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A naughty but nice treat – Chilli-Fried Peaches with Barberries

My but this is a naughty little treat. It does redeem itself however by virtue of the fact that it contains at least two of your five a day. It is also a real good looker of a dessert – as soon as one person in the café orders this, everyone wants a portion.






1½ tbsp sekanjebin (see recipe below)

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses/paste

juice and grated zest of 1 lime

½ tsp chilli (red pepper) flakes

pinch of ground cumin

pinch of salt

big handful of fresh mint, shredded

rose petals (optional)


a really fat knob of butter + splash of oil to prevent burning

2 ripe peaches, halved and stoned

1 tbsp barberries, washed (or use redcurrants or cranberries)


ice cream

extra mint


To make the Sekanjebin, boil 500ml/18fl oz/generous 2 cups water with 700g/1lb 9oz/3½ cups sugar and 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup vinegar. Cool before shredding ½ bunch of mint.

Whisk the ingredients for the chilli syrup together and set aside to macerate.

When you are ready to cook, melt the butter in a frying pan and place the peaches cut-side uppermost in the pan. Sizzle for a few minutes, then flip the peaches so that they are cut-side down in the pan. Add the chilli syrup and turn the heat down. Allow to bubble for a good 5 minutes, or until the peaches are soft. Right at the end, add the barberries, stirring well, then take off the heat.

Spoon the peaches on to a plate, place a dollop of ice cream in the middle and decorate with mint. It looks kind of wowsers, no?


*This syrup is a great thing to have hanging around in your fridge. Need a quick pudding? Serve slices of fruit with this on the side as a funky chilli dipping sauce.

The featured recipe is from Persepolis: Vegetarian Recipes from Peckham, Persia and beyond by Sally Butcher.