Friday, February 15, 2013

Sour as heck ..... and loving it!

     Well, I just don't know why I haven't eaten more of this fruit in the past, given that I'm crazy about all things sour - from acid drops (candy) to sucking on a lemon (for real). Ok, it might now have something to do with the fact that I'm pregnant and currently having intense cravings for acerbity...... but I think this is the most under-rated and ignored of citrus fruits.

     I'm talking of our very own Chakotha hannu....Pomelo/Pummelo in English......Bamblimass inTamil and Malayalam.......Chakotra in Hindi and Bengali. The scientific name is Citrus Maxima or Citrus Grandis (the largest citrus fruit in the world). It is native to South Asia and Southern India. Unlike most other citrus fruits, it flourishes in tropical climes. The season of maximum availability is now! Jan to Feb, maybe even March, probably because of the weather in these months.

     My Mom lugged 5 of these enormous fruits all the way to Chennai from Mysore to satisfy her daughter's craving! I was so grateful :) So availability in Mysore is mostly at the main vegetable market in the city centre - we saw mounds of this fruit just lying with the vendors, drying up. It's such a shame to see an amazingly nutritious fruit going to waste - no one is even aware (well neither was I, really until earlier this year). I don't have much info as to where it is available in other cities. Please leave any info you might have on availability as a comment at the bottom.

     3 - 4 sections of this fruit can fulfil your Vitamin C requirement for the entire day! Most varieties turn pink on ripening but some do not. The pink ones, needless to say have more carotene (can be converted by the body to yield Vitamin A). When you start peeling the fruit, you'll notice that even the white pith is stained light pink - this indicates that the fruit is ripe and pink.

Health Benefits:  Vitamin C of course, Carotenoids which give it that amazing colour and flavonoids found mainly in the peel.Having said this, the peel can be used to make gojju / kolambu / curry - but don't over cook since it will lose it's nutritional advantage.  Like other citrus fruits, the pulp is a great source of Folic acid and Potassium. All the organic compounds listed are antioxidants which build immunity and protect against chronic disease.

     God knows I'll eat anything if it's nutritious, however it tastes (I eat young Neem shoots with relish) but I could not chew my way through the peel covering the sections - it was so tough. A lot is being made of the fibre content of the fruit but if you throw away the outer and inner section peels, the pulp actually may have less than advertised. However, this is soluble fibre, pectin and therefore this fruit can be 'jammed' or 'marmaladed'. You are of course destroying all nutrients by this process and adding lots of sugar.

     Apparently people on BP meds should cautiously consume this fruit as it can lower your blood pressure further. It's advisable to eat only half the fruit at most at a single sitting since it may decrease your blood glucose level and blood pressure significantly. Also patients with kidney issues on a Potassium restriction should be careful with this fruit as it is high in this trace mineral.

     A few tempting pics that I clicked...I could hardly wait to finish shooting before I polished it off. Hubby and everyone else liked it with demerara sugar but I ate it with a sprinkling of salt and rasam powder! 

Whole fruit, yellower the skin, the better

Appetizing pulp with brown sugar




With Mom's rasam powder and salt (divine)

Include this fruit on your shopping list, take advantage of the season and make it an annual family tradition. You can serve it to guests as well and spread the nutrition!


  1. fantastic.....u enkindled my childhood the way pl tell me where can i get bamblimass in chennai....Thanks luv vguna

    1. Hi Veera, my husband and atthe looked in local markets as well as stores like Reliance, Spencer and More but could not find it at all!!! my Mom brought me some from'll have to hunt for it during the season mentioned above I guess :(

    2. Hi friend i want this fruit, i dont know where it is. any one tel me which market this fruit available in chennai

    3. Hi Jothi, didn't find it in Chennai last look in the local markets in your area and let me know if it is available....season is Jan to early March.

    4. Hi Smitha, I saw the fruit in my friend home. this is the season. i ate the fruit at my school days. few months back i saw the fruit. that's why am searching the site. but the fruit is not available in any market or online shopping.
      If you found any where please buy for me sister. If i found any where i buy the fruit to you k.
      or atleast i buy the bumblimass seeds k.

    5. Will do Jothi Raj, the season I think is over for this year and didn't see it anywhere at all in Chennai....sorry😐

    6. i saw mam, the season is over

  2. You can get in north india.


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