FRUITS IN THE HIMALAYAS…& PEACH-ROSEMARY JAM RECIPE

“Thought is the blossom,language the bud,action the fruit behind.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here’s a little more about our recent trip into the hills, the adventurous beginning of which you can read about in my first post here. This second post is a bit of a fruity one; well mostly anyway. Ramgarh is a serene hill station in the Himalayas, perched at an altitude of about 1800 m above the sea level. It is quite the idyllic place for offbeat leisurely holidays in peace and tranquility, & is known for its fruit orchards and wonderful views of the Himalayas. On clear days you can see the snow-capped ranges of the Himalayas from the windows of the cottage we stayed at. Unfortunately for us, it was quite cloudy & misty the few days we were there for, so we didn’t quite get to see the snow-capped ranges. What we did get to do loads of was enjoy the fruit hanging heavy from the boughs in the orchards surrounding Taradale.
An invigorating & exciting experience. The kids enjoyed it the most, & by the end of our trip, the lad knew which peach was going to be sweet & rightly ripe, & which wasn’t. He literally ate truckloads of peaches. Eventually, I had to stalk him to make sure he didn’t overeat fruit, & fall sick. At any given time, you could find him with a peach in his dirty little hands, the juice flowing down his arms. SIGH! I could visualise the poor birds fighting my lad for ripe fruit…LOL. We would wake up to an orchestra of bird songs every morning, thanks to these fruit laden boughs. The owner of the cottage told us that he’s spotted over 230 species of birds in Ramgarh.Ramgarh is known for orchards of a variety of Himalayan fruits like apples, apricots, and peaches, & this region of the Himalayas is often referred to as ‘the fruit basket of India’.
Around the cottage, the trees were laden with ripe peaches. Plums & apricots were still tart, but yummy if you didn’t mind the sour taste. I certainly didn’t! Pears & apple were still in blossom & young fruit stage. We dug into the peaches big time, & carried some back too. I also brought back a rosemary & a lavendar plant that I luckily tripped across at quite a nondescript little nursery tucked into the hillside. I found the nursery while talking to some sweet local kids, who were being taught by their grandfather, & were ready to go to school. They insisted I sing & dance for them, which I didn’t because my kids looked at me in absolute horror, wondering if I was going to oblige. I fooled around with the naughty mites for a bit & then they set off for school. Schools in the district begin at 10am … why so late one might wonder? …Well, because there is no school transportation available. Little huts dot the countryside for miles, & are very far apart, often in complete wilderness, with no roads, just dirt tracks. It’s quite a revelation to see all the kids go to school, safely walking the distance for hours, even the littlest of them! They seem quite happy with this way of life, & it takes them about an hour, on an average, to get to school. You can see them setting off 9am onwards, & while trekking one morning, we came across students in uniforms all over the hills!

On to the jam now… I made some Peach-Rosemary jam on my return as I was keen to preserve a few peaches, & some memories with them! The son polished off most the the remaining peaches! The daughter prefers mango.

.

PEACH-ROSEMARY JAM
adapted from Martha Stewart
Try this jam with yogurt or toast topped with fresh ricotta cheese.
Ingredients
4 pounds yellow peaches, peeled
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary Method:

  • Halve and pit peaches, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Transfer to a large bowl. Add lemon juice; toss. Add sugar and rosemary; toss. Cover; let stand, tossing every hour, for 4 hours (sugar should be completely dissolved).
  • Put peach mixture into a large, wide pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid is syrupy, 12 to 13 minutes. (I cooked it for almost 30 minutes).
  • Crush lightly with a potato masher, leaving one-quarter of the wedges intact. Skim foam from surface. Discard rosemary sprigs.
  • Note: Refer to the recipe @ Martha’s website for sterilising, sealing & processing guidelines.

More later on the beautiful biodiversity of the hills, a bit about trekking, about the people & the place …

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Comments

  1. Sophie says:

    What a lovely jam indeed! I love it! Yummie!

