Crimson Globe, Detroit Dark Red
Dry zone, scattered in the wet
Quite similar to tamarind. Its flavor is sweet, pungent, lemony and acidic with a pleasantly fermented aftertaste
Woodapple is popular in Ayurvedic circles for its use in treating chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, hiccups, ailments of the gums and throats, bites of venomous insects and snake bites.
A study published in ‘Industrial Crops & Products’ (2013) revealed that the fruit’s pulp possesses potent antioxidants and is an antimicrobial agent. The pulp also has the ability to lower sperm count, mobility and viability, making it an effective male contraceptive. Woodapple extracts are good for improving liver health (Medicinal Chemistry Research).
Did you know that once elephants consume the woodapple, they digest the pulp and excrete the shell, intact?
The ancient Sanskrit verse ‘apitthasyaphalamchaivayathaakunjarabhakshitam; Tasyasaaram chagrihneeyaattathaahavirasamprabhu’ takes this phenomenon as an example to drive home the point, ‘although the elephant consumes the woodapple whole, it digests the core and rejects the shell. Similarly, God only accepts the essence of what is offered to him and rejects the unnecessary.’
To make a delicious woodapple sherbet, first pulverise the pulp in water. Then filter the seeds and pulp, add sugar, chill and serve. Satisfaction guaranteed!
You are also in luck if you’re a milkshake fan. Press the pulp and seeds through cheesecloth to sift the juice and blend with soy or nut milk. Thicken with nut flour and sweeten with agave if desired and start sipping.
Woodapple chutney is a favourite side-dish for most traditional meals. Try it at home. Start by frying some dhal with a pinch of oil. Stir in green chillies. Leave to cool. Add the pulp to the concoction and pulverize. If you like a sweeter texture, grind the pulp with salt, cumin seeds and jaggery. Stir in curry leaves and heated mustard seed. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Try it with your next meal; you’re welcome!