Melon Muraba is a Georgian preserve made with melon and sugar. It has a wonderful, subtle flavor enhanced by spices and can be eaten as a dessert or as a candy, or used as a cake decoration or as a jam. In Georgia, it is usually made in July and August when melons are ripe.
Step 1: Ingredients for Melon Muraba
Ingredients: 1 thick skinned small to medium size water melon. Only the white part below the skin is used. This recipe used 1.2 kilos of the white part. 1.7 kilos of sugar, 1 tbs of bicarbonate of soda, one third tsp of cinnamon powder, 2 cardamon seeds, 3 cloves, and one third tsp of vanilla powder (see closeup picture of spices and vanilla powder). You will also need a selection of cookie cutters.
Step 2: Preparation - Cut the Melon
Preparation: Cut the melon into six pieces and remove the red flesh. Only the white part below the melon skin is used. The flesh is not used in this recipe.
Step 3: Preparation - Scoop Out the Red Flesh
Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the red flesh.
Step 4: Preparation - Remove the Peel
Remove the peel from the outer skin of each piece of melon.
Step 5: Preparation - Discard the Peel
Discard the outer skin.
Step 6: Preparation - Prepared Slices
The prepared slices should look like the ones in the picture.
Step 7: Preparation - Create Shapes
Use cookie cutters to create different shapes from the strips of melon.
Step 8: Preparation - Remove Remaining Red Flesh
Carefully remove any remaining red flesh.
Step 9: Preparation - Pricking the Skins
Use a fork to prick each piece three or four times. This will allow the bicarbonate of soda to penetrate.
Step 10: Preparation - Add to a Pot
Add the pieces to a deep pot.
Step 11: Preparation - Bicarbonate of Soda
Fill a cup with 200 ml of water and add 1 heaped tbs of bicarbonate of soda.
Step 12: Preparation - Add Bicarbonate of Soda to Melon Pieces
Pour the dissolved bicarbonate of soda over the pieces of melon. Add 1 liter of cold water and stir thoroughly.
Step 13: Preparation - Leave for 5 Hours
Leave for 5 hours.
Step 14: Preparation - Rinse the Melon Pieces
When ready, pour the melon pieces into a sieve held over a sink. Allow cold water to continuously pour over the melon pieces for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the bicarbonate of soda is completely washed off.
Step 15: Preparation - Boil Sugar
Add 900 grams of sugar to a deep pot. Mix with 1.5 liters of water. Bring to the boil on a low temperature, stirring continuously. Allow to simmer for five minutes.
Step 16: Preparation - Add Melon Pieces
Add the melon pieces and stir thoroughly.
Step 17: Preparation - Boil and Simmer
Bring to the boil on a low temperature. Allow to simmer for forty minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 hours.
Step 18: Preparation - Add Sugar and Spices
After 10 hours, add 800 grams of sugar, together with one third tsp of cinnamon powder, 2 cardamon seeds, 3 cloves, and one third tsp of vanilla powder. Stir.
Step 19: Preparation - Boil and Simmer
Bring to the boil on a low temperature and allow to simmer for 40 minutes.
Step 20: Preparation - Storing
Storing: Prepare the jars and covers by washing them in very hot water and leaving until they are completely dry. Fill each jar with melons first and then carefully add the juice. This recipe should be sufficient to fill two 1 kilo jars. Store in a refrigerator or in a cool, dark place.
Step 21: Preparation - Serving
Serving: Melon Muraba can be served as a dessert or breakfast, or eaten as a sweet candy. It can also be used as an ingredient for cakes.