Ramadan recipe: khoshaf – dried fruit compote

Throughout the holy month, 'The National' is teaming up with Table Tales to share daily recipes to experiment with at home

Koshaf is vegan, nutritious and very simple to make. Victor Besa / The National 
Koshaf is vegan, nutritious and very simple to make. Victor Besa / The National 

Join The National and Table Tales on a culinary journey around the Middle East to savour the quintessential dishes that embody the spirit of Ramadan. From table staples to family favourites, this series of recipes – one for each day of Ramadan – pays homage to the holy month and the home cook alike.

A dried fruit compote served with raw nuts, khoshaf, says Hanan Sayed Worrell, of Table Tales, isthat old-fashioned Ramadan dish I grew up with at my parents’ table, and is not as common nowadays. My mother made it by poaching the dried fruits, in qamar el din – dried apricot soaked overnight to make what is essentially apricot juice. She also had a batch ready in the fridge to offer any guest who showed up at her door unexpectedly, a custom that is disappearing in many cities.”

Khoshaf is an old-fashioned Ramadan dish I grew up with at my parents’ table, and is not as common nowadays

Hanan Sayed Worrell

Recipe contributor Soha Darwish concurs. “Many of us have memories of breaking our fast in Ramadan with this sweet juicy bowl, even though it may not be present on our iftar table nowadays,” she says. “This is an extremely simple recipe that needs zero culinary skills, and I hope this recipe can revive a traditional vegan dish packed with nutrients that are much needed after long fasting hours.

“Khoshaf’s ingredients are not only available in abundance, but are also very trendy these days for their numerous health benefits. We see them daily in our cereal, muesli or porridge bowls, in addition to energy bars and even salads. I’ve also tried it with almond milk and a dash of maple syrup to replace sugar, and it worked wonderfully. So, it is about time for a strong comeback!”

Soha Darwish's khoshaf – dried fruit compote

Soha Darwish's negresco recipe evokes childhood memories. Victor Besa / The National 
Soha Darwish prepares khoshaf, a dried fruit compote. Victor Besa / The National

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup dried figs
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried dates
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup raw peeled almonds
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ tsp orange blossom or vanilla essence (optional)
  • 6 cups warm water

Method

  1. Cut the dried fruits into equal sizes except for the prunes, which are better left whole.
  2. In a large bowl or decanter, pour in the water then stir in the sugar and either the vanilla or orange blossom.
  3. Add in all the chopped fruits, dates and prunes to soak.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours minimum or overnight.
  5. Add the nuts just before serving cold in small bowls.

This dish has been brought to you by Soha Darwish and curated by international recipe hunter Hanan Sayed Worrell, author of Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi. The Table Tales concept celebrates the people and stories that give flavour to recipes of the Middle East.

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Read more:

Ramadan recipes: daily dishes to try from the 'Table Tales' series

Ramadan recipe: luqaimat – sweet dumplings

Ramadan recipe: kunafa with cream

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Updated: April 25, 2021 03:27 PM

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