Eating Exotic Berries, Curry Fruit?

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20.7.11

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Wild fruits and vegetables fascinate me!  In today’s super market days when people all over the world are eating the same apples and carrots, I think regional fruits and vegetables are a rarity. They are available only in small farmers markets and tiny local vegetable shops. Most of them are rarely cultivated while some of completely wild.

My today’s vegetable is one of those!

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These gorgeous berries are again a monsoon favorite. They are so rare that I had never eaten them before!!  These are wild and not often seen in markets.  They are called ‘kanakalyate’ in Kannada. Cayratia mollissima is the botanical name. I searched a lot online, asked my friends in Twitter and FB but couldn’t find out what tit’s called in English. Some told me that it could be ‘Gagnep’  or ‘bhogal’. The only document I found about it called it ‘Curry Fruit’, but there really wasn’t any more information available about it with that name. Since that is all the information I have about these, I am going to go with ‘curry fruit’. If anybody knows what it’s called in English or if it’s available/consumed in any other part of the world please let me know!

Curry fruits grow on creepers and look like green grapes. The size and colour is a lot like gooseberry. It’s slightly itchy so cooking it is again a little tricky. Generally it’s boiled with a lot of water and strained to get rid of the itchiness. But I boiled in twice. Once whole and then once again after cut and deseeded. I cooked them with a spicy coconut, dry red chili and garlic paste today. These strong spices work really well with the mild flavor of the curry fruit. Flavours are definitely strong but it’s toned down when mixed with rice or eaten with flat breads/rotis.

A simple curry with curry fruit! For the privilege of finding and getting to cook this exotic berry!

 

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Ingredients:

  • Curry fruit 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¾ cup fresh coconut
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 6-7 dry red chilies
  • Salt

 

Bring 4 -5 cups of water to a boil in a big pan. Clean the curry fruit and add it to the boiling water and turn off the heat. Let it sit in hot water for 5 minutes and strain it. Cut them into halves and remove the seeds inside.

Boil the cut up fruits for a minute or two once again and discard the water. Boiling twice should ensure that all the itchiness is removed. It will also be cooked and soft.

Grind coconut, garlic and dry red chilies into a coarse paste without any water.

Heat oil in a pan and add the dry spice mixture to it. Fry in low flame for 2 minutes till the spices loose the pungent smell. Do not add any water. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add the cooked curry fruits, salt and mix well. Cook in low flame for a few seconds for the spice to coat the vegetable well.

Serve hot with rice or flatbread/rotis

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