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Palmyra fruit (Tadgola) ice cream

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

Palmyra fruit also called tadgola or ice apples and a host of local names is found in South Eastern Asia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and some other Asian countries. They hit the Indian market in small carts, almost never in grocery stores, with folks stopping by to buy bags full of this seasonal fruit. They come in large purple hard nuts, think coconut, with three fruit in the centre. The fruit seller will painstakingly cut through the hard fibres to expose three pods that are milky white, soft and filled with sweet juice.

It is hard to describe the flavour of the palmyra fruit, it is very delicate, and mildly sweet but has beautiful soft notes. