The sweet and tangy fruit named apricot is very popular. A ripe apricot is sweet and mellow and tastes like sweet peach. However, the dried version of apricot is Khubani which is a traditional dry fruit. Turkey is the largest producer of Khubani. There is a lot of debate going on about the origin of apricots as some believe that they belong to Armenia while there are others who believe that these belong to China, or India or Rome. Apricots are however grown in places with continental type of region with cold winters. In some cases it grows in Mediterranean climate as well. Apricots are grown in Australia, California, China, Japan and India. In India, apricots are particularly grown in J&K, Himachal Pradesh and hilly parts of Uttarakhand. It is locally known as Khubani in Hindi, Maghz Badam Shirin in Urdu, Jaradaalu in Kannada and Chuli in Ladakhi. The seeds of apricot look like small almonds but tastes astringently bitter like apple seeds.
When these apricots are dried, the concentration of their nutrients increases such as Vitamin A, C, K and E along with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. Apart from that, they contain phytochemicals and polyphenols, protein, fats, fiber and carbohydrates.
Usage in Indian Kitchen
Apricots are used to make yummy smoothies and drinks. Apricot Salads, chutneys and pickles are also very popular all over the world due to their tangy taste. These are used to make sweet dishes such as Nut Bars and chocolate bars, cakes and cookies. Apricot Ice cream is very popular among kids. Apricot chocolate truffle and stuffed apricots are also some of the must-have delicacies.
Health Benefits of Khubani / Jardaloo
- Good for eyes and skin.
- Extremely beneficial for the health of the heart.
- Great source of anti-oxidants.
- Improves the digestive system.
- Beneficial for the bones.