After Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the state's decision to accord the rather precious title of 'kamalam' to the nefarious dragon fruit that has only of late reached Indian shores, a memefest on Twitter was kicked up in tribute to this timely act of shoring up of the country's defences. In the lead-up to the country's 72nd Republic Day, an early parade of reactions seen on Twitter was thus:
Throwback to Game of Thrones when Daenerys bought a big Kamalam pic.twitter.com/yg0SSOBDgi— Amil Bhatnagar (@AmilwithanL) January 20, 2021
We decided to do our bit, too, and bring you five quick recipes you can whip up using the dragon fruit, which is also known as the pitaya, and has its origins in Mexico and Central America. It's low-calorie and packed with antioxidants, and there's every reason for you to be including the fruit with a spiky-scaly peel, in your diet.
Just like kiwis, mangos and bananas, the dragon fruit is a pulpy fruit, so the easiest thing you'll fix with one is a really healthy smoothie. Take:
Half a dragon fruit, peeled (full if you want a flavour that overpowers the banana)
A pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
Put everything in a bullet blender and let it rip until the consistency is smooth. Drink up immediately.
Like most expensive superfoods, the dragon fruit, loaded with fibre and low on fat, is an indispensable addition to a nutrient-packed salad bowl. Since it contains prebiotics, a dragon fruit salad makes for a great hors d'oeuvre as well. You will need:
One peeled and diced dragon fruit
2-3 strawberries, also diced
Torn mint leaves, not more than 8
Freshly-squeezed juice of half a lime
A pinch of kosher salt
Throw it all together in a short mason jar or your favourite salad bowl, and voilà! Try doing a honey lime dressing to eat alone or topping your yoghurt with it.
With its pulpy aqueous humour and grainy little eyeballs, the dragon fruit could be an excellent candidate for sorbet. Take a couple of medium-size dragon fruits, cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. The shells can be frozen for serving—all au naturel. Drop the pulp in three-fourth cup cold water, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and two of sugar. Put it all in a food processor, pulsing it till a smooth texture is reached. Then churn in the ice cream maker. Serve frozen.
Yes, you read that right. Grilling fruits is a thing—it has been found that the sugar in fruits caramelizes upon being introduced to heat, heightening the natural flavour of the poor thing. And anyway, now that we've turned the informant against the enemy, let's grill it. All you'll need is:
One cubed dragon fruit (not too ripe)
One cubed pineapple/kiwis
Red chilli powder (one teaspoon)
Throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Proceed to skewer the dices (dragon fruit and pineapple alternating) and go for the grill until a light browning is reached. Enjoy your kamalam kebabam.
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The yummy, yoghurt-based dessert enjoys unbelievable popularity in Gujarat, where the renaming has taken place. So it’s fitting that after kesar, aam and elaichi, the kamalam be made a part of the prestigious core. Set a couple of cups of curd to hang in a muslin cloth four hours in advance. Take a ripe dragon fruit and pulse it until smooth. On the side, whip the hung curd with sugar. Mix both well, garnish with strawberries and more dragon fruit slices and chill before serving.