What’s on my plate? Cape gooseberry, better known to us as rasbhari – the tiny, juicy, tart berry that paints fruit stalls orange in spring and early summer. Even though most of us have probably grown up eating rasbhari, their origins can be traced back to South American countries like Chile and Peru.
Superpower: These gooseberries have surely earned their cape, because research has it that apart from being wonderfully flavourful, they are also a good source of heart-friendly antioxidants. An in-depth study published in the journal Food Research International, in 2011, found that cape gooseberries are bursting from polyphenols, a group of strong antioxidants that can prevent cardiovascular ailments and cancer. The paper also suggested that certain bioactive compounds present in the fruit can reduce blood cholesterol levels and have anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, cape gooseberries are also rich in potassium—an important mineral which helps lower blood pressure.
Where to buy: Your local fruit vendor, or departmental store will store them—from February to May, rasbharis are in season all across India.
Eat this: There are countless ways to relish these heart-friendly berries. Pop them raw, look for a bright coloured fruit that gives when you press it between your fingers. You could whip up a rasbhari jam or preserve; slice and toss them in salads; make a sweet-sour rasbhari chutney; add them to tart and pies; make a glaze for roast chicken; or prepare a compote as an accompaniment for vanilla ice cream instead of regular ol’ chocolate sauce. We prefer the old-fashioned way of just eating them whole.
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