Amlas, grapes and mulberries are celebrity berries that every Indian knows about. But here are some lesser known desi berries that have which are more affordable, packed with nutrients and native to the Indian subcontinent.
Little fruits in golden yellow, khirnis are mainly grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Sweet, and slightly sour, the fruit has little flesh and a seed. A great source of antioxidants, it has numerous health benefits. Sold beside jamuns during early to mid-summer season, the berries are from the same family as chikus.
A combination of sour, bitter and acidic tastes, the fruits are famous in northern India and Pakistan. Their taste is similar to cranberries, blueberries and jamuns, but they have an uncanny resemblance to grapes. Also known as sherbet berries, their juice provides a cooling effect to the body and thus, is a summer delicacy in the country. These berries are mostly eaten ripe with salt and black pepper sprinkled on them.
An astringent and an antiscorbutic, Karondas are wild berries that are pink in colour. Being nutrient-rich tart fruits, they are enjoyed with a dash of rock salt on them. Rich in phosphorous and calcium, these fruits are great for treating skin conditions and are known to treat anaemia. It is a medicinal plant as well, with its leaves being used to treat fever, diarrhea and earaches, while the roots are used in medicine for itches, besides being an insect repellant.
The fruit, also called Dharvi, has an interesting bitter taste with a hint of tart and sweet tones in them. Indians cook these berries, and make desi jams, as they are rich in pectin. A common ingredient in medicine, the berries are also known to treat inflammation and gut disorders. Tea made from these tart fruits are also known to soothe heartburn.
Grown majorly in Goa, these fruits are blackish-purple in colour with green seeds in them. Also known to be great antioxidants due to their rich purple hue, these berries are considered to have flavonoids that help keep diabetes, cholesterol levels and blood pressure in check.