  2. Happy cook says:

    I am with your daughter i prefer mangoes too.
    Looks like your son a a very cheerfull person, i always fell that he is a very easy going person, sho loves life as it happens..

  3. Steph says:

    I'm just like your son, I can probably eat truckloads of peaches. They're are one of my favourite fruits! You are right about eating too much.. it definitely makes you feel sick, but it's so worth it.

  4. Parita says:

    Delicious and flavorful jam..love the combination..lovely clicks..

  5. Barbara Bakes says:

    I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip! The jam looks perfectly delicious!

  6. Kamran Siddiqi says:

    These photos are great! The jam looks phenomenal!

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    It looks magical out there Deeba and coincidentally we went to a Himalayan restaurant tonight!

    I chuckled when I read "They insisted I sing & dance for them, which I didn't because my kids looked at me in absolute horror, wondering if I was going to oblige" :P

  8. Gloria says:

    Dear Deeba this is absolutely beautiful and I love always your pictures, you know xoxoxoxoxoGloria

  9. meeso says:

    Thanks for sharing more of your gorgeous photo's… The jam looks great, especially with the addition of rosemary!

  10. Linda says:

    Deeba, How lovely your trip must have been. The jam….mmmmmmm!
    I love the photos of your son and daughter. It brought back a memeory of the times my cousins and I would pick plums and pears off the trees in our grandparents' yard and eat until we couldn't eat anymore…much to the dismay of our parents!

  11. Manggy says:

    Ooh, I love peach jam. Probably because it's so close to mango, ha ha :)
    Now, you gotta tell Meher to smile more. This is wisdom that comes with age I admit, but no-one has ever regretted having a pic with a lovely smile, but those with uniform scowls are more likely to make you cringe when you're older. Take it from a curmudgeon like me!

  12. Amazing country side, and those kids with uniform walk to school for miles, just remind me when I was growing up in Bali. I went to school as early as 5:45 AM, school start at 7AM, had to walk up and down the hills, in between rice paddy, dirt road, no transportation. But, we were so happy and always looking forward to go to school. The best part during this walk was, when we were reaching the top of the hill, the view was absolutely stunning, we saw the blue ocean, and literally we could see hundreds of kids in uniform on the other side of the hill look like snake ….

    Sadly, everything change now. I mean they don't walk anymore, because there are way too may cars. So, I am hoping the tranquil and virgin Himalaya will stay beautiful!
    Great post Deeba.

  13. alice says:

    Everything is so beautiful. I love your photos of the Himalyayas, some of your landscape there looks very similar to the Pacific Northwest. Anyway I am glad to be friends now!

  14. Bellini Valli says:

    What a delightful peak into this area of the world Deeba. I am readinhg a book right now called Three Cups of Tea which is about the efforts of one man who was climber at K-2 and his efforts to build schools in the Himalayan villages. Although it takes place in Pakistan it speaks to the mountaineous areas and the joy of living there.

  15. Malar Gandhi says:

    Wow, guess you guys had a great time there, lovely pictures…love ur culinary skills.

  16. Helene says:

    What a beautiful trip and photos.

    I would love to have access to fresh fruits. Must be so good. This trip was really good, you'll have lot's of memories.

  17. Cathy says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm so glad I found you. Can't wait to read through your posts. Great photos, too.

    Hope you visit again soon.

  18. Aparna says:

    So that's where you got the fresh rosemary from!
    I thhink it's wonderful you converted that fruit to this jam Deeba, despite the heat of the summer.

  19. Sunshinemom says:

    My trek this year was canceled and you are making me so JJJ! Seriously, am glad you had so much fun:). I remember my friend and I thriving on plump juicy cherries all day long! I have not tried my hand at jams till date. Temptingly tasty!

  20. PheMom says:

    I'll bet this is just so good! All your photos just look so gorgeous!

  21. Jackie @PhamFatale.com says:

    Never heard of a pairing with rosemary before. brilliant idea!

  22. lisaiscooking says:

    Looks like you had a lovely trip! The peach rosemary jam sounds fantastic.

