3 Fruits You Didn’t Know Were Used in Indian Cuisine
Indian dishes are rich in spices and other beautiful, natural ingredients, such as fruit. Because India is a large country with a wide range of diversity in terms of geology and climate, you can expect to find a great variety of vibrant fruits you can try ─ whether after picking it up from a tree and eating it raw, or by adding it to a recipe. Some of these fruits are native to India, while others can be found in other places around the world, but all have their own role to play in building strong and delicious flavours in Indian cuisine.
The fruit from the tamarind tree has several applications, which includes food. The green pulp of this pod-like fruit is too sour by itself, meaning the riper it is, the sweeter, which makes it great for deserts, jams, ice creams and many other snacks. Tamarind chutney is a popular dish in India, while the pulp can be used in a wide range of different curries and rice recipes depending on where you are in India.
The tree that produces this fruit can grow to extremely tall heights, more than 30 metres in some cases. The fruit itself is considered a berry, although a large one, with colours that vary from pale yellow to brown, and a texture similar to that of a pear. When unripe, the fruit has a firm outer skin and, when ripe, this skin is saggy. Inside, you can find six seeds that are glossy and dark.
Chickoo is a sweet fruit, meaning it’s perfect for deserts and chutneys, especially considering its marzipan and malty flavour. In India, you can find it in several different regions. Its name varies from place to place as well, since in the south the fruit is more commonly known as sapota.
Not only is amla, or gooseberry, rich in vitamin C, but it’s also used in several Indian dishes. There are typically two varieties of amla, the wild and the cultivated: the wild fruit is smaller and has a lot of fibre content, while the cultivated is larger, smoother and has more juice. Both are usually sour, although you can find sweet amla from time to time.
In a lot of Indian regions you can consume this fruit by marinating them in salt and red chilli powder, though it’s more commonly found in recipes from the Maharashtra state, where you can also get them pickled with oil and spices. Other culinary applications are to cook the fruit into several dishes, like dal or deserts.
Indian cuisine offers a large assortment of fruits in its traditional dishes, and some are more common than others. If you want to learn more about Indian dishes that use exotic fruits, or if you want to book a reservation in our restaurant, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0131 476 9999. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Trip Advisor.