Jardalu, khubani or apricot is a soft fleshy fruit, usually pale yellow to orange in colour, with a relatively large stone that is easy to remove when the fruit is ripe. Jardalu are best stored at room temperature or in the fridge and should be eaten before the velvety skin turns wrinkly and blemished. Cooked jardalu become sweet and sticky, so they're a great way to help you cut down on sugar in baked desserts. Dried jardalu are often added to Moroccan dishes like tagine.
A serving of three raw jardalu will give you 1 149 mcg of beta carotene, which is about 8 per cent of the daily recommended intake for adults. Beta carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is needed for immunity, for helping you to see in the dark and for healthy skin. Like most fruits and vegetables, the jardalu also provides some vitamin C and fibre.
Three things to do with jardalu
- Roast them: Pierce a couple of cloves or a cinnamon stick into fresh jardalu, cover in foil and roast them in the oven.
- Stuff them: Cut fresh jardalu in half, remove the pit, sprinkle on a little sugar, drizzle with lemon juice and stuff with flaked almonds. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes till they’re soft and syrupy.
- Soak them: Soak dried jardalu halves in milk and have this as a dessert (kids love it!), or chop the softened jardalu and add them to salad or breakfast cereal like porridge oats.
If you're buying canned jardalu, choose those canned in water rather than sugar-rich syrup. Fresh jardalu are always your best option. You can also break open the hard kernel or seed and eat the small nut inside, which is similar in shape and colour to badaam (almonds).