I need to dry amla (Indian gooseberry). I live in India so we get plenty of sunlight but I live in the city and it's very dusty outside, so I can't leave fruits out, otherwise they'll be covered in dust. But the indoor temperatures are quite warm (around 30 degrees celsius). Can I just dry the fruits (preserved in sugar syrup) indoors or will they spoil? thanks for your help :)
The key to drying fruit is not temperature, but humidity - or rather, lack of humidity.
If you want to avoid mold,you need to speed up the drying process. And for that, you need to keep a few points in mind:
- Place fruit in a single layer, not touching each other. Ideally you would place them on some sort of "drying rack", which could be either some kind of screen on a frame or even some metal mesh like the ones used for cooling cakes. This ensures that they can dry from all sides. Otherwise, turn them regularly.
- Maintain a dry environment. If in doubt, always choose a cooler, but drier place over a warmer, but more humid one.
- If available, constant air flow can speed up the process considerably. Perhaps a fan could be placed nearby?
- If necessary, fruit can be dried in an oven, but at the lowest heat possible (40 to 50 C should be fine, use the oven fan, if you have one) and with the door slightly ajar.