Types of Fruits in India that are Rare and Unique

Types of fruits in india that are rare and unique

Did you know that India holds the distinction of being the world’s second largest producer of fruits? With a climate that ranges from tropical in the South, sub-tropical in the northern part, and even alpine in mountainous regions, and a fairly dry climate in the west, India has much to offer in terms of climate diversity. This in-turn is advantageous for an abundance of fruit varieties. Here is a ‘Types of Fruits in India that are Rare and Unique.‘ Be sure to comment below with your favorite unique fruits, or any others that we’ve missed.

Buddha’s Hand (Fingered Citron)

buddha's hand

This exotic fruit looks like a lumpy lemon with yellow tentacles resembling gnarled human fingers. It is an aromatic fruit and has a zesty yet mild flavor. It contains no pulp or juice. Some scholars believe that India’s migrating Buddhist monks carried the fruit with them to China in 400 AD.

Japani Phal (Persimmon)

Japani phal (persimmon)

It is a temperate fruit grown in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Nilgiri hills. This deep orange-red colored luscious fruit is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of fiber. However excessive consumption of this fruit may be harmful to health.

Jungli Jalebi / Kodukkapuli (Camachile)

jungli jalebi

The spiraling green-pink pods of jungli jalebi, or vilayati imli or kodukkapuli  (whichever name you call it by), contain about 6-10 shining black seeds enveloped in a sweet, thick and edible pulp. This pulp can be eaten raw or made into a drink. The seeds are used in making curries. It is grown in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

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Langsah/Lotka (Langsat)

langsat

Sour when unripe, but sweet when ripe; this small, translucent fruit has a taste similar to a bittersweet grapefruit. It is grown throughout eastern and southern india, especially in the Nilgiri Hills.

Mangustaan (Mangosteen)

mangosteen

This fruit has a leathery purple-maroon shell inside which lies a moist, snow-white, flesh and sweet interior. This tropical fruit is fragrant and tastes similar to mangoes. It is also the National Fruit of Thailand. It is grown in the Nilgiri Hills, Kanyakumari, and Kerala.

Carambola (Starfruit)

starfruit

Star fruits have waxy skin and are low in sugar. The unripe ones are green in color and sour to taste. The ripe ones have a yellow color with slight brown ribs. These are sweer. These are grown throughout India, especially in the southern part of the country.

Chakotra/Batabi Lebu (Pomelo)

chakotra

Chakotras taste like slightly-sour grapefruits without the bitterness and acidity, coupled with gorgeous floral overtones. The fruit also features in cultural celebrations, eg. locals perform a ‘pomelo dance”, which entails spinning a cord-tied pomelo around the waist.

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Bael (Wood Apple)

 

bael fruits or wood apple fruit (Aegle marmelos) on a white

Bael has a woody exterior, which needs to be opened with a knife or a pestle. Inside it is a sticky pulp. Its taste ranges from very tart when raw to sweet-sour when fully ripe It is an extremely versatile fruit and can be eaten fresh, dried, made into a drink. It is also commonly used to make jams, chutney or sherbet. Wood Apple is grown in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and in the Western Himalayas.

Chalta (Elephant Apple)

elephant apple

It is one of the favorite fruits of wild elephants. These are yellow-green and ripen to get a leathery brown covering. THe Chalta is sweet and acidic in taste. Unripe fruits are used for pickles or chutney. It has a jelly-like pulp but is valued for their crunchy outer petals. They are grown in Assam, Kolkata, Bihar, Orrisa and the Sub-Himalayan Tract.

Ambarella (Indian Hog Plum)

indian hog plum

A ripe fruit has the acidity of an unripe mango and gentle sweetness of pineapple. They are also called wild mango. They are rich in VItamin C. They can be eaten as simple slices, sprinkled with salt and red chili powder, as juice, pickle and as a flavoring in fruit cocktails. They are grown in Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa.

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Karonda (Carandas Cherry)

karonda

They are pink colored, nutrition-rich wild berries with tiny seeds at its core. The raw fruit has a tart flavor and tastes delicious when eaten with sprinkled rock salt. The flesh of the raw fruit is firm. They become purple tinted and tender as they ripen. These are also used in sweet pickles and jams. They are grown in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills, and the Siwalik Hills of Bihar.

Targola/Taal (Ice Apple or Sugar Palm Fruit)

ice apple

The Ice Apple has a stiff brown exterior and an ice-white jellylike interior. The flesh of the fruit is similar to Litchi and it tastes like fresh coconut. They grow in clusters. Removing the thin skin can be tiresome. The fruit is also used to make a local alcoholic beverage. It is grown in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Phalsa (Indian Sherbet Berries)

phalsa

They are dark purple fruits and balance perfectly between sweet and sour flavor. This fruit has a super cooling effect when ripe. They can be eaten with sprinkled salt and black pepper. They are grown throughout India. The Phalsa are used in making syrups and squashes.

Indeed, India is home to a variety of exotic fruits. Do comment your favorite ones.

12 Comments

  1. Sahi hai yaar…. 1st time dekha aisa kuch…
    Kuch naya pata chala aaj….
    Keep going…Keep Sharing….

  2. Very nice Shalaka. Few of them I have tried like bael, Jungly Jalebi, phalsa are good in taste…

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