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    How to ‘eat and drink’ persimmons

    Persimmon-Berry-Smoothie-11You may have spotted the orange tomato-like fruit in local fruit stores. Well, the Japanese persimmon (locally called Japan fruit) seems to have made its way to our fruit markets. Also locally cultivated in places like Jammu and Kashmir, and Coonoor closer home, this fruit grows best in sub-tropic and temperate regions. When ripe, the persimmon bears a full-bodied sweetness in contrast to the astringent, bitter taste otherwise. In a quick chat with chef Vikramjit Roy, a master of modern Japanese cuisine and the man credited with creating Pan Asian at ITC Grand Chola, we learn a few tricks on putting the fruit to best use at home.
    “This seasonal fruit is only available during November to January,” Roy begins. “You can do a lot of stuff with it — a carpaccio, souffle, ice cream, cheesecakes. I even do a taco stuffed with persimmon, green tomato ceviche and scallops,” he adds, explaining that it pairs well with a strong ingredient like wasabi or mustard or lemon grass. Surprise your guests with thin slices of persimmon sprinkled with finely chopped ginger, garlic and a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil and soya sauce. Or for something more elaborate, coat cubes of the fruit with a flavoured batter of your choice and toss with mayo or mustard oil after deep frying. But if you really want to make this fruit the centre of your party, simply “sprinkle vanilla sugar on slices of the fruit and blow torch them before blending them with vodka to create a versatile cocktail base,” the star chef concludes.
    Available at Pazhamudir Nilayam. Rs.150 per kilo. Details: 28153402
    — RP

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