Jamun tree is a tall tree native to India, but has spread to other tropical regions across the world. The tree bears the Jamun fruit, popular for its deep blue/ purple, almost black skin color, with a starkly contrasting pink or white flesh: A juicy berry that is oblong in shape, dark purple in color, sweet to taste. The flesh is extremely juicy and has a flavor that combines sweet and tart with a slightly astringent aftertaste, depending on its ripeness.
When eaten, the dark-colored skin leaves a stain on the lips and mouth that can last for several hours. The fruit contains a hard seed which should be discarded, however, today, the seeds are dried, crushed into powder form and used in juices and smoothie recipes, as they have been found to have nutritional value as the fleshy part of the fruit.
The fruit has a variety of names including, black plum, Java plum, jamun jamli, java plum blackberry, black plum, jambul, jambolan, jambus, kala jamun and zambarau (mzambarau) (Swahili), njamura (Native Kikuyu)
There are various ways you can consume the jamun fruit, apart from chewing it whole, or in powder form, as mentioned above: In culinary, jamun fruit is added in desserts such as compotes, mousses and panna cottas, as Manish Khanna, owner of a Mumbai-based restaurant, says, “Jamun pulp can be used to make coolers and mocktails.
Vinegar cider as well as wine can also be made by fermenting the fruit. Jamun juice can be used to make squashes, syrups and also ice cream. In fact, I have even experimented with jamuns to make jelly.”
From salads to jams, this fruit is a win-win for chefs and homemakers. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, says, “Best way to use jamuns is in pickles or jams because of its amazingly rich color and texture.”
Health benefits of the Jamun fruit include:
- Improves hemoglobin count
- Keeps your heart healthy
- Antibacterial properties that help stop bleeding of Gums
- Stringent properties that keep skin acne free
- Has blood purifying agent
- Low glycemic index thus keeping blood sugar level low
- Since jamun is rich in fiber, it may help keep tummy sated and propel weight loss process
- Contain powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and also phenolic compounds that help keep harmful free radicals at bay
Jamun seeds may prove to be a boon for people dealing with hypertension as the seed extract of the fruit contains a type of antioxidant called ellagic acid that may help in keeping a check on rapid fluctuations of blood pressure.
"They are very good for your stomach and aid in good bowel movement." Jamun seeds can also be used as oral medication to combat sores, inflammation and ulcers in the intestines.
Here's a link to a photo recipe where jamun is an ingredient.