Sometimes I wish we all spoke the same language in the world or at least here in India. There are so many languages in this country and all those languages have their own dialects, sometimes you don’t even understand somebody who originates from a neighboring region. Take for example Goa, such a small tiny state, the smallest of India. The northers locals have trouble to understand the southern folks and vice verse. Often its a problem, especially when you are looking for a name of something. That was the case a couple of days ago, when I had come home with some fruits from the mapusa market. There they were lying, the so called Amadi or Amade! I knew what to do with them and I had a name, but that name proofed to be useless again while searching for some information online.
You guys know, that I like to research and dig around, especially when its about food and unique things. Here I was, googleing in despair, not finding what I was looking for. There was only one solution to this, forward the question to my dear Twitter followers. You share a question and you ll have a couple of people brainstorming and helping you out. Awesome! By the way I want to thank those kind souls who took the time to find out more about this fruit in the picture. You are the best my tweeps!
So, what did we figure out… This Amadi fruit, also known as Ambade in Konkani & Tulu, Amberella in Sri Lanka, Pulicha kaai in Tamil is mostly globally known as Spondias, Hog Plum, Spanish Plums, Libas and Mombins. There are a couple of different kinds of spondias, so I am not sure what the one in the picture is called exactly. It grows in south India, in a humid and tropical climate and there is only one type around that is known to the locals. The fruit itself looks very plain, kind of like a tiny mango, 2 inches big in average. The skin is not more then a Millimeter thick and the flesh maximum up to 0.5 Centimeters the rest is a seed core. Apparently other spondias types have lots more flesh hanging on the core, so if you think you have found a spondias, it might just be a different type but from the same family. It is said that the Hog plum originated in South America and came later on to the African continent and further even to the tropical South Asian lands.
In my research I discovered that in South America it is commonly used to make syrups, jellies and even vinegar. Yet in Africa it seems to be less popular, but in India it is a common addition to Curries. Especially, now is the harvesting season of the fruit and you will see them being sold in the markets around. You have to know that the Hindu community is celebrating the birth of their Saint Ganesha and the celebration are going on right now as I am writing this and they will continue for a couple of more days. Our neighbors are Hindus and they always send over some of their Vegetarian delicacies during their celebrations. One of those treats is a delicious sweet, tangy, spicy Ambade Curry. I had mentioned here before, that the Curry of a Hindu family is often extremely differently cooked compared to our Catholic Curries. The Hindu Families eat much healthier and they own a vast knowledge of wild ingredients here around. Often I find myself asking some of the Hindu friends in the vicinity, for tips and advice on what is edible and how it should be cooked. That is how I learned to prepare the Ambade Curry from my friend.
Some Vegetarian Ganesh Specialities
Another fact, that I found while surfing online, is that the fruit seems to be rich in Vitamin C and B1. I had a feeling that it is a good source of Antioxidants, since it is a very sour fruit. Normally you suckle the flesh of the core and you twist your face expression like a monkey, except if you add it into the curry. The sweetness of the Jaggery sugar and the spice of the chillies balances the extreme sourness. We love that, that’s why we can’t stop eating that curry! The fruit flesh is eaten as well, while savoring the Curry with some Rice or Roti. Just suckle the flesh of the seed core and discard the core. The flesh will be nice sweet, spicy and some sour tangyness should be left as well.
Only one Spondias fruit popped out of the Curry, the others just didn’t want to show themselves in the pictures.