The arrival of summer clearly means increased humidity, dust and heat. Chennai is indeed unbearably hot during April and May, but that’s not all that summer has to offer.
Nungu, as it is called in Tamil is a seasonal fruit enjoyed during this season. The jelly sacks found in clusters inside the Palmyra fruit are the real deal. They look transparent and so succulent at touch. In fact, it’s a task unto itself to remove the light brown outer layer of the Nungu without tearing the fruit as it will release all the juice when torn.
It’s like a coconut in many ways but not quite so in taste. It is a very hydrating fruit and it helps cool the system. You can make desserts with them, but we prefer to eat the nungu immediately after they are removed from the fruit as it can harden and become heavier as time passes.
Nowadays it is not very easy to find these fruits in the city even when they are supposed to be in season and as a result the price has soared upwards. We can still find them on every corner of the highways while on long trips.
I remember my uncle removing the outer layer of the nungu for me because I used to break them in pieces. I found it a very annoying task then. He’s no more now, but every summer these fruits bring back nice memories.