Ever tasted a Karonda? An indigenous fruit, it is typically sour and tart in flavour, small in size, and big on health benefits. It’s a berry (not a cranberry) with multi-pronged benefits ranging from facilitating good digestion, giving a boost to your immunity and alleviating stress, to name a few. Simply put, it’s a great addition to your diet in any form.
As someone with a tongue for the tangy, I have childhood memories of picking out karondas and eating them raw from a huge plant at my grandparents’ place. But many times I had to save some of my plucks for my grandma who loved turning them into delectable pickles and chutney. And back then, I didn’t even know about its multiple health benefits.
Nutrition expert Kavita Devgan tells Health Shots that Karonda, the scientific name for which is Carissa carandas, can work wonders in helping you to ease some of your health woes. And so, we must try and incorporate it in our diet during the season.
1. The nutrient density of Karonda is very high. It is loaded with Vitamin C, some B Vitamins and Iron.
2. It is an astringent and has the quality of being a “diet-balancer”, according to Ayurveda.
3. It can help beat anemia.
4. Karonda can boost immunity
5. It is good for digestion as it contains pectin, a soluble fibre that gets the gut moving.
6. Karonda can be consumed to keep blood pressure in check.
7. It can also aid curbing inflammation in the body.
8. A lesser known fact about Karonda is that it is rich in magnesium and also the lesser-found tryptophan, which makes it a stress-relieving food.
9. Since it belongs to the berry family, it is overloaded with antioxidants, and is also good for the liver.
Now that we’ve got to know about the multiple benefits of Karonda, what are the different ways in which we can add it to our diet? If you don’t like it raw, you can also include it by making a vegetable dish out of it or the classic pickle, jam or chutney.
But remember that the white liquid should be removed by squeezing it out!
Kavita tells Health Shots that making a Karonda jam is in fact a great way to woo children to make the most of the fruit’s wonders.
1. Jam: Take equal quantities of Karonda and sugar – 500 gm. Soak Karonda in hot water and boil it for about seven to eight minutes to make it tender, soft and pulpy. Sieve the pulp, put it in a pan, add sugar and cook it for 10 minutes. Cool and store.
2. Chutney: Just grind Karonda, green chilies and some fresh coriander with some water. Add salt and hing to it, and voila, you have some lip-smacking chutney to go with your food.