In the previous part, we learned about how the Jamun fruit, as well as seeds, could help manage diabetes. In this part, we will explore other benefits this fruit has to offer and also some desi preparations. Amongst them, is a common beverage called Kala-khatta, a spicy, tangy beverage and a preferred ‘gola’ (Indian ice candy) flavour. Since the Jamun tree is native to India because of its tropical, subtropical climate regions, a fermented beverage called Jamun Vinegar (jamun ka sirka) is commonly made here. Jamun fruit wine is another beverage prepared in Goa, Philippines and in many parts of Asia. The dried seeds and leaves of Jamun were used mostly for medicinal purposes and weren’t used in daily preparations.
Medicinally, the fruit is stated to be astringent (tightens tissues!), stomachic (appetite stimulant!), carminative (relieves flatulence!), antiscorbutic (prevents scurvy!) and a diuretic (increases urination!). Its rich potassium content is also beneficial in hypertension.
Jamun fruit contain tritepenoid which obstructs and slows down the accumulation and production of cholesterol in our body and act as an inhibitor.
Ayurveda acharyas recommend the leaves to eliminate intestinal parasites. Leaves are a natural antibiotic and helps in oral hygiene in preventing gingivitis (gum inflammation) and heal stomach injuries. It restores stomach inner lining after the damage done by drug treatment causing excessive acidity. It helps to heal bleeding hemorrhoids, constipation in 2-3 months. Chewing 2-3 leaves or eating of jamun leaves are good in treating of diarrhea and ulcers.
Free radicals in our body require an anti-oxidant to ‘quench’ their thirst. Cancer is one of the primary disease associated with increase free-radical mechanism.
There are many researches suggesting now that it can be used against tumors and prevention in cancer due to the presence of ellagic acid, gallic acid and anthocyanin(blue pigment) present in jamun.
So, consider it one of your detox fruits every time you want to detoxify! It also reduces excessive salivation and seeds decoction with honey prevents thirst and fatigue due to physical strain and is also anantisepticc.
Nutritionist’s pick: Fresh Pulpy Kala Khatta
Jamun has a ph of 3-4 hence is often rubbed and eaten with rock salt with a ting of cumin powder to reduce the acidity and explore new tangy flavors of the fruit. It is sometimes rubbed in salt and cooked for 5-10 minutes by locals to enjoy a new (less acid, strong) flavour of jamun. It also observed that the antioxidants and the phenols in the fruit remained constant/preserved after a heating for only 10-15 minutes (thermal treatment) – like used in many industrial jamun pulp extracts – unlike in light treatments and ph-stabilizing treatments or even heating for >20 minutes, there was a decrease its nutritive value. A similar practice of of heating the fruit for 5-10 mins to pulp it and remove its seeds is used in Kala-Katta preparation.
Khala khatta is a spicy, tangy beverage of the fruit drink to aid digestion and also get the most of the fruit’s fresh nutritional benefits. It is prepared by simple pulping out the juice and adding appetizing squeezed lime, black pepper and roasted cumin powder, black salt/rock salt with little of sugar. You can also filter the pulp for the preparation and heat it for 40 minutes in sugar to prepare (till one thread stage) a sugary syrup of jamun.
The Kala Khatta syrup is found in the roadside gola-wallas, and is preferred flavor of all.
Jamun Vinegar (Jamun ka sirka)
Jamun vinegar/sirka (Hindi: जामुन सिरका), a vinegar produced from the jamun fruit in India (or rose apple). A decoction of the fruit or jamun vinegar is used in cases of spleen enlargement, chronic diarrhea, and urine retention. The astringent, diluted juice is used as a gargle for a sore throat and as a lotion for ringworm of the scalp. It is considered, according to ayurveda to be hypoglycemic but doesn’t reduce sugar levels below normal. A dosage between 10-30 ml/day diluted in required water is recommended. Children can have anywhere between 3-5 ml/day only. The dose can be also split in 2 times a day.
Preparation: The preparation is very simple, like other traditional homemade vinegar preparation.
- The pulp of the fruit is squeezed out with the hand.
- You can add 1 tsp of sugar for every 100 ml of pulp to speed the fermentation process but it gives a more savory taste.
- It is poured into a clean glass bottle and closed tightly with a cheesecloth to only allow enough air for fermentation.
- Keep it to ferment for 8 weeks/2 months. You can occasionally, stir the pulp slowly, once a week if you want.
- Filter the juice to remove the scum layer formed on the top of the juice using cheesecloth and again transfer it to new clean bottle.
- Again, keep it to ferment for another 1- 1 ½ month and ready to drink after filtration.
Note: Fermentation requires a warm place to give proper taste. You can lightly heat the pulp for just 5-10 minutes, as it retains the nutritional properties of the fruit. The addition of sugar is optional, as it is only food to the microorganisms that ferment the juice. Jamun itself has required sugar to allow fermentation.
Another enjoyable drink is the fruit wine of jamun. In Goa and the Philippines, they are an important source of wine, resembling Port. Brandy and a distilled liquor called “jambava” have also been made from the fermented fruit.
- The process is similar to Jamun vinegar but first, the fruit is rubbed and soaked in sea salt for 2 days approximately. Manually remove the seed from the juice and add 1/cup of lime juice to the pulp.
- Around 500 grams of raw pulp requires 150 g of sugar for the process. Add sugar and yeast in the ratio 15 g:1 g.
- Then boil ½ liter of water and add it to the pul and transfer everything to a clean glass bottle.
- As the pulp ferments, release the gas formed at least 2 times a day.
- After 10 days the gas most of the gas will be formed indicating that the fermentation is at its peak and is almost done.
- Transfer the juice to a new bottle and filter it if required.
- It is ready to serve.
P.S. – Enjoy if you enjoy getting your tongue purple…..
A Nutrition and Food Science grad, Poorvi is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in the same. She believes that a way to a better health both is through one’s stomach 🙂
She is on a quest to find out the innate wisdom of Intuitive Eating and also propagates it. She strongly believes, health is a holistic concept than just changes made in a Diet plan. Although she is not into cooking, she enjoys developing recipes and enjoys experimenting. But, mostly likes to be fed 😛