One thing I love about being back in India is eating all my favourite Indian fruits again! There's an abundance of fruits throughout the year, and some you can find year round. Here are some of the most typical Indian fruits...
Mango is everyone's favourite fruit. This is a summer fruit: available from April through to July. The very first mangoes of the season are available from the end of March and these are always expensive. But very soon there will be an abundance of many different types of mangoes. The number of different varieties is truly astounding.
Guava is another of my favourite fruits. Especially the pink ones! In India, they're eaten with black salt, but for me, they're best plain (and not too ripe).
Jackfruit is another summer fruit. This is the largest tree-bearing fruit, and it's also very ugly! The smell puts off a lot of people, especially when it's overripe. It's painstaking work to extract the fruit from the outer shell: inside are yellow rubbery sheaths with large seeds hidden inside. The taste is a bit like melon, and more like Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum!
Papaya is a fruit available throughout the year. It's commonly served when its very, very ripe, but I prefer it before it gets too ripe and mushy, sprinkled with lemon. Many people find papaya has an 'off' taste, but the lemon juice neutralizes it.
Pomegranate is another difficult fruit to 'clean' but so worth the effort. The pomegranate 'seeds' in India are extremely sweet and a brilliant ruby red.
Custard apple is another interesting and odd-looking fruit. The easiest way to eat it is to scoop out the white flesh with a spoon and spit out the many large black seeds. Yummy.
Sapota (called chikku in the North) is another fruit I can't get enough of. This is a round fruit that looks like a small potato. It has a yummy caramel-like taste, and I eat it skin and all. I've been buying them at the same fruit shop lately and one day there were none left. “No more sapota?” I asked the fruit seller – because in India you have to always ask. I'm glad I did, because he told me to wait, and reappeared a few minutes later with a basket full of sapota. He had just picked them from the tree behind the shop! “Organic”, he announced, with a smile on his face.
What's your favourite Indian fruit?