Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sekanjabin and dried fruit

I started on the food preparation for Estrella today. On today's to-do list was to make the sekanjabin, and dry some fruit. This isn't exactly fiber arts, but it does tickle the creative side of my brain, so here you go:

Sekanjabin is a middle eastern drink, and was mentioned back in the 10th century. There are lots and lots of variations on it around. This is the recipe I use:


5 lbs honey
4 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 big handful mint

Dissolve the honey in the water.

Bring to a boil. (Watch it so it doesn't boil over. My son burned himself last year doing this, and still has a scar.)

Turn down the heat, and add the vinegar. Simmer for at least half an hour.

While it is simmering, go pick a large handful of mint from the garden. (Ok, you can get it from the grocery store, or use mint tea bags if you can't get fresh. But I have a couple of pots growing just for this recipe.) At the end of half an hour (or so), take pot off the heat and stir in the mint. Let it sit to cool for a couple of hours.

After the sekanjabin is completely cooled, strain off the mint.

Pour the resulting syrup into a bottle. (I just re-use the honey jar, plus another random drink bottle.) The syrup will last for months unrefrigerated.

To use: dilute the syrup approximately 8 parts water to 1 part syrup, or to taste. It is good both hot or chilled.

My kids call this drink period Kool-aid. They'll take a swig out of a water bottle to make room, then add the syrup to the bottle and shake it up. My husband really likes to drink this hot around the camp fire at night. You can substitute sugar for the honey, and other types of vinegar for the apple cider vinegar. Other flavorings besides mint can be used, as well. Experiment, and then let me know what works for you!

I also got a batch of fruit drying on the dehydrator.

My kids really love dried pineapple. I watch for the store brand of canned pineapple to go on sale, and then stock up. Two cans make one tray of fruit for me. I get the slices in syrup, and cut the rings in half right in the can. The juice I drain off and chill for my husband to drink as a treat.

Apples were on sale too. I have a gizmo that peels, slices, and cores the apples. That makes this process so much easier!

Two apples make one tray of fruit for me.

My dehydrator was a Christmas gift last year, and it is going to get a work out over the next couple of weeks! It can dry nine trays at a time, which is a lot of dried fruit. Or beef jerky. The beef jerky will be later this week, I think. I may also make fruit roll-ups, of dried applesauce. Hmmm...what to make next....?


  1. That drink sounds good--honey and mint, mmm.

  2. Give it a try! You can scale down the proportions, if you don't want enough syrup to last for months at a time.

  3. This reminds me of a popular drink in Australia called cordial. It is diluted the same way, though there's no vinegar. I often made soda by mixing it with seltzer water instead of tap. Soda pop isn't period... but I wonder how senkanjabin would taste done that way.

  4. yes really a beautiful recipe for making Sekanjabin .
    Thanks for the recipe