Five unique Indian native fruits that the world is still unaware of.
Fruits which we all are familiar with and are easily available at the perishable sections of the supermarket are a small portion of what Indian forests have in store for you. India is home to several indigenous fruits that haven’t received much recognition around the world and are now on the verge of being lost on our path to urbanisation. India’s topography encourages a variety of such fruits. These native fruits are limited to few regions and haven’t been able to make their presence feel throughout the world.
Out of the all the indigenous fruits, here we suggest five best indigenous fruits of India that one must try.
Indian Sherbet Berries
Indian Sherbet Berries locally known as Phalasa is a dark purple tiny sized fruit that looks similar to blueberries. These are generally found in the eastern and northern part of the country. The fruit is extremely rich in minerals and tastes both sweet and sour at the same time. The fruits have a number of medical applications, the paste of the leaves cures skin ailments like eczema, eruptions, heals and wounds. Best tastes raw, but to add a different flavour, one can use flavoured syrup or squash to go with it.
Ice Apple or Sugar Palm fruit
The name ice apple describes a bit of the fruit. This is a type of palm fruit is known by many names in the country such as targola or nungu. With brown outer covering and jelly-like white inner part, the fruit is a treat on a hot summer day and just like a molten lava cake, when you take a bite, a sweet juice rushes out making the effort of scooping it out from a hard shell worthwhile. The fruit is refreshing and is the best guilt-free escape from the Indian summers. The fruit is also used to make the Indian alcoholic beverage, toddy, and is also used as an ingredient for a South Indian dessert, Payasam.
Another Indian origin fruit which is locally known by different names is Bael. The fruit is known as Kaith in Hindi, Kothu in Gujarati, kavath in Marathi and Bel in Bengali. The fruit has woody covering and it might take you longer than expected to break it open. The inner part has a bright yellow pulp and is enriched with medicinal benefits. The presence of tannin in the bael helps in curing diseases like diarrhoea and cholera, also anti-oxidants that help in fighting gastric ulcers. Further, the benefits of this fruit have been mentioned in the most ancient text of Ayurveda Charaka Samhita.
Grown in the southern region of India, mangosteen is among the few exotic fruits of India. This fruit has a leathery outer texture and with fleshy white pulp inside, the inner portion of the fruit looks similar to a litchi. The fruit has antioxidants with healing properties. Though it is the national fruit of Thailand, it has a historic allegiance with India as well. The fruit goes by different names in different regions, Mangustan in Hindi, Ivarumamidi in Telugu, Kaattampi in Malayalam, Kao in Bengali, Murugala Hannu in Kannada, Kokum in Gujarati, Ratamba in Marathi.
Carambola/ Star fruit
Starfruit is also an exotic fruit, with a waxy golden-green exterior. The name itself defines the shape of this fruit. India is one of the largest producers of carambola. It is also used for pickles. Though the fruit looks beautiful not everyone prefer their star fruit raw, as it gives a citrusy punch. So, before biting into an unripe raw star, the first timers might just want to keep this fact in mind. The fruit is grown in the months of September- October and January-February in southern part of the country.