Ambarella- nutrition, benefits and recipes

The botanical name of Ambarella is Spondias dulcis. This tropical tree can reach 15 meters until 20 meters with edible truit containing a hard fibrous pif. It is grows well in the soils of Sri Lanka, Southern India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Zanzibar, Caribbean island and Gabon.  Ambarella fruit grows prolifically in Central America, the northern parts of South  and certain regions of Australia. The ambarella grows well in tropical humid climate, and require ample rainfall to flourish. The propagation is usually done by seeds which can fruit in 2-4 years.

In India, it is also know as Amra Kai in Tamil, Amte kai in Kannada, Adavi Mamidi in TeluguAmbazhanga in Malayalam, Amra, Biliti in Bengali.

Other names include kedondong in Indonesia, buah long long in Singapore, pomme cythere in Dominica, June plum in Bermuda and Jamaica, mangotín in Panama, juplon in Costa Rica, golden apple in Barbados and Guyana, golden plum in Belize, jobo indio in Venezuela, cajá-manga and cajarana in Brazil , quả cóc in Vietnam, manzana de oro in Dominican Republic, cas mango in Cameroon.

Ambarella fruit nutrition value

Ambarella fruit contains no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, and very high in vitamin C.

In 100 grams of the Spondias dulcis’s fruit  has about 46 kcal,

0.2 g protein (negligible)

0.1 g fat (negligible)

12.4 g carb

56 mg calcium: 5.7% RDI

67 mg phosphorous: 6.7% RDI

0.3 mg of iron: 1.6% RDI

205 ug carotene (Vitamin A): 4.1% RDI

0.05 ug Thiamine (B1): 1% RDI

0.02 ug of Riboflavin (B2): negligible

36 mg Vitamin C: 60% RDI

Traditional health benefits of Ambarella

Ambarella is often helpful for diabetes mellitus, indigestion, urinary tract infections, hypertension and hemorrhoids. The fruit is also used to treat sores, wounds and burns, while the leaves and bark treat other maladies including dysentery, cough, cracked tongue, increase endurance of the body and prevent dehydration.

As per the book, “Fijian Medicinal Plants,” locals make a decoction of the leaves as a wash for sore eyes. The roots are believed to have contraceptive properties, which may be one reason for their additional use as an abortifacient.

Scientifically proven health benefits of Ambarella

According to a study ambarella fruits and leaves exhibits antimicrobial activities against a wide variety of strains while it possesses significant antioxidant, reduces the risk of dangerous clots formation in blood vessels, improve blood flow, and prevent damage to tissues and organs.

Another study has shown that Spondias dulcis has antihyperglycaemic activity which helps to counteracts high levels of glucose in the blood, and useful in treatment of Diabetes mellitus.

How to check ripeness of Ambarella fruit?

Unripe ambarellas are hard and green with no hints of sweetness in its tough, fibrous flesh. Though some people enjoy eating sour, unripe fruits with a pinch of salt, others prefer to wait until they have become golden yellow. In this condition, ambarellas lose their acidic bite and become more palatable. The pit, however, hardens upon ripening.

The best ambarella has a waxy, glossy skin with no signs of bruises. Slight discoloration is natural, as is the occasional small dark spot. The aroma should be pleasant, tropical, floral and slightly musky at peak ripeness.

Taste of Ambarella fruit

Ambarellas fruit is juicy and has sour taste with a distinct crunch for a bite. It’s outer skin is edible and has large pit seeds.

When ambarellas ripen to a golden yellow, the taste is similar to an unripe mango: crunchy, fibrous and mildly sweet.

How to Open or Cut this

Slice an ambarella like a mango by cutting the flesh alongside the big, hairy pit. It is possible to eat the fruit out of hand, but be mindful of the oblong pit in the center.

Storage tips

If ambarellas need further ripening, keep them at room temperature and can take up to a week to mature.

Ambarellas can be stored in refrigerator keep for up to two weeks. Though the taste will not be adversely affected, fruits can lose their golden luster during refrigeration. Let ambarellas sit at room temperature for an hour before consuming to have more robust flavor compared to cold fruits.

Do not chill the fruits below 5C, as ambarellas are highly susceptible to chilling injury. When frozen, ambarellas show deep pits in their skin, and some develop fungal decay.

Ambarella Recipe Ideas

The fruits and the tender leaves are eaten in Thai cuisine.

Try making pickled chutney or dip from raw ambarella by simply blending raw ambarellas slices with garlic, a bit of chili powder and salt. Add other herbs or spices like coriander, basil, parsley, mint to enhance it’s flavor.

Add thin slices ambarella fruit wedges into salads or smoothies.

Juice ambarella  fruit with ginger and /or add honey to sweeten.

Make ambarella curry by simmering the fruit in coconut milk with other vegetables. The fruit imparts a sour taste that balances the rich creaminess of the coconut.

Make baked chips out of the sliced fruit or dehydrate it.

Add fruit  into preserves and flavorings for sauces, soups, and stews.


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