Nungu or the Ice Apple is nature’s answer to the hot Indian summer. I ate this fruit for the first time some 20-odd years ago in Kerala. And rediscovered it in Bangalore. It’s the fruit of Toddy Palm (Borassus Flabellifer) and Nungu benefits the body with it’s cooling properties. It’s known to have originated in India and is now grown in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South East Asia. In India, it’s mostly found in the states of Tamil Nadu where it’s called Nungu. In Karnataka the fruit is known as taai nungu. Taati Munjalu in Andhra and Telangana, Tala in Orissa. And Tadgola in Maharashtra.
Nungu’s an excellent summer fruit and has good cooling properties. The fruit’s greenish to light purple in colour when raw. When fully ripe, it takes on a dark purple shade. Almost blackish. Though it looks like a blacker version of the coconut, the inside of the Nungu fruit’s very different from the coconut. The Nungu has three. Sometimes four sacs (pods). That contain a watery-almost gel like substance that’s a bit bland. Bordering on a light sweetness. The pod’s fibrous covering is somewhat bitter and needs to be taken off before eating.
Nungu’s also very nutritious. It offers vitamin B and C. And’s rich in Iron and Calcium. It’s also good for the digestive system and supposed to have anti inflammatory properties. Nungu’s usually found on the streets in South and Western India. The season is usually from May to July.
Great way to beat the heat.
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