Preserved Figs with Spices and Rose Petals


preserved-figs-with spices and roses



Happy New Year dear friends!! I hope all of you have had a good start and wishing you that you have a calm and peaceful year ahead. So we have stepped into another year – crisp, fresh and new and my prayers are that we can all make the best of it.





The little break stretched over way longer than I had intended. For the past few weeks I kept myself  away from the internet to have some time with the family. My apologies if I have not replied to the mails and comments. I just felt I needed that personal time to myself and here are my promises to get back…slowly.

Now to the post I had started writing many weeks back…





A tiny little fig tree adorns our back yard. It is only about a few months old and only one and a half feet tall; and it is precious.




This little baby plant struggled in the first few months of its life. I have killed two fig plants before this and I was watching this every few minutes, every day. Literally. It became an obsession with me, as I walked up and peeked down, stroked the leaves, turned them over to look for bugs or signs of wilting, rotting and drying up.  And I talked to it; prayed that it is well loved, and we have hopes and it cannot give up on us.


Preserved Figs Diptych 2

Then  one day I see fruits. I almost cried and then I ran like a gust of wind inside the house to announce it.


I do not know how I missed the flowers. May be it was during those few weeks, when I withdrew from life – stunned, shocked at the what life could offer. Then again I examined the fruits everyday – trying to see them grow. But if you are watching them every day, you cannot really see them grow. Just like we only find out that our kids have grown over an inch when we discover that the pair of jeans are way over the ankle, all of a sudden.




Winter then decided to arrive in our parts of the world. And the figs stopped growing. They were big enough, but the cold wind would not let them ripen.


I still waited. Texas weather is unpredictable. May be it will warm up again. With fierce determination I waited to see then turn that deep purple with the intense hue inside. As if  the strength and passion of my thoughts will help them ripen. I waited and dreamed until I forgot what kind of a fig tree I got. I started telling myself that may be these figs are the green ones – the Kadota, which will ripen but still stay green. (I think I got ourselves a Mission Fig …)




No chance. It was going to be below freezing and probably even a little snow. The figs had to come home, plump or not.




So they did. My cousin sister was here with us to share my joy. A big handful of figs (it was my sis. who agreed to hold the figs for me in the above photograph) in a few months time is more I could ask for.


Fresh Figs Diptych 1


When the sizzling excitement of photographing them and the wiping off the fresh, white oozing latex simmered down, I sat down and wondered what to do with these figs. I had come across a recipe of Turkish Preserved Figs sometime back. I am quite biased. I seem to love everything Turkish (and everything fig too, for that matter). I never did really think that I could ever make these, for I knew not where to find unripe figs.


Then I had a little recipe card for a fruit compote that came in the box of some very fragrant mulling spices. And there were roses blooming in our front yard – red, organic and at hand’s reach.


Preserved Figs with spices and rose petals diptych 1


Preserved Figs with Spices and Roses; I loved the way the words sounded. It just had to be that. No second thoughts. It seemed like a chance of a lifetime with the figs I had.




preserved-figs-with spices and rose petals



Preserved Figs with Spices and Rose Petals


Ingredients: (makes 15 preserved figs in syrup)

  1. 15 (approx), immature green figs, washed thoroughly
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice (use 2 tablespoon if not using orange juice)
  3. 3/4 – 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup water + 1 cup orange juice (or 2 cups water)
  5. orange zest (1 large orange)
  6. 4-6 cloves, coarsely pounded or 1.5 teaspoon of mulling spice
  7. 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  8. few drops of orange blossom water/or orange extract
  9. petals of 3-4 medium sized rose (organic/chemical free roses only please)



Wash the figs thoroughly. Remove the ends/stalks of the figs and soak them in water for one day, changing water a couple of times.

Remove from water and slice them in half. (You may leave them whole. I wanted all the unripe taste to be washed/boiled away, so I sliced them).

Take enough water in a pan to immerse the figs and bring it to a boil. Add the figs and boil for 10 minutes. Discard water. Put in fresh water and boil the figs again for about 5-7 minutes. Discard the water. Repeat this process 3-4 times (total). This removes the latex in the unripe figs and also the bitterness if any.

Now add all the ingredients, other than the figs to fresh water in another pan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it comes to a boil, add the figs and boil the figs vigorously for 7 minutes and reduce the heat and then allow it to simmer until the syrup thickens and the figs are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. If you wish, you may mash them for more of a jam consistency or keep them whole.

