Tree Tomato – The Benefits of Tomarillo and Its Availability

tree tomato

Tree tomato or tomarillo is a seasonal fruit found mostly in hilly areas. Mainly Ooty, Darjeeling, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Nagaland. It’s not a popular fruit and one would be lucky to find this in most regular markets. Many years ago, I had the good fortune of discovering this fruit in Chennai. I was in North Chennai and saw this unique fruit at a stall in the fruit and vegetable market in NSC Bose Road.

It looked similar to a tomato but thinner and smaller in size. The texture was spongy, more like a Cape Gooseberry and flavour was quite unique. It’s hard to describe the flavour. It wasn’t sweet and definitely didn’t taste anything like a tomato.

tree tomato

Benefits of The Tree Tomato

The Tree Tomato is comes in two varieties. Red or dark purple and yellow. It is rich in vitamins A, C and E and B-complex vitamins like riboflavin and and niacin. It’s good for controlling diabetes and hypertension. It’s good for the skin and eyesight, supposed to aid in weight loss and packed with magnesium and is good for the cardiovascular system. The red coloured variety is rich in antioxidants and is believed to be anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory.

The fruit is available in the months of May to August. The fruit grown in Nagaland, known locally as Sei Bangenuo, now has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Here’s the link to the Youtube video I shot many years ago in Chennai with the street vendor where I found the tree tomato.

Happy hunting and chowder-on.