Fruit compote made with fresh apples and a variety of dried fruits. Recipe courtesy of The Bangala, Karaikudi.

Raman is one of the sous chefs at The Bangala. He is not only in charge of the dining room, he also makes all of the desserts. I happened to mention how much we enjoyed The Bangala’s Fruit Compote and he beamed. He also took me straight to his pantry.

Together, we rummaged the ample larder to find all the compote’s dried fruit ingredients. Before I knew it, we were back at the stove and Raman was whipping up a batch so we could include it in our offerings to you.

It was a completely spontaneous gesture. And, just another example that hospitality knows no bounds with the gracious hosts and staff at The Bangala. Thank you dear Raman.

If this recipe whets your sweet tooth, try our recipe for Carrot Halwa too.

Jaggery is one of the key ingredients in The Bangala’s Fruit Compote recipe. Cooks in the west may not be familiar with this ingredient. It is an all natural reduction of juices or sap from sugar cane, date palm or sugar palm trees. Like Canada’s maple syrup, it has trace minerals and a distinctive smoky caramel flavour.

Once reduced, jaggery is either poured into moulds and left to harden or dried and ground into a brown sugar like powder.  If using one of the moulds of jaggery, which you can find at Indian grocers or large supermarkets with an international aisle, you need to shave off chunks until you have enough for the weight or measurement required in your recipe.

You then boil the jaggery bits in the water. Often, there will be residues so when using this form of jaggery, strain the liquid before continuing with the recipe. If you can’t find jaggery, you may substitute brown or demerara (turbinado) sugar.

The Bangala’s Fruit Compote Recipe

12 - 1/2 cup servings


1 1/2 cups (200 grams) jaggery (or brown or demerara sugar)
4 cups water – divided (2 then 2)
1 (5-inch) cinnamon stick
4 apples, peeled, seeded and chopped in bite size pieces
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
5 dried prunes
12 dried apricots
1 cup candied orange peel
5 figs, quartered
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice


  1. Place the jaggery (or sugar) and 2 cups of water in a saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the jaggery.
  2. Strain the jaggery – if necessary – through a sieve and then put the strained liquid back in the saucepan and bring to a boil again with the cinnamon stick for about 30- 45 minutes or until it becomes a slightly thick caramel coloured sauce.
  3. Add the chopped apples and the remaining one and a half cups of water and cook until the apples are crispy soft.
  4. Add the other fruit and cook 5 to 10 minutes (until the dried fruit rehydrates and becomes soft and plump).
  5. Remove from heat and add the rum and orange and lime juices, stirring well.
  6. Enjoy on its own, as a light dessert with ice cream or drizzled over yogurt for breakfast.

Thanks for trying this recipe.

We'd love to hear from you.