Try Out This Easy Pomelo Salad Recipe, With This Wonder Fruit

Posted: January 25, 2016

The pomelo, a citrus fruit, is a close cousin of the grapefruit. Read on to try out this easy pomelo salad recipe.

While  growing up in a large countryside home in the interiors of Haryana, I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing fruits and vegetables grow in farms and orchards. I have actually plucked fruits from trees and eaten them as it is after a ritualistic rinse in the nearby tubewell water. Nowadays I think that  kind of activity and pastime  will come under a cool bohemian idea of a vacation or holiday.

As a  farmhouse kid, I did not really know to eat salads for I ate all my fruits whole by biting into it or peeling it and maneuvering  the seeds through tongue and teeth. But there was one fruit which I would see rarely and was unable to eat as a whole was Chakotra. I, for the longest time thought it was an overgrown sweet lime. I remember that it was peeled and strands removed but no one really ate it. But they would come every year in the month of November as part of goody bag from my uncle’ s farm near Haridwar where he had trees of this fruit.

The only memory of Chakotra I had was that it was very big with pink flesh inside and we all did not know what to do with it. Having moved to Mumbai about twenty years back, Chakotra disappeared from my memory.

My interest in health and food or healthy food led me to another encounter with this fruit. I read up that it is one of the most nutritious fruits so far as one’s health is concerned. I was elated  and flush with joy as if some bit of my childhood came back to me. I somehow found it at some fruit vendor and I picked it.

At that time, juicing was considered a good way to get nutrients from fruits. So I juiced it. Of course, the juice was replete with all the goodness of nature but juicing actually did not do justice to the potential of this fruit.

However, the moment of reckoning came, when Thai cuisine  became ubiquitous in India. In one of my cooking classes, I read in the list of recipes, pomelo salad. I was curious as well as intrigued at the prospects of a pomelo salad. How does one do that?

I did not at all know that it is called pomelo or pummello or shaddock or pamplemousse. That it is of South East Asian origin and that is is abundant in Malaysia. For me, it came from my uncle’s backyard when I was a kid.

Well, pomelo is the largest fruit of the citrus family and its botanical name is citrus maxima. It is very easily confused with a citrus fruit, the grapefruit. But pomelo beats grapefruit hands down as it is less acidic and sour and not so bitter.

Pomelo is flamingo pink from inside– the pinkness is so so pleasing to the eyes-almost wondrously therapeutic. Even the bitterness of pomelo is pleasant—sounds oxymoronic! It has the smell of flowers and therefore very refreshing!

Easy pomelo and cashew nut salad

Peel and use the juicy pulp. Take some kaju tukda—it is a typical Thai recipe to add kaju tukda to pomelo —for kaju provides crunchiness, layer and moderates the overwhelming pomelo taste.

Now, for sweetness, one can look at raisins or chopped figs – they really do wonder to the salad. You can also add chopped prunes for the sticky gooey interference. Add basil leaves and chopped coriander leaves and you get to see a delightful, almost divine concoction.

And you can add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice to it but please avoid overdose/ let it be subtle—and let the pomelo prevail. Do not add any sugar syrup or jaggery or honey please. My personal opinion is that a salad is not a salad if  we add sugar to it. In fact I avoid the salt too.

Serve it fresh or chilled.

Pomelo is said to be extremely good for skin, heart and for diabetics. Its fibrous juicy strands do wonders  to the gastrointestinal tract. Each fruit contains 600 percent of one’s vitamin c requirement. It contains high levels of potassium, a mineral requied for the health of the heart. Pomelo juice helps to clear arterial deposits. Vitamin A present in pomelo thickens the dermis and hence improves the texture of the skin.

It is  not without any reason that it is considered symbol of prosperity and health in China.

Image source: pomelo fruit in a basket by Shutterstock.

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