I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say this is one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. Now, I probably enjoy figs more than the average person (I mean, duh, right?), but there is something about the combination of sweet figs + citrus + curry that makes this spread just so drool-worthy.
I found a version of this recipe on a print-out from probably six or seven years ago. I have no idea where it came from. When I first went vegan, I liked to collect recipe ideas in a Word document on my work computer, then print it out and try different things. I’m not sure how I overlooked this one back then, but I’m excited I have re-discovered this relic from my past.
I also came across a similar product in a store, in a jar with preservatives. I’m super excited to share this recipe because it’s a much fresher version of anything you’ll find in a jar. As I sit here, I’m trying to decide how to eat it next (and trying to be more creative then just ‘shove spoon in jar’).
- 2 cups dried Turkish figs
- Juice from 2 small blood oranges (or 1 large)
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsp agave, or bee-free honey (or regular honey if not strictly vegan)
- De-stem the figs and place them in a bowl. Cover with filtered water, and allow them to soak for at least a half an hour to soften.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth. I would suggest adding the curry powder last, and adjusting this to taste. Depending on the taste and quality of the powder, you may want to use more or less.
- Enjoy! This dip is great on toast, with crackers, or my favorite way — on a grilled sandwich (might I suggest fresh sourdough?) with cashew cheeze and arugula. For my sandwich, I spread vegan butter on the outside, and grilled it in a pan until warm and gooey.
Note: There are some people who freak out and say that figs shouldn’t be consumed by vegans, and I just have to say: I am definitely on the side that eats figs. Never heard this before? In short, certain types of figs are pollinated by a fig wasp during a very natural process. The enzymes in the fig convert the wasp into protein to grow the fig, so it’s not like you are eating a full bug or there is any way to tell.
To me, it’s sort of like saying you won’t eat bananas because the skin might contain a pesticide with animal products. And if you’re eating truly organic produce, I guarantee a dead bug has slipped in there a few times, even if you wash your produce. I once found an entire preying mantis in a bag of organic greens.
It’s extremely difficult to live a fully vegan life, so don’t be so hard on yourself. In my opinion, eating figs is not the same as eating a product like gelatin, which is made (by humans) from boiled animal bones, or like eating honey, which absolutely exploits bees in most cases. No wasps are being exploited or harmed to grow a fig. In the end, do your research and decide for yourself, but I’m staying on the fig train.