During my childhood, on the onset of summer, we used to run to a huge tree located at the corner of near the roadside. And collect the purple fruits which used to fall down. Then run home and wash these ‘jamuns’ and savor them. Though we were tempted to eat them as soon as we collected these, being taught about the importance of washing fruits and vegetables before eating at home and school, we tried our best to be patient. Then, dab these fruits, in some salt and relish the sweet, tangy and slightly sharp astringent taste. Then we used to show our tongues to each other, amongst our siblings, which were stained purple.
Come summer, many vendors especially ladies, sell these purple fruits in cone shaped leaves. I always try to buy these ‘wonder fruits’ when these are available during a brief period, in the summer’s.
All in a name:
Known as Jamun in Hindi, this summer fruit is often by mistake, referred to as blackberry. However this is not the correct name. In English, it is known as: Java plum, Portuguese plum, black plum or Malabar plum. It is known as Jambu Phalinda in Sanskrit. And as Neradu Pandu in Telugu.
About this summer wonder fruit:
This oblong fruit is also known as summer fruit as the it matures in summer between April to June. The fruits are like berries and as they ripen these change color from pink to crimson red to finally dark purple to black color.
It is a drupaceous fruit. On the whole, a drupe (stone fruit) is a type of fruit fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (hardened endocarp) with a seed inside. These fruits usually develop from a single carpel and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries. Examples of drupes: Coffee, mango, olive, date, coconut, pistachio, almond, cherry, peach and plum. The jamun tree is a native to India and South East Asia.
Did you know: It is illegal to grow, plant or transplant this tree in Sanibel, Florida.
Health benefits of this plum:
This tiny fruit and many parts of its tree have amazing medicinal qualities which are highly beneficial to humans. It contains polyphenolic compounds which are effective against various health conditions like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, health diseases and asthma. It is also helpful in alleviating various digestive disorders.
Some precautions to be taken when eating this fruit:
- This fruit should be avoided by pregnant and breast feeding mothers.
- Do not consume milk after eating this fruit
- Avoid eating this fruit on an empty stomach.
When coupled with buttermilk, jamun juice aids in the digestion of food.
So here comes a summer cooler which besides being refreshing has myriad health benefits too. It is very easy to prepare and a great thirst quencher.The coolness of curds masks the astringent taste of the jamun, enhancing the sweetness and sourness of this purple wonder to make a delectable drink.