Sekanjabin

Sekanjabin

Sweet–sour mint syrup

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
375 ml
Photographer
Alan Benson

The Persian penchant for sweet–sour flavours extends to desserts and beverages. Sekanjabin, a sweet–sour syrup with a flavour reminiscent of mint sauce, plays a number of roles in the Persian household. It may be served as a dip for crisp cos lettuce leaves for an unusual dessert. With bread as an accompaniment to the lettuce and syrup, it becomes a light meal. With water or soda water and ice it makes a refreshing drink. With grated cucumber, soda water and ice, a very pleasant punch can be made, though this last innovation bears Western influence. Persians in the past treated jaundice attacks with a diet of sekanjabin and lettuce — no bread — until the patient recovered.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
440g sugar
125ml white vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 large mint sprigs

Method

  1. Put the sugar and 250 ml water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add the vinegar and lemon juice, and return to a steady boil. Allow to boil over medium heat for 15–18 minutes, or until thick, skimming as required. Test a little on a cold saucer: when cool, it should have a thin honey consistency.
  2. Add the mint sprigs to the boiling syrup. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave until cool. Strain into a sterilised bottle and store at room temperature.
  3. To serve as a dessert, pour some syrup into a shallow bowl and float a mint sprig on top. Serve with crisp cos lettuce leaves, for diners to fold and dip into the syrup.
  4. To serve as a beverage, one-third fill a glass with the syrup, add ice cubes and top with water or soda water. Stir gently and float a mint sprig on top.
  5. To serve as a punch, coarsely grate a young, peeled cucumber into a punch bowl. Add 1 quantity of the syrup, plenty of ice cubes and soda water to taste. Garnish with mint sprigs and thin cucumber slices.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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