Leteku, Nora Bogori, Jolphai, Aamlokhi, Modhuriam, Jamun, Komola, Aanaros, Kothal and more - Assam is home to a plethora of fruit species that many describe as exotic. Found in different parts of the state, these fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients apart from being irresistibly delicious. While most of these seasonal fruits are widely consumed in the state’s rural areas as well as urban locales, there are a few varieties that have their own fan following, within the region and worldwide. One among them is the much-talked-about Robab Tenga - also known as the Pomelo or Shaddock Fruit. 

Said to be the ‘principal ancestor’ of the grapefruit, it is the largest citrus fruit of the Rutaceae species, weighing somewhere between 1-1½ kgs. A native of Southeast Asia, the scientific name of this fruit is Citrus Maxima that translates to ‘biggest citrus’. Robab Tenga is a pulpy fruit, with pink or white flesh, while the rind is thicker and is usually pale green or yellow in colour. It’s also got large seeds. The Pomelo trees that grow in Assam are often not very tall. They come with oval-shaped evergreen leaves and white fragrant flowers with a tinge of yellow in the middle.

Rich in copper, fibre, potassium, protein and carbohydrates, the flesh of one Robab Tenga is believed to contain several days’ worth of the recommended daily levels of Vitamin C. It’s also known for its antioxidant qualities, is a great immune system booster and is good for heart health. 

There are numerous ways to make Pomelo a part of your daily diet. While eating it raw yields the best results, you can also use it in place of other citrus fruits in different recipes, say add it to your smoothies, make it a part of breakfast meals such as waffles and oatmeal, make popsicles with its juice or simply add it to your desserts. The people of Assam though love to eat the Robab Tenga in the form of a salad, bursting with aroma and flavours. 

The spicy, sweet and sour recipe is predominantly a winter delight, but you’ll find people enjoying the salad roughly between September and March. This quick and easy dish is best enjoyed when served in a banana leaf. All you need to do is peel the Robab Tenga, shred the pulpy flesh into small pieces and gently crush them with your hand, while adding a dash of chopped green chillies, some fresh coriander leaves and a few drops of mustard oil to it; sprinkle a little salt and sugar (optional) on top, mix it well and get ready to enjoy this heavenly spread of good health. You can also relish the salad with a simple rice-dal meal. Many find it addictive, while others have fond memories associated with this nutrient-dense fruit from their carefree childhood days at home. Interestingly, this also constitutes a hearty meal for those working in paddy fields during the harvest season.

Grown abundantly across Assam during its season, a tour of remote areas in the state will welcome you with sights of village kids playing football with Robab Tenga on school grounds and farm lands.