added.
Method: In a small pot, bring water to boil. Add sugar, lemon juice and whole spices. Stir until liquid is reduced and becomes a syrup. (You are looking for a “one thread” consistency also known as chasni).
Fold in orange and lemon zest and orange rind. Mix in chili powder, Arvinda’s Madras Masala and sea salt. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until orange rind softens and cooks.
Cool down mixture. Store in a sterile jar and store in refrigerator.
Murrabo makes the perfect hostess gift!
For gifts from the kitchen, the time to start is now!
I love giving and getting edible gifts (who doesn’t?!) over the holidays. With all the madness building in the malls, I say stay home, avoid the crowds and make some gifts from the kitchen. This Murrabo would make an ideal hostess gift.
Over the holidays, do you ever make and give edible gifts? If so, what is your specialty or favourite “gifts from the kitchen”? Candied spiced nuts, bourbon vanilla flavoured sugar, rum balls are some of my favourites. Would love to hear about yours!
A teaspoon of: Junior Boys. Listening to: The Equalizer.
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