The cashew nut has lengthy outshone the fruit in recognition. Finally, the tangy apple is being found by eating places and having fun with its second in the Goan solar

The cashew nut has lengthy outshone the fruit in recognition. Finally, the tangy apple is being found by eating places and having fun with its second in the Goan solar

In Kakoda, South Goa, cashew farmer Agnelo Baretto is frenetically supervising his assortment workforce. The plantation, strewn with cashew apples, is a melee of color — purple, orange and yellow.

The air is redolent with the astringent aroma and the employees transfer, following their nostril. Indeed, Come summer time and cashew plantations in Goa are abuzz with exercise as it’s harvest time. Almost 90% of the cashew apples in Goan plantations are crushed to extract a juice which is then fermented and distilled to make the State’s iconic urrak and feni.

But there’s extra to the cashew apple. Recently, cooks have have been unleashing their creativity on the fruity portion, creating dishes like cashew sorpotel, the place cubed cashew apple items change pork in the conventional dish, making use of the distinctly astringent flavours of this fruit. Cashew apple chutneys, jams and even a pickle on the traces of a balchao, are different new choices from Goa.

Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has been creating attention-grabbing native occasions round it to popularise cashew amongst vacationers. Goa’s first cashew competition held at Socorro, Bardez, in 2015, had girls from the ‘waddo’ cooking and bringing alongside cashew apple dishes, together with cashew sorpotel. And now inns, too, are doing their bit as are dwelling kitchens.

The erstwhile Park Hyatt Goa, Cansaulim, used to conduct an annual Cashew Trail showcasing its assorted makes use of. Now, Novotel Hotels in Goa have taken on the baton. Through a curated expertise, which features a go to to a cashew plantation, the ‘cashew retreat’ highlights the use of the apple in a myriad methods, together with in meals menus.

Chef Alex Dias, Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort and Spa, says, “The cashew’s fruit and assorted delicacies have been restricted solely to the locals. But I strongly consider that story of the tree and it’s connection with Goan tradition is gaining recognition amongst everybody as a result of these cultural trails.”

However, though trails by inns popularise the fruit, the apple doesn’t discover favour with too many visitor palates, therefore it takes creativity to place it on restaurant menus. Chef Abhijit Naik, government sous chef, The Leela Goa, explains, “It is tough to digest and most of the people are likely to chew it and throw it away. They don’t actually eat it. Also, most likely the sturdy and distinct aroma has rather a lot to do with this.”

Cashew sorpotel

Cashew sorpotel
| Photo Credit: Special association

Enter the sorpotel

Crescy and Oliver Fernandes are two pals who run The Goan Kitchen, in South Goa, specialising in Goan delicacies. They provide cashew apple sorpotel throughout the season. Says Oliver, “This dish is uncommon to many and made solely by a couple of households. Usually cashew farmers make sure that the fruit they supply is ripe, for use for making neero/ urrack or feni. We each grew up on this seasonal delicacy and since we’ve got comparatively smaller cashew cultivation (and don’t make feni), we’ve got the liberty of plucking half-ripe cashews for the sorpotel. We embrace it in our every day menu each time we are able to get a good harvest from the day’s plucking session.”

Sorpotel aside, legendary Goan delicacies Chef Urbano Rego makes a cashew fruit xacuti, substituting hen with cashew apple.

At dwelling, sprinkled with salt, a slice of cashew apple is loved to refresh ones’s palate. Vinaya Kalangutkar, a house chef from Corlim, avers, “In Saraswat properties, seasonal meals abounds and so, kajuchesasav is made throughout summers utilizing the pulpy cashew fruit, which imparts the proper texture and the sweet-tangy flavours of a sasav. It is eaten with steamed rice.”

Gayathri Pai, one other dwelling chef, incorporates cashew apple in her sumali (Konkan spongy dosa) batter, for a touch of tanginess. Manjita Bhobe, a homemaker, eagerly awaits cashew harvest season to make kajuachi shaak (cashew spinach).

Dr AR Desai, Scientist, ICAR-CCARI, Goa, has suggestions past curries: “A wealthy supply of Vitamin C, minerals and fibre — a variety of meals objects could be comprised of the cashew apple. We have been conducting analysis and have developed a number of merchandise. A cashew apple crunch, which is a dehydrated and easy-to-make flavoured sweet, is palate-pleasing for youngsters. All it wants is a drying machine with negligible funding, cooking fuel and a few utensils. The cashew apple slices are dehydrated after which pure flavours like rock salt, vanilla could be added, to get sweet-savoury flavours of 1’s alternative. The full course of takes solely 5 days and locals in villages can turn out to be entrepreneurs and simply promote it as a Goan deal with to vacationers. Jams, made by strain steaming the cashew apple, for some time, boast of a novel flavour and cashew syrup too, can come helpful to make refreshing sherbets in summer time. For common cooking, a cashew vinegar could be made.”

He provides, at the finish of his checklist of potential: “But sadly, owing to the demand for feni, all different meals merchandise take a backseat and locals don’t show a lot enthusiasm for these.”

Tree to desk

It takes months for the cashew apple to be prepared for cooking. The fruit and nut duo embark upon their journey in the direction of late November or early December, when flowers seem on cashew bushes. Five months later, cashew apples, which are literally the thickened receptacle or stalk, are ripe and plump. Simultaneously, the kidney-shaped greenish nut matures and may now be extracted, because it has grown absolutely and developed a tricky masking to guard the edible kernel inside.

“The cashew apple doesn’t get the consideration it deserves. It is like the umbilical wire for the nut and nurtures it nutritionally. When it ripens and matures, the apple, let’s go off the nut by falling off the tree,” Dr. Desai informs us. He additional provides, “The cashew apple, is definitely a false fruit or pseudo fruit, because it grows exterior the seed and comprises fibre and juice, that are replete with vitamins.”

Back in the plantation, Agnelo rues the labour-intensive assortment course of and costly manpower, that deter most farmers from diversifying into meals merchandise product of cashew apple somewhat than the apparent, feni and urrak. “The cashew apple is simply too delicate to deal with, perishable and requires a variety of work. Feni, which is sought-after, helps us to earn, making this tedious course of worthwhile, so we focus on that,” he admits.

But the crop is wealthy in bounty, Agnelo reiterates: “Goa presents a number of types of cashew. It is smart to have a mixture of grafts, as the yield and the high quality differ, and to irrigate thrice a yr. I’ve faithfully been following these practices since 1992.”

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