A big ball of Vitamin C – The Hindu

Chakotra, Jeruk Bali, Dabbakaya, Robab Tenga — these are some of the names by which the Vitamin C-rich Pomelo, or the grapefruit, is called in Indian homes. This fruit is one amongst the many which we can consider as nature’s bounty with the changing season. The Pomelo looks like a sweet lime, but can be as big as a small football.

Cultivation of Pomelo isn’t restricted to India alone. It is also widely grown in many eastern countries of Asia, including China, Japan, India, Fiji, Malaysia, and Thailand. In these countries, the Pomelo salad is a very popular street food, owing to the fact that it stays fresh for long hours. The fruit is also grown in the Caribbean and the United States. The leaves of the Pomelo tree resemble that of a lemon, and the fruit has a thick outer skin and an almost spongy cover inside. The spongy cover protects the fruit segments when it drops from a height after it is ripe and ready to be eaten. The best way to identify a ripe Pomelo is from the colour of the skin. A Pomelo is best eaten when it’s yellow or greenish yellow. Depending on the family of the graft from which the tree is obtained, the Pomelo fruit inside may be either white or pink.

The best way to pick a Pomelo is by holding it in your hand and seeing the weight. If it feels heavy, it means the fruit inside is brimming with juice; if it feels light, it means the fruit inside has dried up.

The fruit is eaten widely in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India as a raw snack. The Pomelo segments are cut and mixed with salt, green chillies and mustard oil and relished as an afternoon snack. In Meghalaya, this fruit is sold on the roadside in fresh leaf cones, along with crushed naga chilli.

In the southern part of the country, the juice and juice sacs extracted from the fruit are used in the preparation dabbakaya rasam and the famous tangy pulihora that tastes a bit like lemon rice. People from Andhra Pradesh, who are famous for their pickles, make fresh chutneys as well as pickles with Pomelo.

Pomelo rice

Ingredients

Pomelo fruit juice: Half cup

Rice, cooked: 2 cups

Peanuts: A fistful

Roasted gram dal: 1 tbsp

Dry red chillies: 2

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Grated ginger: 1 tsp

Curry leaves: A few

Turmeric: A generous pinch

Salt to taste

Method

In a pan, heat some oil, roast the peanuts, splutter the mustard seeds, add ginger, red chillies, roasted gram dal, curry leaves and turmeric. Stir well. Add salt and turn off the fire. Then to this, add the pomelo juice and stir well. Then break the rice with hand to make it loose and avoid lumps and add it to the kadai with Pomelo juice. Put the kadai back on flame and stir well over low heat. Check salt, serve hot.

Nutrition Facts:

Good source of phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemical compounds)

Good source of Vitamin C

Fat-free

Benefits:

The fruit’s low glycemic index speeds up the body’s metabolism, hence it is an ideal diet fruit.

During fever, consumption of the fruit juice can help quench thirst and heal the burning sensation.

Pomelo has shown to have beneficial effects in diabetes. It provides a quick remedy for fatigue.

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