Cooking With Taal/Palmyra Palm Fruit
One can’t imagine that a fruit that looks almost monstrous can be the source of several delicacies. And these fritters were the first that I made after struggling with the fruit and its fibrous innards. Some elbow grease and time was what it took to extract the golden pulp. But coming back to the fruit, the first was a struggle. By the time I got to the second one (on a different day) it became so much easier. Meanwhile, the smell that filled our kitchen was reminiscent of a summer garden with over-ripe and fallen fruit. Hints of jackfruit and mango with undertones of guava.
To extract the pulp, I used a grater. You can see in the picture above how fibrous it is. The outermost skin was peeled and the fruit was separated into segments. Usually there are three segments on a sugar palm. Each segment was grated with a plate placed below for the pulp. The rich golden colour of the pulp was enough to make me imagine all sorts of delicacies…
There was no measurement for these fritters. All by eye. The pulp, some powdered sugar, cardamom powder, desiccated coconut (as I didn’t have the fresh one), pinch of baking powder, all-purpose flour and oil for frying were all the ingredients used. This is the recipe that goes with most tropical fruits. With bananas and jackfruits topping the list. These certainly did not disappoint.
The next that I made was a tart. I used 250 grams of the pulp, 1/3 cup of caster sugar 1/3 cup of cream, and two eggs for the filling. It came out good but I found it a bit too sweet. The next time I make it, I’ll have to cut down on the sugar. The tart tin I used was about 7″. I made the shell with regular shortcrust pastry.
I am already thinking of several recipes. But that will have to wait till next year. When taal season arrives.