Spice Up Your Life! 29

(This column brings you information on various spices, fruits and vegetables, along with recipes and home remedies. Readers are cautioned to use remedies with discretion)

Custard Apple (Sitaphal)

In India, the sugar apple (Annona squamosal), or sugarsop, is also called custard apple. It grows well in the tropical regions. The fruit is green with specks of black on the outside and has edible segments of white to light yellow creamy flesh that covers black or dark brown seeds. The flesh tastes like a slightly tangy cream custard.

  • This fruit has a relatively low glycaemic index (54), and its high fibre content ensure that insulin is released slowly.
  • The high vitamin C level strengthens immunity and encourages the growth of healthy hair.
  • Custard apple has vitamin A which is good for the skin and the pulp, if applied to acne or boils, helps considerably to reduce inflammation. 
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties also help with the pain of arthritis and stomach issues caused by inflammation.
  • The fruit is thought to have anticancer properties because of bullatacin, an acetogenin found in it.
  • Regular consumption of this fruit can decrease triglycerides by 65%.
  • Sugar apple, or custard apple, can increase haemoglobin and is good for people suffering from anaemia.
  • Its antimicrobial properties are beneficial for the human body as well.

Recipes of the Goa Anglican Centre

These are the recipes of dishes cooked at the Goa Anglican Centre, a UK registered charity which hosts clergy and volunteers from time to time in Goa.

Roast Tongue (Serves 6-7)

Ingredients: 1 cow tongue, 2 ½ tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, ½ tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tsp of chili powder (Kashmiri mirch), 1 tsp of pepper powder, 1 tbsp of oil/lard, 3 tbsp of coconut vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar and salt to taste.

Method: Clean the tongue and use a fork to poke the tongue lightly all over. Make a paste of the other ingredients (except the oil) and apply it all over the tongue. Leave aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Take a pot and put the tongue in and pour the oil/lard over it. Cook it on high heat for 4-5 minutes, then lower the heat to slow cook for 1 ½ hours. Add some water or the tongue may become dry, and check on it every half an hour. After it is cooked, cut slices of the tongue and enjoy.

Bhende Fry (serves 3-4)

Ingredients: 350 gm Bhende (ladies’ fingers), 1 large onion, 4 cloves of garlic, ½ tsp of tamarind paste, ¼ tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 ½ tbsp of oil, 10 curry leaves, and salt to taste.

Method: Wash and dry the ladies’ fingers well and slice into one inch pieces. Slice the onion into thin half circles. Finely chop the garlic.

Add the onions to the heated oil and sauté till transparent. Add the curry leaves and garlic. Then add the turmeric and chili powder. After mixing well, turn up the heat and add the ladies’ fingers and salt. Fry using high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn the heat very low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.


For chapped and dry hands and feet:

  • Massage a tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil into your hands and feet. Leave for 15 minutes and wash off. If the dryness is severe, then leave it overnight (cover your hands and feet with socks to prevent transfer) and wash it off.
  • Apply aloe vera on the affected areas and leave on for about 15 minutes before washing off. Do this twice or thrice a day until you see an improvement.