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Bursting with vitamins

MARIANNE DE NAZARETH
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Cityscape The locally available golden star fruit makes for a great summer cooler

Off the treeAnd into the blender for a great-tasting, healthy smoothiePhoto: Ranjini Kamath
Off the treeAnd into the blender for a great-tasting, healthy smoothiePhoto: Ranjini Kamath

Childhood memories for most Bangaloreans, would include the luscious star fruit (Averrhoa) from a cart outside school. We would bite into the juicy fruit, which was sliced and sprinkled liberally with a mixture of salt and red chilli powder, and eat it as we walked home. Ranjini Kamat who has taken the photograph accompanying the story, says the fruit are called carambola in Konkani. “The picture was taken of the tree in Krishnendra nursery, Siddhapura. The fruit is extremely juicy and you can get easy recipes off the net.”

The star fruit smoothie, is bursting with vitamins and easy to make. Take one large, ripe star fruit, one ripe banana and two tablespoons of unflavoured yoghurt. Cut the star fruit into cubes, slice the banana and put into blender with yoghurt. Trickle a tablespoon of honey over the mix and one table spoon of liquidised sugar (or to taste). Then add a small bowl of ice cubes. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz till smooth. Pour into a large glass and garnish with a slice of starfruit. Enjoy immediately!

“This tree is eight years old and has been with us ever since it was two or three month sapling,”says Minette Ranjit pointing to her bonsai star fruit in the Greenthumbs Boutique in Kammanahalli. “This is the fourth year it has bourn fruit. We get between 10 and 15 fruit each year. As it is a bonsai, the number of fruits is restricted and as the years go by, the flesh becomes slightly tangier in taste when compared to a regular grown star fruit.”

The fruit can also be picked when golden yellow and diced and pressurized into a pulp. Then run the pulp through a liquidizer and strain the liquid out. Add half the amount of sugar to the liquid and stir till the syrup is ready. Bottle and keep refrigerated and use quickly as there are no preservatives added. Only stainless steel utensils should be used in its preparation. It makes a great summer cooler and is healthier than all the juices sold in cartons.

MJ Aravind the honorary secretary of Association of People with Disability (APD) lives in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and has a star fruit tree which he planted eight years ago, when they built the house. “The tree has been bearing fruit for the last three years and gives us enormous quantities of fruit all the year round. We put it into salads and the slices add shape and colour to our dish. Plus the texture is crisp and juicy, which is quite different from other veggies in the salad,” he says. “Tree lovers can buy saplings and fruit from our APD outlets.”

With summer upon us with a vengeance, make yourself a star fruit smoothie or a glass of chilled juice and enjoy an old Bangalore favourite which is also a great source of Vitamin C.

MARIANNE DE NAZARETH

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