Summer season is all about chilling with a glass of chilled mojito, surfing on the beach and getting the perfect tan. Not to forget, this season brings our happiness in the form of an extensive and delectable range of fruits which we almost wait for all-year long. Like mangoes, being the ‘king’ in the category, lychees, black plums (jamuns), papayas and many more. India, being a tropical country where summers last for quite a longer time has much more to offer than just these. There are some that belong to the ‘not so popular’ category of summer fruits and are very beneficial for the body. So, today let’s know more about them in particular.
Phalsa, Grewia asiatica
A native to India, this berry is grown in a very short plant with extraordinary benefits. It tastes sweet, tangy and sometimes sour when not fully ripe. It is a look alike to blueberry because of its dark blue shade and of its dark blue shade and helps in keeping the body cool during the hot summers. The fruit is loaded with calcium, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin B, C and A. The leaves of this plant are used to cure skin infections and wounds. The best way to savour it is to sprinkle some salt and black pepper on it or turn these little gems into a yummy, chilled sharbat.
Langsat, Lansium parasiticum
They look like potatoes on the outside but taste similar to a bittersweet grapefruit. Translucent, orb-shaped and with inedibleand extremely bitter seeds. Loaded with umpteen health benefits, this fruit can refresh you at all times. High on Vitamin A, proteins, calcium, dietary fibre and important minerals, it cures diarrhoea and promotes a good gut health. The peel of the fruit, when burnt can help in keeping mosquitoes away and has a refreshing aroma as well.
Talgoda, Ice apple or toddy palm
This fruit has many names all across India: talgoda in Marathi, shaansh in Bengali and nongu in Tamil Nadu, to name a few. A tan-brown exterior and a translucent, pale-whiteinner filled with a refreshing watery fluid which is a saviour during the scorching summers. Apart from being a great thirst quencher, the jaggery made with these is a specialty in many Bengali sweets.Also rich in vitamins and minerals, this fruit can be a great way to boost the immune system. It is also said to keep skin infections away.
Jungli Jalebi, Chamachile
A look alike to the most popular sweet in India, jalebi, hence the name. It grows extensively in Indiaas well as many other parts of the world. The sweet pulp is eaten as it is and the tangy seeds are used in the preparation of various curries. It can help in balancing blood sugar levels, improve gum health and promotes a healthy heart. The pods are relished by monkeys and that is why it is also called ‘Monkey Pod.’You can flavour your teas or lemonade by adding some of this tangy fruit extract.
Bael, Wood apple
A little more popular than other fruits in this list, bael phal has extraordinary health benefits along with a distinct taste. While the ripe fruit has an acquired taste, mostly because of its very overpowering smell, when you mix the pulp with other ingredients to make a juice, it is delightful. The raw fruit is great along with some salt, chilli powder just like that or along with the leaves to prepare curries and chutneys. It is great for digestion, strengthens hair, great for diabetics and also acts as a good detox for the body.
Karonda, Carissa carandas
It is one of the gems specific to the summer season. A type of berry which has a pinkish colour with tiny seeds. When raw, it’s slightly bitter and sour in taste but when it’s fully ripe, it has the sweetest flavour making it viable for many culinary experiments. Used in preparing jams, chutneys and pickles, it also acts as a great substitute for cranberries. It is rich in iron, calcium, vitamins and phosphorous and has been long used for medicinal purposes in India. It helps to soothe an upset stomach, prevents anaemia and also cures many skin problems.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.