Fruits are probably the only good thing about the Indian summer. Specially as you deal with the scorching heat and rising temperatures. But then like a breath of fresh air, or in this case an explosion of fresh flavours, fruits make things almost bearable.
Here’s a list of my favourite fruits, and reasons why you need to include them in your diet. Scroll down if you want to go straight to the recipe.
You’ve read enough about how wonderful international berries like blueberry and raspberry are. But Indian berries are equally healthy and delicious. Whether it is mulberries (shatoot), cape gooseberries (rasbari), gooseberries (aka amla), phalsa or the tiny purple berry of Grewia asiatica tree, the local summer berries are a powerhouse of nutrients. These are extremely high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and very low in sugars and calories. What else can one ask for really?
Juicy, refreshing with a very high water content, melons are perfect to keep you hydrated in summers. So pick up those bright red watermelons or the pretty pastel muskmelons. They are a rich source of Vitamin A and Potassium.
Towards the middle of the summer in Delhi, the sidewalks are crammed with baskets full of colourful fruits. The juicy and sweet litchi, slightly tart apricot, the almost bright yellow peach, bunches of pretty red cherries, the red and tart plums - Truckloads of these are delivered from the cool climates of Himachal Pradesh all over the country. Add to this the bright purple and slightly acidic jamun or java plum, and summers are divine.
Oranges and Nectarines
Powerhouse of vitamin C, oranges can be your best friend in summer. Eat them as is or juice them for that extra dose of freshness!
Bael or Woodapple
Bael is one of those summer fruits which is slowly vanishing from the market because we really don’t know what to do with it. It is slightly tough to eat but extremely good for your health. My grandmother used to tell me that a glass of bael sharbet a day will keep heat stroke at bay! It’s a native Indian fruit. Try it.
Nungu or Ice Apple
This is one of the fruits that I love telling people about. It grows in the South of India and it is a pity that most people in the other parts of the country haven’t heard of it. Ice apple or palm fruit is gelatinous and translucent. It taste great and can be had as is, or mashed up as a cooling drink, or even chopped up in a salad.
The Recipe: Summer Fruit Salad with Mint Dressing
So these were some of my favourite summer fruits. If there a fruit that grows in your state in summer, I would love to hear about it.
And no I haven’t forgotten Mango I promise.
But before I go, here is the recipe of a summer fruit salad we all grew up eating, but in a new avtaar. It is currently our favorite way to eat fruits at home. Hope you enjoy it too.
- Chop two cups worth summer fruits of choice.
- I used grapes, oranges, pear, kiwi, papaya, watermelon and musk melon.
- In a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake well to emulsify and blend everything.
- Mix together the salad ingredients, top with the dressing and gently mix.
- Serve immediately.
(Monika Manchanda is an ex-IT professional turned into a food blogger, consultant, home baker and an amateur food photographer. She loves music, writing, food, and travel, but not necessarily in that order! She can be reached at email@example.com)