Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Chinese oranges or Kumquats in North India

Chinese orange, kumquat in India

This ornamental garden tree/shrub is a common sight in India. Winter is the time the fruit show up and ripen. Around Christmas, a Kumquat or Chinese orange tree, as it is better known is the gardener’s pride.

For those who don’t have open gardens any more, this shrub does just as well as a bonsai.

The fruit makes great marmalade, and tastes great even when squeezed into a glass of water with sugar, rock salt and a pinch of roasted cumin powder :-) Ayurvedically it is a good digestive and cleanser for digestive system, much like neembu-pani (lemon juice replaces kumquat in the above recipe).

The fruit though hardly seen in a fruit market is appreciated by garden owners and their friends, who get them as gifts at times.

It is a no fuss tree. It grows with minimal care. Just water and a few handfuls of organic manure is all it asks.

Guava tree in bloom

 

Guava tree in bloom

Guava trees are the star attraction in our garden for monkeys, birds, squirrels and kids. The monsoon fruit is not as sweet as the winter fruit, nonetheless, those eying the fruit couldn't care less!

Phalsa tree in bloom

Phalsa or Grewia asiatica is a tropical fruit tree/shrub native to South Asia from India east to Cambodia.

I found a small patch of these shrubs in Malihabad - the mango-orchard belt on the outskirts of Lucknow (India). Women from the family that owned this phalsa orchard, took turns at guarding. A herd of goat or a stray buffalo can ruin the annual harvest. The flowers though delicate reach fruition under the hot April sun :-)

The purple-maroon, sweet-sour fruit tastes great with a dash of salt. Phalsa sherbet is also a great summer favourite.

Star fruit tree

The Star fruit tree! The Star fruit, Carambola or Amrak is very tasty in fruit salads. They make a beautiful decoration of the salad when you cut it into stars. Those stars are also very tasty and decorative in tea. They are sweet-sour but less sour than the lemon.

In Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari bazar, there is a street stall which sells not easily found sour fruit: in a salad or on their own: Star fruit, Tamarind, wild ber, to name a few.

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