Agripedia

6 Rare Fruits in India You Must Know About!

Aayush Chowdhury
Aayush Chowdhury
fruits

India is the Land with hundreds of varieties of fruits and is the largest producer of mango, banana, papaya, guava, pomegranate etc. The variety of fruits produced in the country are famous for their quality, thus remain in high demand all over the world. There are some rare fruits in India which are not readily available but are full of nutrition. Some of these fruits are seasonal while some are grown in specific areas and everyone should taste them once in their lifetime!  

Rare Indian Fruits

Jungli Jalebi/Kodukkapuli (Camachile):-  

The spiralling green-pink pods of jungli jalebi ( kodukkapuli) contain around 6-10 shining black seeds enveloped in a thick sweet edible pulp. While the pulp can be eaten raw or made into a drink similar to lemonade, the tangy seeds are used in curries. It is due to the fruit’s resemblance to the Indian sweet jalebi that the plant has been given the name jungli jalebi / seemachintakai in Telugu and they mainly found in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. 

Buddha’s Hand (Fingered Citron):- 

A strange fruit, Buddha’s hand looks like a lumpy lemon with elongated, yellowish tentacles (that resemble gnarled human fingers) protruding from the base; hence, its name—Buddha’s hand. Buddha’s hand has a mild yet zesty flavour and is wonderful aroma—it is known to fill rooms with its fresh floral perfume. Believed to have originated in the lower Himalayas, botanists are unsure if it’s native to the region in India or China – some scholars believe that India’s migrating Buddhist monks carried the fruit with them to China in 400 AD. This plant grows in northeastern India. 

Mangustaan (Mangosteen):- 

A tropical fruit with mild fragrance about the size of a small orange, mangustaan’s leathery purple-maroon shell surrounds a moist, snow-white and sweetish fleshy interior. Though it is the national fruit of Thailand, it is believed that the trees of this fruit used to flourish in southern India throughout the 18th century.  Mellowish and earthy  mangustaan is similar to mango in taste & is completely ripe only when its woody, leathery purple rind yields to the touch. The tree is  spread over the Nilgiri hills, the southern districts of Tirunelvely and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.  

fruit

Japani Phal (Persimmon):

A fruit of temperate region, Japani phal is the local Himachal name of the exotic, deep orange-reddish coloured and luscious persimmon. It is strikingly similar in appearance to a tomato, a completely ripe japani phal is soft, sweet and delicious. The fruit which is a native of China and spread to Korea and Japan and was initially introduced in India by the European settlers in the early 20th century. Japani phal is mainly found in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Nilgiri Hills. 

Chalta (Elephant Apple):- 

One of the favorite fruits of wild Indian elephants, chaltagrows in the wet soil and humid atmosphere of  semi-tropical forests. The grape-sized fruits are yellowish-green and ripen to get a leathery brown  hard covering. Mildly sweet and acidic in taste while most locals value elephant apples not for their jelly-like pulp but rather their crunchy outer petals. Unripen fruits are often pickled or used for chutney/jam. As they are a major source of food for elephants, monkeys and deer, it is prohibited to collect them from the core areas of the forest. You can see the tree in Assam, Kolkata, Bihar, Odisha and the sub-Himalayan tract from Kumaon to Garhwal.  

Shahtoot:- 

Shahtoot is a fruit and it’s berries taste sweet & sour when raw and juicy sweet when ripens. The fruit is relished all over the world and is full of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, making it a great choice for people who have a sweet tooth. It is also useful in making jams, juice, and other processed foods for Breakfast and Tiffin. 

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