Qamar al-Din Apricot Fruit leather Drink

Qamar al-Din is a refreshing Middle Eastern apricot drink made with dried apricot paste (fruit leather) flavoured with orange blossom water and may be served with pine nuts and slivered pistachios. We relish this nourishing, viscous, tart, sweet and refreshing apricot juice for iftar during the holy month of Ramadan.
Amardeen Drink  | Apricot Fruit leather Drink
 
Like most Arabic dishes, the spelling is slightly different and so may be called Amardeen or Qamardeen or Qamar al-din or Kamardeen, Qamarulddin, etc. A thick fruit leather made with apricot chiefly coming from Syria and Lebanon. The apricot season is known to start and end without any sign and hence the need to stock up the fruit as jams, syrups and fruit leather. Qamar al-din is Apricot fruit leather sheets of 400g or 500g pack that are sold during the month of Ramadan. You may have to try a few brands to find your favourite. I have shared this image just to give you an idea of how it looks. Not sponsored at all. :-)

Amardeen  | Apricot Fruit leather Drink

What do I do with dried apricot paste?

I am sure there are many uses but to start you can use the dried apricot paste to make this Qamar al-din or Apricot drink or puddings like Muhallabia or even this Indian Qubbani Ka Meetha! When I picked a pack of dried apricot paste (Yanbu days) I had no idea what and how to use it. A quick google search resulted in "Amardeen"! It is so easy to prepare but needs a bit more time than your usual smoothies. The fruit leather needs to be soaked in warm water to soften it which makes it easy to prepare the apricot juice or any dish. Not a sweet-toothed? There are plenty of savoury dishes that use apricots, especially in Moroccan cuisine! 

How to make the apricot drink using fruit leather?

There is no fixed recipe to make Qamar al-din. One pack of the sheet is 400 to 500 grams and a little can go a long way. Tear them up into smaller pieces and soak them in warm water for 4 to 6 hours. Make sure to stir them a few times during the soaking time to ensure they dissolve easily. You may soak them overnight but it is important to make sure the fruit leather is disintegrated or dissolved before you move to the next and final step. Some recipe calls for warming up the apricot sheet with water on the stove stirring until dissolved which will require cooling time. Blend the soaked apricot paste with some sugar or sweetener and if required you may strain the juice for a smooth texture. Add more cold water if it is too thick. Flavour with orange blossom water or rose water or both or skip them. Serve chilled with soaked and peeled pistachios and pine nuts. 

Now, you may ask how much water? that my friend depends on how thick or watered down you like your drink. Traditionally this is a thick drink but you can always adjust as per your liking. I add anywhere between 3 to 4 cups in total for 400gms of the apricot sheet which is not thick nor too thin but quenches the thirst easily. You can always add more cold water or ice cubes while serving. You can make a large batch and refrigerate and use it within three days. 

Qamar al-Din Apricot Fruit leather Drink

I am sharing a small batch recipe because the internet is already filled with recipes for a 400gms pack. As we are just two of us and in the middle of a pandemic (updated this post on 27th April 2021) it is better to make a smaller quantity and maybe use the remaining Qamar al-din for another day or for ice creams or for this pudding

Qamar al-Din Drink Recipe 

Makes 2 to 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 100gms Apricot fruit leather (Qamar al-din)
  • 2 cups of warm water (add more if required)
  • 2 teaspoon sugar or any sweetener of choice (adjust as per taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of Orange blossom water or rose water (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, soaked (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, soaked, peeled and chopped or use slivered pistachios (optional)

METHOD

  1. Soak the fruit leather: Cut the apricot leather into smaller pieces using a knife or scissors. Soak them in warm water for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Stir every few hours if possible. 
  2. Blend the soaked apricot: Transfer the soaked mixture into a blender with some sugar and blend for a minute or two until no large lumps are visible.  You may strain the juice to discard any bits. Refrigerate until serving time.
  3. Serve Qamar al-Din: You may add more cold water or ice cubes to dilute further as per your needs. Serve the apricot juice cold with ice cubes, pine nuts and chopped pistachios which are optional. 
    Now, a bonus if you have read so far :-P - there is a post of Amardeen Pudding too.

    Amardeen  | Apricot Fruit leather Drink

    This post was originally published in 2016 and edited in April 2021 to update the content and also include measurements in the recipe.

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