Would you believe it? It’s wood apple
Wood apple is widely available In India and popularly known as Bael. The round, yellowish-white fruit looks like a wooden berry. The gummy flesh is sweet and has seeds. The leaves, fruits and root are used for medicinal purposes.
Wood apple is also called elephant apple and monkey fruit. The fruit can be eaten ripe or the pulp made into a juice. The ripe fruit is sweet, flavourful and cooling. One can mix wood apple pulp with milk and honey to make a refreshing energy drink. The raw fruit is sour to taste and astringent in nature and can be used to make chutney. The leaves can be used in salads.
In ayurveda, the fruit is used to treat dyspepsia. The root is dried and used to treat several conditions such as diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, and other gastric problems. The extract from the leaves and fruit are used in the treatment of diabetes and asthma. The fruit is believed to relieve cholera and piles. It is also used to treat chronic cough and prevent repeated cold.
Wood apple is rich in vitamin C. It is a good source of beta-carotene, and B vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin.
Now, for a recipe.
Bael ki chutney
Ripe wood apples: 4 nos.
Garlic, chopped: 40 gm
Dry red chillies: 2 nos.
Jaggery: 50 gm
Salt: 5 gm
Method: Cut the wood apple and scoop out the pulp. Put chopped garlic, pounded dry red chilli, jaggery, salt, and the wood apple pulp in a bowl. Grind this in a mixer to a coarse texture and ensure all the ingredients are mixed well. Check for seasoning. Serve along with a meal as an accompaniment.
Senior Sous Chef
Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove