Soh-Lyngdkhur To Khasi Mandarin: These Indigenous Fruits From Meghalaya Are Worth Tasting
- Reema Gowalla
Updated : September 28, 2022 03:09 IST
These local fruits from the northeastern state are both delicious and healthy
When it comes to fruits, Meghalaya has an abundance of it. The hilly slopes of the state are home to some very unique varieties of fruits. Even within the northeast region, people wait for their share of pineapples, bananas and oranges during the season. Mostly organic and irresistibly delicious, the fruits from the state have a flavour and fragrance of their own.
Papaya, guava, jackfruit, plum, peach, pear and apricot and plethora of other citrus fruits adorn the terrains of this beautiful state. While these are among the ones mostly consumed locally and transported to other places, Meghalaya also nurtures certain other indigenous varieties of fruits that are mostly exotic and rare, and are known for their unique properties.
We have listed five of them here for you. Let’s start exploring.
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This fruit can almost instantly tickle your tastebuds - a sensation that a Khasi will probably describe as jawdud. Sohphie, or box myrtle, is a very popular indigenous variety of fruit in Meghalaya. This sweet and sour fruit - whose scientific name is Myrica esculenta - is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and a host of other nutrients. Sohphie marks the onset of spring in the state. Local people love to eat this fruit raw and also savour it as pickles. Apart from the Khasi and Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, the fruit is also grown in the Dikhow Valley of Assam and in Uttarakhand.
Known as Eleagnus latifolia in scientific lexicon, people in Meghalaya love to eat Soh Shang raw with a dash of salt. Pickles made using this fruit are very popular, while it’s also extensively used for making processed products, including jam and refreshing beverages. One of Soh Shang’s unique qualities is that it’s a rich source of amino fatty acids, apart from containing Vitamin A, C and E, as well as flavonoids and other bio-active compounds. Also called Soh-Khlur, these tiny, pear-shaped fruits also widely grow in Arunachal Pradesh.
You have all the reasons to love this unique purplish-black berries from Meghalaya. A native of the temperate terrains of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, these juicy, fleshy berries are loved for their mildly sweet, tangy and acidic taste. The fruit includes essential nutrients and also comes loaded with health benefits. Its scientific name is Prunus nepalensis. Thanks to its incredible colour and lip-smacking taste, freshly picked berries from the orchards are used for making jams.
Widely grown in Meghalaya and Tripura, Soh-Lyngdkhur - or the black mulberry - is yet another local favourite fruit. Called Morus indica in scientific lexicon, the ripe variety of this fruit is almost black in colour. It’s sometimes used to treat fever and throat inflammation. Seri culturists use this fruit to feed the famous eri silkworms.
During its season, people flock to local markets and fairs to buy Soh-Sohniamtra (famous as the Khasi Mandarin). Such is the popularity of this orange. Scientifically called Citrus reticulata, it is a unique variety of fruit native to Meghalaya. The fruit’s bright orange colour and pointy leaves make it a sight to behold. The local folk bring loads of Khasi Mandarin in woven bamboo baskets from the orchards that are usually full between the months of November and February. The fruit is rich in bioactive compounds, and it comes with a host of health benefits. It’s also used by traditional healers to treat many ailments.