Ice apples or tadgola or Munjul are in season! And most people don’t know about it.
This is a very low key Indian fruit which is in season in May and comes from the palm trees. A bit like tender coconut, it is full of minerals and is really refreshing on a hot day. Unfortunately not many people know about it – like the “jaam“, “ber” and “jamun“. Every summer my cousins used to visit me from Nagpur. They would come with baskets of oranges. They would spend summer with us and we all used to go to swimming class in the mornings. After the class, mom used to buy tadgola ( as ice apples are called in Marathi) for all of us. We used to stand under the hot sun waiting for the peeled and cored fruit. We relished the little squirt of water from the plump fruit and then dig into its meat. Yum! Sometimes we used to all have tender coconut.
Recently, I found a street side vendor who was selling these. We stopped the car and asked him to give us a dozen ice apples. The vendor cored out the plump chunks of ice apples from the whole palm fruit and then gave us a dozen. We ate most as is, but I wondered what else could I use them for? As they are very similar to a lychee in taste, I considered making a martini, or a mousse or a pudding. But then as we had tender coconut and oranges on hand, I made a summer drink out of them. Freshly squeezed oranges, coconut water and chopped up iced apples made a colorful summer special.
Ice apples are available at many places across Mumbai and Hyderabad. They are sold by small street side vendors. In Hyderabad they are usually sold in the morning in little carts covered with leaves. If you love local seasonal fruits then it doesn’t get any better than this. There are many more summer fruits vying for our attention now that we had our fill of mangoes – jamun, jackfruit …yipee!
But back to this orangeade, it was like recreating summer magic in a drink. Cousins, swim lessons, fights, gossip. Give it a try with fresh or drained canned lychees. I am sure it will be a hit and add tropical flair to your summer days!
Ice Apples Orangeade
- 3 ice apples chopped ( about 6 – 8 fresh lychees)
- Juice from 1 orange
- Water from 1 tender coconut
- 1 shot orange vodka (optional)
1. In a shaker, add ice cubes, and all the ingredients. Shake, shake, shake.
2. Pour in two glasses. Chill. Serve cold.