Tadgola, nungu or Ice Apple Salad with Sugarcane Juice Dressing is as local as we can get. Inspired by a recipe in Tara Deshpande’s book, it is a delight in every bite.
I use a lot of local stuff in my salads. Vegetables, fruits, grains, and spices but for some reason, I never thought of using tadgola/nungu or ice apple in my salad. But after I have eaten this ice apple salad inspired by a recipe in Tara Deshpande’s book An Indian Sense of Salad, I don’t think I can look beyond it.
Talking about the book, I found it to be a really good one in context of making salads in India. Covers what are the things to keep in mind when creating salads in a tropical country like ours. Has some interesting recipes with a local touch and takes a very simple and sensible approach towards salad making. During this past month, a lot of you have told me to write a book on salads and if I was ever writing a book (I am too lazy to write a book honestly), it would be like this. So people, go ahead and buy it. PS – There is an affiliate link at the end of the recipe.
Coming back to the salad, I roughly adapted the salad from her book and the result was a salad which screams summer in every bite. A local confusion of flavors, it is a delight. And the surprise find was sugarcane juice dressing, I think I am going to be using that in my salads pretty often from here. As often as I can get my hands on sugarcane juice anyways.
What is Ice Apple
Tadgula/nungu/palm fruit/ice apple is a delicious summer fruit which is also a powerhouse of health. Extremely cooling to the body, rich in Vitamin A, B, and C, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, and Potassium. The purple shell is cut to take out three translucent gelatinous fruits which is what is eaten. If I have to describe the taste, I will probably say it is a cross between litchi and coconut, litchi in texture and the taste is similar to fresh coconut. It is a pity people don’t know much about it. I usually buy it from numerous carts on the road all through summer
Ice Apple Salad with Sugarcane Juice Dressing
- 4 tadgola/nungu/ice apple peeled and chilled
- 1.5 cups watermelon deseed and chopped
- 2 pink radish sliced
- 1/2 cup rocket leaves
- 1.5 tsp black sesame seeds toasted
- 2 tbsp mint leaves
For the dressing
- 1 cup sugarcane juice
- 2 sichuan pepper pounded
- 1 bird eye chillies sliced and deseed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- black salt to taste
- Boil all the ingredients of dressing (apart from lemon juice) together and reduce to 1/3 of the original quantity. Turn off the heat, add lemon juice and set aside to cool completely
- Mix all the salad ingredients and gently incorporate the dressing in it. Serve chilled