Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fruit leather - Maadaa - (फलफूल को माड़ा)




Making Dried Fruit Leather - Maadaa - (फलफूल को माड़ा)
Maadaa is a chewy fruit leather or fruit rolls-ups made out of fresh fruits. The traditional way of making fruit leather is by first boiling the fruits, then mix with sweetener or seasonings, mashing until very smooth.  It is then poured into flat tray and set out in the direct sun for drying for several days.  Maadaa is ready when the fruit is fully dried and all  the moisture have evaporated.  It will have a leather-like appearance and chewy texture. They are removed from the tray, cut into bite-size pieces or simply rolled up into strips and stored in an air-tight container or in a plastic bags.  It is eaten any time of the day as a snack.  

Making fruit leather is an ancient method of preserving fruits when there is an abundance of fruits in the season. In Nepal, during the summer months at our house, making fruit leather was a family affair. My mother and her kitchen helpers were busy making several batches of fruit leather when perfectly tree-ripened fruits with full flavor were in season.  Some of the fruits came from our own fruit trees, such as persimmons, mangoes, pear and guavas, but the doko (basket) full of Lapsi fruit (hog plum) were bought from the villager who transported the fruit to Nepali markets from their nearby hilly farms. As soon as the fruits were picked or bought,  the kitchen helpers prepared the fruits by sorting, rinsing, boiling, mixing with spices or sweetener and mashing to make a smooth puree. It was then poured into wicker flat tray (nanglo).  The tray was covered with cheese cloth or nylon netting, and secured with a cloth pin to protect the pureed fruits from insects and dirt.  Several trays were placed in the sunny part of the house, usually in the Kausi area (open space in the uppermost part of the house) for them to sun-dry.  It would take several days for the fruit leather to be dried depending upon the intense of sun. The fruit drying trays were always brought back inside when the sun was set in the evening.  Sometimes, by the end of drying process, my cousins and younger siblings slowly peeled and tore the fruit leather from the drying tray and enjoyed it so much that almost half of the fruit leather were disappeared before it was ready to be cut and stored.  We were addicted to this delicious special treat. 


There is no set recipe for making fruit leather, it all depends upon the specific fruit you are using and what kind of flavor you want to add.  Lapsi (Nepalese hog plum) is a very sour fruit, so a sweetener and spices are always added. The peak season fruits were naturally sweet, so my mother did not add any sweetener. The most common maadaa were made out of lapsi fruits, guava, mango, persimmons and pear. Lapsi ko Maadaa is a great favorite fruit leather for many Nepalese, and if someone is visiting the country back home,  they always brought back several packages of store-bought lapsi chew. This all brings back a lot of memories growing up in Nepal and I have been making several batches of fruit roll-up for the past many years here in the United States.  I make at least 15 batches of different variety of maadaa (some mixed fruits combination) every summer to share with friends and family.  I dry my fruit roll-ups in the food dehydrator because the sun is not very reliable in the area where I live.  

Here is my step-by-step guide for making peach fruit leather.  I have been using all different kind of fruits that are in season such as peaches, pear, apricots, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, apple and concord grapes. In some fruit leather shown in the picture below,  I have combined several different fruits to give a delicious twist. The combination is limitless. Fruits that are fully ripe makes the best fruit leather. Now I want to share it with my blog readers.  


