So the winters are here and the best part of this season is that it brings a sheer variety of vegetables and fruit at the local market. Be it green veggies or citrus fruits, and the newest fruit that I come across this year is this fruit amarfal aka persimmons. I saw amarfal aka persimmons at my market for the first time this year. And because I haven’t ever seen them in my life before, I was attracted to these good looking deep orange fruit with funny looking hats!
Amar in Hindi means immortal, and I cannot connect the meaning with the fruit. Maybe its called “Amarfal” because it continues to ripen even after it is cut off from the plant.
There is also an interesting story of an Indian king long, long ago who has to give up his kingdom and take on the life of an ascetic searching for the greater truth of life.
The story of king Bharathrahari who gave up this throne because of amarfal.
His name was King Bharathrahari who was a kind and just king. One day an ascetic came to meet him and gifted him a rare fruit, amarfal (the immortal persimmon), a fruit that was fit only for a King. The King decided that it was worthy of his Queen Bhanumathi and gave the fruit to her. She was in love with someone else, so she decided to give the fruit persimmon to him. Now this man was seemingly in love with a “woman of the night” and decided that she deserved the fruit “immortal amarfal” and gave it to her. This lady decided that she didn’t really deserve such a rare gift and so she present the fruit to the King, who was surely the only person to deserve such a rare fruit!
The king got the shock of his life when the fruit was presented back to him and also discovered his wife’s unfaithfulness. He then gave up his throne and kingdom to take on the life of an ascetic himself on misplaced trust and affection. Now, whenever I eat this fruit, then somewhere on the backside of my mind this story is always recalled.
Trying amarfal/persimmons for the first time? Here’s a tip
So there are two varieties of persimmons or amarfal that are found in the market. In the pic shown variety is of Hachiya Persimmons. Hachiya persimmons are large of the same size of apples and need to ripen to the point where they are almost bursting out of their skins that are fully ripened. If you eat them before they ripened fully, then you might experience the unpleasant experience as I have.
I didn’t know about this fully ripe thing about this fruit and had it fresh, not full ripened phase as seen in the pic. When I ate the fruit it was so astringent that I couldn’t feel my tongue for a minute. This fruit catches the mouth, you feel uneasiness and also this astringent taste is so hard to get out of the mouth! Eventually, it will wear off with time after half an hour or so. When not fully ripe they are extremely astringent and unpleasant but when ripe, these are so much tastier and even sweeter than mangoes.
Persimmons are eaten around the world and are commonly used in jellies, drinks, pies, curries and puddings. Aside from having a great taste this versatile fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beneficial plant compounds like flavonoid antioxidants and tannins, which benefit heart health by reducing blood pressure, lowering inflammation and decreasing cholesterol levels.
If you want a delicious recipe from this super fruit then do reply in the comments below. I’ll be happy to fulfil your request! If you like the post then you may also like amlagooseberry-health-hacks where I’ve shared various ways to subsume amla in our diet.