  23. burpandslurp says:

    both your daughter and son are so good-looking! I esp love the carefree, natural way your son smiles.
    man…peach with rosemary? utterly delicious combo!

  24. Reeni♥ says:

    What a lovely place among the fruit trees and all the lovely singing birds! The peach-rosemary jam looks wonderful!

  25. Donna-FFW says:

    Adoring the photos!! Peach rosemary jam sounds unbelievably delicious!

  26. What a fun trip – thanks for sharing your photos.

    The jam sounds delicious – I love the combination of flavors.

  27. I just loved all the pics! They speak so much! :) The jam looks incredible! Lucky you! We can never spot a fresh rosemary here!

  28. Snooky doodle says:

    what a nice holiday! that fruit surely looks inviting:) Eager to try this jam too :)

  29. Stephcookie says:

    Looks like such a gorgeous place to visit, too bad about the mist but sounds like you had a fantastic trip! The jam looks absolutely amazing!

  30. Aww… love these post series, I get to see beautiful views of the Himalayas, the beautiful people of you and your family and last but not least the beautiful recipes ;)

    The travel story kinda brings back my memory of traveling from Delhi to Accra years ago, thank's for sharing Deeba :)

  31. Kitchen Flavours says:

    Wow nice to know you had rocking time there….jam looks yum…..

  32. Navita (Gupta) Hakim says:

    Deeba, Hi…loved reading about the trip…if you ever get a chance do visist Ranikhet too…we were there last year…it is an amazing place.

    That jam looks gorgeous! :)

  33. How To Eat A Cupcake says:

    Oohh I bet rosemary tastes so great with peaches!

  34. Michele says:

    Your photos are just stunning, and I'm so glad I discovered your blog. I've been to India several times; I love traveling there.

  35. You had a wonderful time deeba! & got back goodies too!.. Rosemary & Peach sounds really good, & I have everything at home right now. Somehow at the rate the fruits disappear in my house, I rarely get to cook with them.

  36. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    Incredible post Deeba. You've photographed the sights so beautifully. The peach and rosemary sounds like a wonderful combination, looks so tasty!

  37. Kerstin says:

    What an amazing trip! Lovely jam too, peach and rosemary sound perfect together.

  38. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Those kids must be so fit walking for an hour through the mountains to school each day! It sounds like a nice way to travel so long as it wasn't raining, and and a good opportunity for bird watching. Your photos of the birds are great!

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  40. Mallika says:

    Sigh… it looks idyllic. I SO need a holiday. Looks like it never gets easier but more fun with kids. Mine is almost 3 moths now, she'll be a peach monster before I know it!!

  41. Nicisme says:

    This post is a fabulous read Deeba. I would have loved to see your kids faces if you had done some dancing! LOL!! (Mine still walk about 10 feet behind me when we are out, I am soooo embarrassing!)
    Love the shape of your peaches, like tear drops – great idea to make jam!

  42. Bunny says:

    They walk an hour to school! I don't think our kids would be that happy to go! LOL!! Love the pictures and jam recipe Deeba!

  43. Wow, the peaches look succulent! Can make into many good food stuff!

  44. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Your pictures are amazing. The jam looks delicious, too. What an amazing trip. So jealous! :)

  45. Amber says:

    Great blog! I love your photos. They are very inspiring! I think that when you are in a special place and you eat the food it takes on more meaning. I'll come back often.

  46. Peter M says:

    One of my favourite jams is apricot or peach. I'd love to spread some of your jam on some buttered toast.

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  48. The Purple Foodie says:

    Plucking peaches from a tree has its own charm. I want to plan a trip in the mountains only to get my hands on fresh fruits!

  49. catface says:

    I posted a comment elsewhere too, asking about the cottage you stayed at. I am headed there in September, looking at Ramgarh Bungalows as my main option. What's the fruit situation like in September? Would be sorry if they've all been picked by then.

  50. I made the jam yesterday with half-a-dozen peaches which were not that great to eat just like that and it came out excellent! Wonderful flavor… Thank you.

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