Organic Apricot Juice
Sun-dried Organic Apricot Juice, Chamus in Hunza is one of the common drinks we start making from early spring to the beginning of summers.
Organic Apricot Juice Making:
Traditionally we make Organic apricot Juice following these simple three steps:
- Washing the dried apricots
- Soaking them in water for few hours.
- Rub the soaked organic apricot between the palms of our hands.
The modern version of organic apricot Juice is soaking them overnight and then simply blending them in an electric blender.
This method instantly thickens the mixture and turns it like a smoothie and we, therefore, do not recommend making juice this way.
Traditional Practice of drying apricot in Hunza:
The organic Hunza sun-dried apricot locally called Battering, its kernel, and oil have anti-cancer properties. We have a high consumption of apricots which includes both fresh and dried. We eat the kernels, raw and dry roasted and also in oil form.
Traditionally, the women of Hunza pick fresh and well-ripped apricot from the trees and cut open apricot fruit by hands and dry them on circular frames on the roof of houses in the sun.
The apricot kernels are separated and are dried in the sun which later are used in making apricot oil, and used in several traditional dishes that include hani’e chamik, Chamuriki, Giyaling, and Bairikuch while the hard shell of seeds is stored and used in winter for making fire that last longs for hours and keeps the traditional room called “Ha” warm.
Dried apricots use in Hunza Cuisine:
- We use dried apricot in making Chamus , the apricot juice.
- The Dried apricot soup, battering dawdo is another dish that we make with the dried apricots.
- We eat the sun-dried apricots as a snack with dried roasted apricot kernels.
- Sometimes we soak the dried apricots overnight and eat them with a spoon in the morning on empty stomach. It helps relieve the constipation problem.
Changes in traditional Practice of drying apricot in Hunza:
There were a time people of Hunza would dry the apricots solely for making dishes at home. We would dry the apricots in the sun without any chemical processing but now the traditional method of drying apricot has changed. We now process the apricots before drying to increase the yield and meet commercial standards. This process also affects the color, taste, and texture of the product.
The original sweet taste has also changed, the color is now more yellowish than the usual brown. The hard texture of sun-dried apricot has changed to a softer texture.
The storage has shifted from cotton bags to plastic bags.
The new method of drying apricot includes passing the cut opened apricots on the races to Sulphur fumes for few minutes, which prevents them from insect invasion which results in more product yield and increased shelf life.
Difference between traditionally dried and dried with Sulphur:
There are two kinds of Hunza dried apricots
In this picture, the yellow-colored dried apricot is the result of the process they undergo to meet commercial standards.
The dark brown color apricot is the result of naturally drying in the sun. We cannot get the juice out of the processed apricots like the unprocessed sun-dried organic apricot juice.
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