Persian Quince Jam (Moraba Ye Beh)

November 09, 2020

Quinces are native to the Middle East, and especially popular in Turkey and Iran, where they're transformed into sweet and savory preserves as well as stews and desserts. While they come from the same family as pears and apples, the fruits are often sold in their unripe, astringent state. When cooked, their flesh becomes tender, sweet, and stunning shade of pink. The fruit is high in pectin and their flesh doesn't fall apart during cooking, making it ideal for preserves.

Be sure not to discard the seeds – in Iran, they are dried and used for medicinal purposes. When the dried seeds are soaked in hot water, they give off a thick gel that coats and soothes the throat as a remedy for coughs and colds.


7 quince, sliced into wedges, seeds removed
3 cups sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or 2 green cardamom pods
1 tbsp rose water (optional)
4 cups water


  1. Squeeze lemon juice over the quince slices.
  2. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan combine the sugar and water, bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat and boil for another ten minutes on medium-low heat or until it thickens a little bit.
  3. Add the ground cardamom and quince slices to the sugar syrup, bring back to a boil on medium heat. Pour in the rest of the lemon juice and add a little more water if needed.
  4. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours on low heat. It is recommended not to remove the lid during the cooking to ensure that the quince slices develop the desired rich ruby red color. You can wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel. I didn't wrap the lid with any cloth and a few times I gently stirred the content.
  5. Add a tablespoon of rose water and simmer for another few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Ladle the jam into sterilized jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

Recipe by Turmeric Saffron

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