Allow the figs to cool in the syrup. When cooled, spoon the the figs and the syrup with all spices and petals into clean sterilized jars. Leave them to marinate/macerate for a couple of days before you eat. The flavor of the spices will infuse and get deeper.

Serve with ice cream, or with mascarpone or mousse or with bread/cakes/french toast smeared with cream cheese/or mascarpone and top it with the preserved fig. They are so good!


Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Serves/Makes: 15 Preserved Figs

Shelf Time: about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, if stored in a clean, sterilized jar







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26 comments to Preserved Figs with Spices and Rose Petals

  • I was just about to drop a mail asking ‘ where are you? ‘ 🙂 Happy New Year Soma and hope it turns out to be the best one for you! Every time you post something from your garden, I feel this extreme desire to visit your place! Hopefully, someday 🙂

    Eta ekta darun recipe create korecho. Next time I see green figs, I will give this a try. I think we will love it!

  • Happy New year to you Soma. Hope this year will be filled with good memories and happiness.

    This I think will taste similar to gulkand. I am now so curious to see how it will taste. If I find some figs here, I will give it a try.

  • What a refined treat! Those are exquisite flavors.



  • anh

    So beautiful Soma! My fig tree gave its first fruits this year as well! 🙂

  • Soma,

    This is awesome. Congrats on your harvest.


  • Soma nice to see u after longtime. Wondering abt your absence and wanted to send message in FB. You came up with such yummmy post…. way toooo tempting.Hope kids are doing good. Happy New Year to you dear !!!

  • Yum Yum Yum that is delish. I dream of a house where one day I can have some fruit trees 🙂

  • I have not tasted figs….would love to have some…

  • Enjoyed this post so much. I have just started small terrace garden myself (very very initial stages) so I can imagine the joy of seeing your own plans bear fruits 🙂
    Love the way you have cooked them.

  • That’s an lively post….loved each word of it…Happy New Year to you too…pics are awesome…recipe is new and sounds yum….

  • Happy New year, Soma and good to have you back. Never tasted green figs. The photos and the recipe are excellent. Might have to give it a try to find some since I am in Texas too.

  • Happy new year. I have two fig trees which I planted into half wine barrels. They are growing well and I am praying for some fruit. Lovely post!

  • PG

    lovely pictures! It reminded me immdiately of the candied figs I had on our turkey trip. I think they didn’t add any spices, but i think they also used the unripe figs and they were divine.

  • Glad to see you back..HAppy NEw YEar to you and family.. ..Good to know that you emjoyed your ‘me’ time.
    Wonderful post with figs. Nijey bagaan er shob jinish i valuable.

  • What a beautiful post. Figs with roses sounds so exotic and the photography is fantastic…Wish you a wonderful year ahead.

  • Soma,
    Long time no see. Wish you a wonderful New Year 2013!
    Such a bliss to have a fig tree in your backyard. It is almost like a dream for me!
    The first time I ate fresh figs with so much excitement, I found them to be underwhelming compared to their dried versions. Still, fig is a fig, I’d try again any day..

  • Beautiful pics Soma, Have a great year ahead.

  • Cathy Norrie

    Dear Soma

    So lovely to see you in my inbox again. I hope this new year brings all the best of everything to you and your family. I love this post and I love reading your words. Thank you! I must try this recipe (I agree that the title is just right).

    Take care

  • mohana

    lovely recipie…wonderful…beautiful photographs…By the way, who is the hand model? ki komol hath !! 🙂

    I have written about the Hand Model and who owns those Komol Hands. 🙂 Post pore dyakh.

  • Oh congratulations on your first fig harvest, even if you did have to pick them early. And this is a beautiful looking recipe. Particularly love the idea of fresh orange peel and orange blossom water. Delicious.

  • Nice to have you back Soma. I kept coming over here, disappointed with no updates and finally you are here with such a lovely recipe. Beautiful clicks!

  • This is lovely, very close to my Mom’s recipe.

  • Mary J Rose

    Happy new year Soma! Nice to see you back

    I used to eat dry figs but this is much more attractive though with even more calories (but i guess that these carbs won’t be an extra fat layer in my sexy belly if i combine a few more work outs 😛 )

  • Mina S

    Good to hear you are back Soma 🙂 Nice recipe!

  • Just gorgeous. I love the rose petals. Wow.

  • sheril

    I notice that you don’t process these. Have you tried that? canning them? That is what I want to do with them.
    thanks for your email response. And for the amazing recipe.

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