... joy of picking tree-ripened and aromatic peaches from the garden ...
... separating bruised and over-ripped fruits ...
... washing and removing stems and taking out the pits ...
... pits are headed to the compost piles ...
... placing the fruit in a large and heavy bottomed saucepan...no need to add any water, once the peaches have softened the fruit will give away juice, making it soft and mushy ...
... cover the pot and bring it to a simmer on a low heat for 10-20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking at the bottom of the pot...
... the peaches have softened quite a bit...
... continue to simmer until the fruit is completely cooked.  Taste to see if the fruit needs any sweetener...I usually do not add any sweetener and prefer to leave it natural ...
... now run through the hand-held blender to make a very smooth puree...
... make sure the puree is in the right consistency, should be pourable and thick enough to stay where you have spread the mixture....if too thin and runny, bring back to the stove top and cook uncovered until slightly thickened.... now the peach puree is ready to be poured ...
... pour the fruit puree onto the food dehydrator tray slowly - allow about half inch space in the inside and outside edges of the tray. The edges tend to dry more quickly, the poured puree should be a little thicker than the center part. When spreading the fruit puree, gently tilt and shake the tray to distribute the mixture more evenly.  If you like thick fruit leather, pour about 1-1/2 to 2 cups extra mixture in the tray.
... now all the trays are stacked up on top of each other and ready to close the lid .... the dehydrating times may vary, depending on the types of fruit used and the thickness of the mixture that is poured into the tray.  Dry at 130-140 degree F - and follow the manufacturer's instruction.
... patiently waiting for the fruit leather to be ready and my whole house is smelling so good while the peach puree is being dried....
... the fruit leather is ready, no longer sticky and has a smooth surface ...
... peeling easily from the dehydrator tray....finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll
... enjoy the most delicious aaru ko maadaa ...
... storage - to shore the finished fruit leather, roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap or wax paper, tie with a string to hold the roll ...
... cut into desired size pieces, if you like, and store in an airtight and moisture proof containers ...
... delicious, sweet, natural fruit snacks without any preservatives ...
... garden peach fruit roll-ups - August 25, 2011 ...
... ripe concord grapes ...
... making home-made concord grape fruit leather - simmer the grapes, strain the juice, use food mill to separate out the skins and seeds ...
... extracted pulp and juice ... cook until slightly thickened ...
... pour and spread into dehydrator tray, spread thinly and evenly ... gently shake the tray for evenness ..
... ready to eat concord grapes leather - finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll...in my opinion, grape leather is one of the most delicious fruit roll-up with a distinctive color ...
... getting ready to make strawberry-apple roll-ups (mixed fruit leather) ...
... sharing with family and friends ... (peach, concord grapes, apples and strawberries, pear leather)
... getting ready to make cinnamon-cardamom flavored fruit leather - peel the pear, remove the cores and stems, cut into pieces, mix with spices, add sweetener, if needed and simmer. Spread the puree over the tray and dry the fruit mixture until pliable...
...All natural and delicious pear fruit leather, flavor of pear is bursting in every bite!
Lapsi ko Maadaa - लप्सी को माडा - (Nepalese Hog Plum Fruit Leather) -  is one of the most favorite fruit chews made from the Nepali native fruit, lapsi, or labsi.  The fruit is greenish-yellow in color when ripe, and has a large hard seed that is almost the size of the whole fruit itself.  The plum-sized fruit has a pleasant flavor, but extremely sour, even when it is completely ripe.  The pulp is firmly attached around the seed and difficult to separate, so it must be boiled first. The pulp is mixed with sugar and spices, made into fruit leather or nuggets and sun-dried.  Lapsi fruits are only available in Nepal, or at least I have never seen the fruits in the United States.  For more information on this fruit, please click here to check my previous blog.
  Lapsi ko Maadaa  - (लप्सी को माडा) or lapsi fruit leather - if you ever get hold of this delicious fruit leather, please try it.
 Healthy and tasty Fruit Leather from my kitchen - Apple (Shayau ko Maadaa), Apricots (Khurpani ko Maadaa), Raspberries & Apple (Ainselu re Shayau ko Maadaa), Cherries (Cheri ko Maadaa), Nectarines, Peaches (Aru ko Maadaa), Plum (Alubukharaa ko Maadaa), Blueberries & Peaches (Naspaati ko Maadaa), Strawberries, Mango (Aanp ko Maadaa), Hog Plum (Lapsi ko Maadaa), Guava (Ambaa-mate), Persimmons (Haluaabed ko Maadaa), grapes (Angoor ko Maadaa) and mixed fruit leather...
 I have been making fruit leather for nearly 30-35 years every summer or fall, and my children have been enjoying the the natural fruit snacks.  When they were growing up, fruit maadaa was their "candy."....so you want to make your favorite fruit snacks at home without any effort?  I hope the basic instructions on this posting is useful - please let me know if you try!


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2 comments:

  1. Jyoti, I'm so glad we met up at the Dosa event. Wonderful pictures here on Taste of Nepal. I especially like the family and food history that you include with your posts.

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  2. It is great idea to make fruit mada. I really miss paau so I am going to try this. Thanks :)

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