Pomelo not only makes tasty salads, but also has antioxidants that fight cancer
We have a big pomelo tree in our garden in Delhi and fruit chaats, Thai salads and marmalades were the only recipes I could think of using pomelo as an ingredient.
That was until a friend from Shillong visited and suggested that we make jambura makha, a type of salad, with the fleshy pink arils of the fruit. He also described how pomelo leaves could be added to daal and curries to enhance taste. A new world of flavours and aromas opened up for me as I started using leaves from the pomelo tree to flavour even my cakes and lemonades. Another way of relishing pomelo is sprinkling it with salt and pepper or adding sugar and enjoying it as a snack.
The giant citrus fruit is called Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis and is a native of Southeast Asia. Pomelo has two variants pale-fleshed and pink-fleshed. In India, the pink-fleshed variety is more common. This is called grapefruit and has more vitamins.
Given the diversity of languages in India, it is not surprising that pomelo has so many names—batabi lebu or jambura in Bengali, robab tenga in Assamese, babloos naranga and kambili naranga in Malayalam, bablimaas in Tamil and chakotra in Hindi-speaking states. Nepalis call it bhogate.
The Encyclopaedia of Cultivated Plants: From Acacia to Zinnia says that essential oils from the pomelo peel are used to flavour soft drinks and in aromatherapy.
Ingredients: One ripe pomelo, 2-3 finely chopped green chillies, 2 tsp cold-pressed mustard oil, salt to taste, a bit of sugar if the pomelo is too tart
Method: Peel the pomelo and separate the arils neatly. The mustard oil helps in smooth separation of the arils. Mix the arils well with the other ingredients. Serve immediately. The salad keeps for three-four hours at room temperature.
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