A crunchy salad of Orange, Mexican Turnip n Pomegranate for the winter
First of all I will tell you about Mexican Yam/Mexican Turnip/Jicama/Yam Bean. It is the name of a native Mexican vine, the plant has tuberous roots which are edible, and it is these roots with which we are about to make this salad. In India we know it as ‘Shankhalu’, literally because of the similar shape of them with white conch/shankha. In Hindi it is called ‘Mishrikand’. This plant belongs to the bean family. The flesh of the tuberous roots is eaten mostly raw or sometimes cooked, the flesh is crunchy, slightly sweet n creamy and the flavor reminds us of some apples. It is sometimes also called ‘Chinese potato’, ‘Mexican potato’.
Though it is native of Mexico, it got spread perhaps through the hands of the Spanish into many countries of Asia like China, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and many more. In Mexico the Jicama is popular in salads with other fruit combination. The same is true for Philippines, Myanmar; however in these countries they are also stir-fried along with herbs n spices.
Here in India, we get this around the winter, now that it is winter it is abundantly available in the vegetable market. At the end of January there is a special puja of goddess Saraswati, who is the goddess of music n learning, in that occasion of worshiping her when people prepare an offering with fruits they often include this ‘shankhalu’. The shankhalu is simply peeled, the inner crunchy white flesh is diced into cubed and simply eaten like that, they are subtly sweet, slightly aromatic and the smell of them seems very calm when I have to describe that smell. Back home we eat in the same way, sometimes my dad would sprinkle a touch of red chili powder, a bit of pink rock salt or normal white salt and it is so fun to eat. These days sometimes I add a slight hint of chaat masala on them.
This year when Saraswati puja will come, things will happen the same way but my dad won’t be there, since he has left his body he won’t be able to taste it like before and I will have a bundle of memories of this time of the year with my father.
Yesterday I discovered one big Mexican turnip under the table hidden in the dark, it got unnoticed for some time but the good thing about them is that they keep very well for a long time, so when I peeled it was just as fresh. So I picked oranges, a pomegranate, a few roasted peanuts and this delicious fruit salad was born. It looked so wonderful, the crunch from the Mexican turnip, its slight sweetness, the citrus sweetness of oranges, the crunchy pomegranate and the touch of pink rock salt, chaat masala and the burst of colors made me feel better in the evening.
So now I must tell you about how to make this winter fruit salad. Eat it specially facing the sunlight, you will feel better.
For The Recipe: You will need
So now it is time to serve, eat with a smile and the salad will make you smile even more. Bon appétit.