Those who grew up in the background of villages will have tales of umpteen rustic experiences to share. Pleasant memories can emanate the sweet aroma of fruits enjoyed as children from the backyards, fields, and orchards around. We didn’t have to visit a mall to buy any of these. Walking around the yards and neighbourhood could easily satiate us with the tastiest of fruits. Today I will like to talk about 7 of the exquisite fruits varieties in Kerala and their immense health benefits.
Bullock’s Heart (Ramphal)
With its strange name and uncommon shape, it is one of the prominent and exquisite fruits varieties in Kerala. The fruit is a common sight in villages across Kerala. Once ripened the fruit gains a reddish tint from the green. The name may have been acquired for its reddish colour and heart-shaped appearance. The trees don’t grow very tall and bear several fruits throughout the year. A normal-sized fruit weighs around one kg. You can easily consume the whole of it as the flesh isn’t overly sweet. After plucking the fruit, if it is fully ripened you can just split it by hand or slice it with a knife. With a spoon start enjoying the delectable pulp. Be careful to spit out the black seeds which are slightly bigger than apple seeds. Its off-white colour flesh is adequately sweet with a pinch of tart taste and slightly sandy texture.
The fruit is abundant in antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is known to enhance immunity and alleviate cardiovascular problems.
Many of us may still treasure the flavour and aroma of cashew nut roasted in the fire. The yellow and reddish coloured fruit has a distinct taste. The cream colour, juicy flesh can be eaten plucked straight off the branch once ripened. A blend of sweet, sour, and tart taste coupled with a pleasing sweet aroma make the fruit enjoyable. It is used to make wine, juice and a distilled liquor called Feni. The cashew trees are grown commercially especially for its nut that’s seen with the fruit. The kidney-shaped nut comes encased in a shell. No doubt it is one of the delicious and exquisite fruits varieties in Kerala.
Cashew nut is said to be good for eyes, nerves, gut, skin and provides heart-healthy fat. The cashew apple is a rich source of iron, phosphorous and calcium.
A small tree that grows with hardly any particular care and produces a good yield. Children usually enjoy the taste of Lubica fruit. Once fully ripened the green fruit turns brownish-red. They are roundish, small and attractive. Sour taste supersedes sweetness and astringent flavour. With a pinch of salt and chilli, you can gobble it a lot. Well, well, just don’t forget it is your tummy though! Chutney and pickles made of Lubica are popular in households. Truly one of the spectacular and exquisite fruits varieties in Kerala.
Some people use it as a medicine for obesity and to lower bad cholesterol in the body. It is also said to have properties beneficial for increasing bone strength and to prevent paralysis and diabetes.
Hog Plum (Ambazhanga)
The wild variety of hog plum trees grow very tall. These days, however, bud plants are available in plenty that is short and productive. Even growing this exquisite fruit plant in a pot can produce a good yield. A fruit yes, but you would relish it when it is just matured before ripening. Another sour-sweet based fruit but on a milder side. The taste is somewhat like that of raw mangoes’. The small fruit has a slightly elongated shape with a bristled pit inside. You can enjoy the raw fruit or as pickle, sauce, or chutney.
The green fruit is a useful source of Vitamin C and Iron. Even the leaves and bark of the tree have several medicinal properties.
Wild Jack Fruit (Anjili Chakka)
If you love the taste and texture of jackfruit, you are going to enjoy this one as well. This is a mini version of Jackfruit and weighs around five hundred grams. Sweet and succulent with a shade of sour taste, the ripened fruit is yellow and slimy. The small seed within each bulb is edible too. Roast them and you can much on like peanut. As the name suggests, trees grow even in the wild without any attention required. And they grow to great heights bearing numerous fruits in the season. An exquisite fruit that requires better marketing.
The fruit is said to be enriched with Vitamin C and A, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, sodium and folic acid. The fruit contains fibre and protein and is free of fats and bad cholesterol. Even the roasted seeds are considered to be healthy snacks.
A common fruit variety is grown (unintentionally mostly) in several households across Kerala. So common that hardly anyone bothers about it. Although the kids love to munch on these fruits. There are several varieties of water apple fruits. And they are available in distinct colours like rose, pink, red, white, and green. The sweet, watery, light fruits are enjoyed by everyone. Most of the types are grown on smaller trees. Since the season mostly is in summer, the fruits are good sources to keep you hydrated. With a mild aroma and tender flesh, the fruits have pits inside. Most people would love to eat them fresh, but pickles, jams, curries, chutneys and wines can be prepared too.
An ideal fruit for weight loss and it provides dietary fibres, aids in digestion and has no cholesterol. It is a tasty source of Vitamin C and A, and minerals like iron and calcium.
Cultivated commercially and also for household requirements, pineapples have a prime place in the list of fruit lovers. Since the plant doesn’t require much space or attention, the fruit can be grown easily in your backyard. The enticing aroma and colour of this juicy yellow fruit can tempt you to gobble up a lot. An average-sized fruit weighs around 1.5-2 kg. The skin of the fruit is rough, with hexagonal-patterned spikes and turns yellow when ripe. Keralites love to enjoy this exquisite fruit after heavy meals. The health benefits would justify the love for this fruit among food lovers. Pineapple is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. The enzymes in it aid digestion. It contains considerable amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and manganese. Video Courtesy: Jojo.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers