A Jamun-Filled Summer

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“What’s jamun in English?” I was once asked. I didn’t know the answer then, and I still do not know the answer now, except that perhaps one can classify them as berries? My earliest memory of jamun is an image of my late aunty in Karachi, who had been diabetic most of her life, and we’re told—as young kids eager to finish up her jamuns—that this fruit is for people who have ‘sugar’. People simply didn’t say diabetes back then.

And jamuns always remind me of lazy summer afternoons.

And now, jamuns will remind me of my summer days in Hyderabad, and of how I can eat to my heart’s content without being reminded that it’s for people with sugar.

So I hop on the motorcycle behind Masood one morning, and we drive on the road that leads to Hyderabad University. It is somewhere along this road that the farmers sell their freshly-harvested jamuns.

jamun for sale on the road in hyderabad 

I love this fruit! Originally a local fruit of the Indian subcontinent and neighboring South Asian countries, jamun trees are now being planted in the USA and Brazil. This fruit has absolutely no trace of sucrose, they say, making it the only fruit with minimum calories. This sweet and sour fruit is widely used to treat diabetes, diarrhea and even ringworms!

Anyway, so we spot this young fellow, not more than sixteen years old, sitting next to a couple of baskets of jamuns that glistens beautifully under the summer sun.

jamun in hyderabad

He hands us a plastic bag which, by the way, will be completely banned throughout the city starting tomorrow. We pick the best-looking ones and fill the bag.

jamun3 

We said we’ll buy a kilo. He begins to take some jamuns out of the bag when the right side of the weighing scale dipped lower than the left.

jamun fruit

We ask him to replace the jamuns back into the bag. What’s a few more jamuns? He wasn’t giving us any discount after all.

jamun is good for diabetes and diarrhea

He reluctantly puts back half of what he took out. We paid him, and left with a bagful of luscious, juicy purple goodness.

mangoes in hyderabad

And then we stopped to buy some mangoes too!

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24 Responses to A Jamun-Filled Summer

  1. 'liya says:

    Looks larger than a blueberry and bluer than a black olive :)
    I’ve never heard of them!

  2. I am not so sure, but is that ‘duhat’ in Filipino? LOL.

  3. Joveria says:

    Ahhhhhh !!! I’ m missing them now … With some masala… Yummmyyyy

  4. Lat says:

    Berries and mangoes! Indians love mangoes! It makes for good chutney and tasty curries! I’ve eaten berry products but yet to eat the fruit.Why am I shying away I don’t know.I’ll try them out soon :)

  5. DJ ARIF says:

    Jamun [Here in Bangladesh, we call it Jam] looks so yummmy… :P

  6. Khanum says:

    Ahh jamoon… I just woke up and saw some guthliya of it on my side table. I guess my family had some of it while i was asleep. jamun and shatoot are such fruits from childhood, i can almost write a post on it remembering the adventures I had stealing these…nice pictures Nadia. the color purple is very soothing here

  7. Uzma says:

    Nadia, me too from Hyderabad :)) I love jamoon, have them when they are fresh, refrigerated jamoons don’t taste that good.

  8. I think a lot of Pakistanis STILL say “sugar”. It took me many years to understand (after I learned about diabetes & made connections :p) that my grandma’s sugar was actually diabetes :D

    Those look delicious!!! :) I love all the south-Asian specialty fruits- guava, mangoes, this little black dot thing whose name I cannot remember, jamun, & more mangoes :)

    • nadia says:

      LavendarClouds, the use of the word sugar in this context does have the tendency to confuse the very young minds :)

      What’s the little black dot thing? Do try to remember. And if it’s still in season, I’ll try to find them here.

  9. Mehwish Siddiqui says:

    As far As I Know “jamun” is called Logan berry in english. I don’t know about planiting them in USA but they might be available in South America as they import mangoes from there too. It’s been a long time since I had any “jamun’ . Oh , How I miss them.

    • nadia says:

      Hello, Mehwish. I believe logan berries are different from jamuns. We don’t get jamuns in the UAE either, so I’m enjoying them while I’m still here in Hyderabad :)

  10. haha, sabi ko na nga ba’t duhat… kinakain din namin yan sa probinsya. minsan, meron nyan dito sa maynila. sarap nga… :)

    at may manga rin… bale, summer pa ba sa hyderabad?

    alin ang mas matamis, manga rito o manga dyan?…

    • nadia says:

      San, mas masarap ang Indian mango. BUT panalo pa rin ang saging at piña ng Pinas!

      Hyderabad is into the monsoon season now, but there are still so many sweet mangoes and duhat around. Can’t have enough of ‘em.

  11. oh how I miss mangoes … they taste so good, especially the ones that are cold (kept in the fridge for a while)

  12. Sara says:

    Salaam Nadia,

    Those jamun look absolutely delicious! Yum. :)

    I seriously wish I could have some jamun and mangos right now! There are so many fruits native to the subcontinent that can’t be found in North America, which is rather unfortunate since I love jamun, leechi, and mangos that actually taste like a mango.

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