My childhood memories of this fruit known to many locally as Ilaiti Chinch, Chijbilai, Ingraji Chinch in Marathi, my mother tongue, came calling to me today. It is called as “Seema Chintakaya” in Telugu, “Kodukka Puli” in Tamil, “Seema Hunase” in Kannada. In Hindi, it is called “Jungli Jalebi” English speakers may know it as Manila Tamarind, Madras Thorn, Monkey Pod, and Camachile. Botanists know it as Pithecellobium dulce.
The twisted circular pod resembles our sweet Jalebi and in a way looks like tamarind. The peel is soft, thin and the pulp is white, a bit dry and fleshy that covers a black seed. When ripe the peel turns reddish otherwise it’s dark green to light green or what we call parrot green when it is raw.
Its pulp tastes mildly sweet and has a strange astringent taste. Have you tasted alum? It is a bit astringent like that. It tastes a bit weird, a little funny if eaten a lot. I love this fruit though. How about you?