Finally I am feeling a bit better after that vicious food poisoning attack last weekend. My husband did eat the same dish as I, but he was barely effected, luckily! Definitely I am not looking forward to weaken my body again, no Idea why I thought that I could eat prawns in the summer heat. My taste buds were crying for some seafood flavours, for a change of our continues daily fruit diet. Interestingly this all happened in a higher class restaurant, ironically I never get sick (for years now) eating any street food. During my ordeal my husband showed his tender sweet side and treated my ailment with dedication. He was so kind to bring me some berries from the neighborhood trees. Right now is the main Berry season, some trees in our area are already over and plucked, some have started to give fruits now. I believe it all depends on the area, because I had sighted a certain type of berry, who passed their time in our village already, in huge amounts on the northern hill sides of Keri (North Goa). I ll come to all the other Berry types in the coming weeks, so you ll get to meet and learn about fruits which are nearly lost and forgotten in this world.
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Today I have prepared a little write up about the gorgeous purple Jambul berry. My aim with the Berry posts is to reintroduce healthy naturally grown fruits to the masses. I believe they deserve to stay in our midst, to be enjoyed by our descendants long after we are gone from this world. Nowadays much is lost and forgotten from our ancestors wisdom, this wrong “tradition” shouldn’t continue, because everything in natures world has its purpose, we just have to protect the wisdom and share it with the world. Sounds easy enough, right?
Now to the Jambul berry, a black skinned Olive size fleshy fruit. The Jambul is known all over India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even as far as the US, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil (Source Wikipedia). In the world it is known as Jamun, Jaam, Java Plum, Black Plum, Damson Plum, Duhat Plum, Jambolan Plum, and Portugues Plum. In our konkan milieu it is known as Zamla (जामळा), otherwise it is also known in India as Jāmbhūḷ (Marathi), Auvaiyar (Tamil), Neredu (Telugu) and Njaval(Malayalam). The Portuguese colonists had a hang on introducing and taking fruits and other foods around the globe, thanks to them many ingredients like that were imported to the far corners of the world.
Jambul is very astringent and for that reason it is suitable to process it to a delicious wine or even to Vinegar. In fact while chewing on a Jambul you will precept acidic flavours. Every single berry has a surprise of its own, some are pick sweet, some are as mentioned more sour then anything else. That has to do a lots with the plucking time of the fruits and even the tree growing site and nutritional value of the soil. I love sour fruits so the berries taste is fitting to my character and taste buds, but sometimes I have to admit it is toooo sour. Anyway I have a solution for that too, precisely a juice recipe. More to that later…
The Berry is considered as holy in the Hindu Religion. Unfortunately I don’t know much except that the reincarnations of the God Vishnu (Rama & Krishna) seemed to have a connection to the fruit. Researching through the web I found that various jambul types are available, some are even seedless! (Source) The evergreen tree grows pretty much well in the tropical and sub tropical areas, so that’s why you might be even able to find Jambul near the Himalayas.
The fruit is packed with Vitamin C and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and it even contains a good amount of folic acid (Source). Again this is a fruit which is still barely known and researched. Locals here have their own way of using it. The fruits help against liver problems, and diarrhea (it helped me to cure my food poisoning). The seeds are left to dry in the sun first and then are pulverised in the Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes. Apparently even other parts of the tree such as leaves and barks are used in the traditional medicine. I found it very useful after food as dessert to help my digestion. Sometimes, whenever there is a little extra time, I try to make a juice of the purple fruits. Kids by the way love it, not only because of the taste but mostly because the purpleness colores the tongue blue! Simple things like that entertain one well!
- 350 g ripe Jambul berries
- 500 ml Water
- Sugar as needed
- To use the Jambul as Juice you ll have to remove the seed, which can be a bit tedious. Some come out easier when pressing through the fingers (like olives), some simply don't want to part from their cores. Sometimes I take for the same amount 15 min., sometimes even 30 min., so it all depend on your skills to handle the procedure and on the Jambul type.
- Once the berries are decored, add them to a mixer and throw in the water and sugar. I always add sugar for the taste, but you can always leave the sweetening out.
- Mix it first and then doubel strain the juice before serving it cold.