Khoshaf/Khushaf is a dried fruit and nut salad, an old-fashioned Middle Eastern dessert. This wonderful concoction is made of raisins, dried prunes, dried apricots, slivered almonds, pine nuts and raw pistachios all dressed in apricot juice and perfumed with orange blossom water. It tastes completely different than a fresh fruit salad - a fuel of energy and a delicious, unique and fantastic combination of flavors.
The apricot juice is made of an apricot paste sheet that is called amar aldeen! It makes a clever dressing that ties the whole fruit salad together.
Rarely do I find amar aldeen in Kinshasa! I used to always resort to using ready apricot juice instead. A couple of days ago when I was shopping, I stumbled across an amar eldeen sheet, so thought of making the koshaf the traditional way.
Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, allowing the flavors to marry together deliciously. It tastes best when refrigerated for 24 hours. This makes a big bowl and is great for feeding a crowd!
- 1 sheet amar aldeen paste 500g / 1 lb. 2 oz (can be found at Middle Eastern specialty stores)
- 7 cups of boiling water, to dilute the amar aldeen paste
- ¾ cup sugar
- 11/2 cups dried apricots, halved
- 1 cup dried prunes, pitted and halved
- 11/2 cups seedless raisins
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- ¾ slivered almonds
- ¾ shelled pistachios
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
- First off, cut the amar aldeen sheet intoto big chunks, place in a large ceramic bowl and add the 7 cups of boiling water. Soak for 3 hours, allowing the paste to dilute with water. Whisk every few minutes.
- Place the dried apricot, raisins and dried prunes in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 2 hours.
- Drain the dried fruits and transfer to a large bowl.
- Wash and strain the pine nuts, slivered almonds and shelled pistachios and add to the dried fruits.
- Pour the apricot juice (the diluted sheet) over the dried fruits and nuts.
- Add the sugar and orange blossom water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Enjoy!!
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