Murabbas refers to savoury or sour pickle or jam or compote like dish popular in northern India and Pakistan, and even Iran as per wiki. These are spiced up preserves made using fruits and also raw mangoes or other seasonal fruits.
I usually associate summer as the pickling season atleast here in South thats what I have observed, though ofcourse these days you can do it in winter also if the ingredients are easily available like I did with tomatoes.
I am never a pickle person ie making of it as I always felt it was a strenuous task requiring complete concentration and patience. May be pickling always reminds me of the way the mango pickles are made. I still remember my mom sitting and cleaning and wiping and cutting or sometimes leaving whole the mangoes which were to be pickled adding the right amount of spices and then sometimes waiting for days for the flavours to be mixed well, blah blah blah.....
I prefer something quick and easy and I hit the jackpot with this tomato murabba which turned awesome. I had bookmarked the recipe from goodfood magazine and tried it out with an overload of juicy tomatoes waiting to be used up in my fridge.
Tomatoes: 2.5 kg
Sugar: 1.2-1.5 kg
Black peppercorns: 8-20
Cinnamon: an inch stick
Green Cardamom: 8
Bay leaves: 3
Red Chilli Powder: 2 tbsp
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Onion Seeds: 1 tsp
Add the tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute and then put them in room temperature water in another bowl.
Peel off the tomato skin and crush/ grind the tomatoes to a coarse paste. Put them in a large vessel, add in 1 kg of sugar along with peppercorns,cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bayleaves, red chilli powder and salt.
Bring the mix to boil and the let it simmer for 45 minutes or until syrup like. Check whether you are ok with the sweetness of the murabba otherwise add in remaining sugar as needed to balance the sourness of the tomatoes and mix well. Add in the vinegar and cook for a minute.
Turn off the heat and add in the onion seeds. Cool and store in sterilised glass jars and refrigerate.
An excellent spread/relish with breads or fritters or even a side with your main course. I tried and loved it with bread and also as a dip for salted biscuits and other fried tidbits. May be its the taste but do give it a try. Its definitely helpful when you are in a hurry and trying to decide what you are going to stuff in the roti or bread slice for tiffin box. You can definitely get creative with this compote around.