Saturday, March 30, 2019

DIY for a hot Delhi summer: Make some raisins at home

The white, hot season is upon us. Well, almost anyway. The flowers of spring have started to wilt, and the landscape will soon take on that dull, brown hue. Somehow, nothing, nothing ever prepares you to deal with the heat of a Delhi summer. I often find myself amazed at how the weather oscillates as it does here. From the biting cold of early January to the blazing heat of June. There are some perks, of course - of summers, I mean. It brings with it some of my favourite fruit of all time - mangoes, watermelon, lychee! :D

While we look forward to whipping up some delicious smoothies, we have also been thinking of ways to make use of the summer sun. And, then, dad came up with a brilliant idea. Raisins!! 

Raisins to serve!

When the price of grapes had gone down last month, we bought bags and bags of that stuff. Dad suggested we sun-dry some, to make raisins. I was quite cynical, of course, about the whole thing. Would it work? Anyhow, they were washed and cleaned, and we spread them out on plates covered with a thin muslin cloth, and put them out to dry. Two weeks later, I was amazed to find that it worked! Now, we have our own homemade, sugar-free, delicious black raisins! And, guess what, I just bottled the first jar. 

Store in an airtight glass container

These raisins are dark, and wrinkly, slightly chewy and sweet, with just a hint of tang. Delicious to snack on as is, or in oats or with pancakes or anything else!  As the sun gets stronger, dehydrating fruit will be a piece of cake. The plan is to make more raisins - the green ones are out in sun presently, followed by sun-dried tomatoes (in olive oil). 

How to

Wash and clean grapes of your choice. You can do this with any kind - black, green, seedless or any other variety. Just remember if you dry a full plate of grapes, you will probably end up with one small jar because the grapes will shrink as they dry out.

Spread out in a single layer on a plate.

Cover with a clean cloth or a net mesh, and keep out in the sun.

Green grapes being dried 

Remember to bring them in at night (or, if it rains!)

Be patient. Soon, you will have a pantry filled with jars of delicious dehydrated fruit, ready to top over desserts, or eat as is :)

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