The gourd’s importance as a culinary ingredient dates back thousands of years and continues today from the Southern Mediterranean to Central Asia, Iran to the Indian Sub-Continent. Layered with almonds, scented with cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla, this murabba or preserve calls Central Asia and Persia home. It is enriched with some of the world’s costliest spices, evoking festivity and traditionally served during weddings. Have this condiment in your larder and you can be sure every meal will be a celebration. The murabba’s floral notes pair with all game but are equally delicious with a humble slice of toast slathered with sea-salted butter. Brush over black-pepper studded burrata or ricotta on puff pastry to make unusual palmiers. For dessert to impress, drizzle warmed compote over vanilla ice cream and add a cardamom infused, white wine-poached pear or roasted figs.
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