Palmyra palm fruit

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Palmyra Palm Fruits

Palmyra Palm Fruit is a soft seed that is extracted from the palm trees in the summer. Palmyra palm fruit is also called as Ice apple or nature’s white pure, translucent fruit is a famous juicy indigenous fruit of India, native to the eastern and southern parts of the country. The trees are prevalent throughout states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, and Kerala.  Ice apple goes by different names like Thati Munjalu in Telugu, Taal Patali in Bengali, Tadgola in Marathi, Pananungu in Malayalam, Tala in Oriya, Taati Nungu in Tamil and many others.

Palmyra tree is the official tree of Tamil Nadu. Palmyra palm trees hold the perfect reply to India’s raised temperatures, especially in summers. Tamilnadu in particular has also been a pioneer in the development of many palm products in the country.

Ice-apple not only quench our thirst but it also cools our body. No wonder it is believed to be named as ice apple by the British due to this quality.

Season and Structure[edit]

The fruit season is May through August.

There is no uniform cultivar of nungu.  Each region depending upon the soil, water level etc may have a slightly different Ice apple that varies in size and color. The taste, however, is generally uniform throughout these varieties.

The fruit is snuggled in little pockets of a semi-hard ochre brown-coloured shell of the palmyra palm fruit. Break them in half to reveal the translucent apple encased in a skin-colour peel. The wobbly, plump fruit will try its maximum to escape from your fingers while peeling. But if you manage to keep it from falling, a bite into the soft-textured fruit oozes with sweet nectar so good that it could cool you off on the hottest of summer afternoons.

The ice apple fruit finds usage at every stage in many ways in different parts of India. Typically, two or three palm shells grow inside a palm.

Calories Count[edit]

100 grams of Palmyra palm fruit has around 40 calories.

Food and Drink[edit]

After the monsoon, the fruit starts ripening and then it hardens a bit The outer layer becomes a fibrous flesh, while the earlier pulpy centre that has quite a heady perfume is used to prepare unique dishes in Orissa and  Bengal. Taaler Bora or sugar palm fritters are little round fried golden-brown. They are prepared by mixing the pulp with rice, wheat flour, jiggery, dried or desiccated coconut and dropping them into hot oil. There’s also Taaler Luchi, where the fruit is added to dough to make pooris served with potato dish called dum aloo. Kheer is made with the mature fruit as well,  nuts and coconut shavings.

Besides the fruit, Palmyra has many interesting uses.  The sap from the trunk is called Nira and it is sweeter than coconut water. The refreshing drink is found being sold at stalls along the highways outside of Mumbai, coastal regions of Maharashtra and very common in Tamil Nadu. When fermented, it turns into toddy, a fermented drink used in Holi festival.  Pulukodiyal is a dried snack that is when the seeds form thick roots in the ground  and are plucked three months later. Palm tubers are also used to make flour.

It is believed that the Bengali sweet Sandesh or Jolbhora’s syrupy centre was inspired by the Ice apple.

Uses[edit]

Since palmyra palm fruits mostly consist of water, they are used as a beverage and believed to keep the body cool in summer. Ice apple or palm fruit is completely devoid of any fats or cholesterol, making it extremely healthy and suitable for all ages.  It has only 43 calories per 100 grams. Though being a low-calorie fruit, it is an abundant source of carbohydrates, phytonutrients, and calcium. It is a very rich source of Vitamin B (thiamine{B1} and riboflavin {B2}), Vitamin C, A, E, K. It is also a powerhouse of minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and phosphorus that help regulate fluids in the body( kind of an electrolyte) and quench thirst..

There are many health benefits of palmyra fruit. It helps in weight loss, helps in staying dehydrated, prevents prickly heat, strengthens the immune system, cures problems of acidity and constipation. According to Ayurveda, it is the best medicine nature has given us to cure stomach ulcers.  It is also helpful for liver disorders. As well, it is a healthy option for people who suffer from diabetes.[1]

The fruit is a gift from nature, that can hopefully be preserved in order to pass it's benefit to many generations to come.

See also[edit]

  • Palm kernel oil
  • Palm kernel
  • Borassus flabellifer

References[edit]



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