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Fruit Secrets: 5 Rare Indian Fruits That Will Amaze You With Their Uniqueness

Fruit Secrets: 5 Rare Indian Fruits That Will Amaze You With Their Uniqueness
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If you take a stroll through a supermarket’s perishable produce aisle, you might be forgiven for thinking that you have an impressive variety of fruit at your fingertips. In reality, however, these fruits are only some a small sample of the wide variety of delicious and exotic fruits that exist out there.

Did you know that India holds the distinction of being the world’s second largest producer of fruits?

With a climate that ranges from Himalayan to tropical, India has much to offer in terms of fruit diversity. While major fruits like mango, banana and citrus varieties are grown in abundance in many parts of the country, there are several unique and increasingly rare minor fruits that are collected from the wild and eaten mostly by the locals. It is only during the searing summers and cold winters of the subcontinent that some of these fruits appear on the rickety carts of street hawkers in Indian towns.

A reminder of changing seasons and childhood summers, here are 5 little known fruits from India that can open up an entirely new world to you. So go on, take a look, and be sure to comment below with your experiences, favorite fruits, and any others that we’ve missed!

1.  Jungli Jalebi/Kodukkapuli (Camachile)

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The spiralling green-pink pods of jungli jalebi (or kodukkapuli) contain about 6-10 shining black seeds enveloped in a thick sweet edible pulp. While the pulp can be eaten raw or made into a drink similar to lemonade, the tangy seeds are used in curries. It is due to the fruit’s resemblance to the Indian sweet jalebi that the plant has been given the name jungli jalebi.

Grown in:  Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal

2. Carambola (Star Fruit)


Carambola
 is a fruit with a waxy skin and a green to golden yellow color. The ripe fruit has a distinctly yellow colour, with slightly brown ribs, and it makes a great preserve or pickle. Unripe ones are lime green, taste sour and are best eaten when sliced and sprinkled with a mixture of salt and chili powder. Grown in the months of September-October and January-February, India is one of the largest producers of this fruit.

Grown in: Throughout India (especially in South India)

3. Buddha’s Hand (Fingered Citron)

A stunning fruit, Buddha’s hand looks like a lumpy lemon with elongated, yellow tentacles (that resemble gnarled human fingers) protruding from the base; hence, its name—Buddha’s hand. Buddha’s hand has a mild yet zesty flavour and is wonderfully aromatic—it is known to fill rooms with its fresh floral perfume. Believed to have originated in the lower Himalayas, botanists are unsure if it’s native to the region in India or China – some scholars believe that India’s migrating Buddhist monks carried the fruit with them to China in 400 AD.

Grown in: Northeastern India

4. Langsah/Lotka (Langsat)

A small, translucent, orb-shaped fruit, langsah is most often found in South India.  They can be quite sour when unripe, but are perfectly sweet when ripe with a taste similar to a bittersweet grapefruit. Even though this fruit’s demand skyrockets when it is in season, its cultivation does not extend beyond a handful of regions in the south.

Grown in: Throughout eastern and southern India (especially in the Nilgiri hills)

5. Mangustaan (Mangosteen)

A fragrant tropical fruit about the size of a small orange, mangustaan’s leathery purple-maroon shell surrounds a moist, snow-white and sweet fleshy interior. Though it is the national fruit of Thailand, it is believed that the trees of this fruit used to flourish in southern India throughout the 18th century.  Mellow and earthy, mangustaan is similar to mango in taste and is completely ripe only when its woody, leathery purple rind yields to the touch.

Grown in: The Nilgiri hills, the southern districts of Tirunelvely and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

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Post source : By Sanchari Pal

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