by Shivani Khanna
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof. Marmalade is generally distinguished from jam by its fruit peel. ~ Wikipedia
The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the Spanish Seville orange, prized for its high pectin content, which gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the marmalade.
The Narangi or the Round Kumquat closely resembles the orange but is much smaller in size. The peel of the Indian Narangi is bitter in flavour and the fruit has a sour taste. The fruit is too sour to eat raw and is mainly used to make marmalades, jellies and pickles. The bitterness of the peel, makes the marmalade made from Narangi taste similar to marmalade made from Seville oranges. The fruits of the Narangi tree ripen in the month of February and March in North India.
At once bitter, sweet, chunky-textured and semi-liquid, orange marmalade is more than a breakfast spread. It embodies a tradition that has lasted some 250 years and which extends to nearly every nation that was colonized by the English. A necessity, an identifier and a constant reminder of home, marmalade is part of the British psyche. ~ Elizabeth Field
Ripe, juicy, orange narangis are best for making marmalade. The seeds contain pectin and help in setting the marmalade, so are used in the first boil. The water helps to melt the sugar. Removing of the scum is necessary. If not removed it crystallizes the jam when the marmalade is kept in the refrigerator. It is also important to cook it on a rolling boil or the peel will over cook. The marmalade thickens on cooling.
1/2 kg ripe narangi/round kumquat
1 kg sugar
1 cup water
1. Cut the narangis into halves around the centre.
2. Remove the seeds and tie them in a muslin cloth to form a small muslin bag of seeds.
3. Further cut the narangi halves into thin strips, including the skin and the flesh.
4. In a pressure cooker add the narangi bits, 1 cup water, the muslin bag of seeds and 1/2 kg of sugar.
5. Bring the pressure cooker to one whistle and switch off the heat.
6. Once the steam has settled, open the pressure cooker and remove the muslin bag of seeds.
7. Add the remaining 1/2 kg of sugar and cook the mixture on high flame.
8. With a wide spoon, remove the scum that boils up to the surface.
9. Place a small plate in the freezer.
10. When the marmalade starts coating the spoon, drop a spoonful on the cold plate and if it does not flow, its ready. It will thicken on cooling.
11. Take off the heat and let it cool uncovered.
12. Once cool, fill in clean bottles and keep in the fridge.