Amra: Discovering The Tangy Punch Of Hog Plums
Image Credit: Hog Plum

Salt plays the most vital role in our food, no one likes it bland without this white magic powder. Salt is indispensable, but one can’t negate the importance of acid in our daily meal. In the book Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat she talks about why acid is important. And interestingly there are various ways to add acid to your meal but in Karnataka, Kerala and Bengal there is this small little tangy fruit called Ambada or Amra or Ambazhanga which serves the purpose. Having supposed to be brought to India by the Portuguese traders, this one is a much tropical fruit. 

Known as Amrataka, in Ayurveda, this small little plum that sees a green skin which needs to be peeled for a better taste is pretty pulpy. The fruity sharp sourness is great for jams, chutney’s, pickles and more. From the coast of Mangalore in their seafood curries to tangy Goan sasavs and more this one fruit sees it’s prominence. Also known for it’s amazing health beenfits, the fruit is loaded with Vitamin C and iron that’s good for you and also helps to heal and deal with diabetes or high blood cholesterol along with being an aid to treatment of diarrhea, ear aches, wounds, and hyperacidity.

Not to miss that its stem bark is rich in Tannin and Starch and the bark increases kapha and decreases the Pitta. Acidic in nature when not ripe, they are great substitute as an souring agent in the likes of kokim, tamarind or more. 

Ambade curry recipe by Chef Don


    Ambade 5 Non

    Jaggery 15 Gms

    Dried Red Chillies 15 Gms

    Mustard Seed 2gms

    Methi Seed  ( Fenugreek ) 1 Gms

    Curry Leaves 5 To 8 Non

    Oil 2 Tsp

    Hing ( Asafoetida Powder ) 1/4


    Peal the amabade and lightly hammer them in a morter pastel

    Once half broken then add salt and jaggery and let it marinate for 15 mins

    In the mixer take grated coconut, chulli, methi, haldi and add some water and make a paste

    In a pan add some oil then put hing, mustard seeds and curry leaves

    Now add the marinated Ambade and cook for 5-7 mins in medium heat

    Now add the paste and slow cook till the desired consistency is reached

    Adjust the salt and jaggery

    And it’s ready to be eaten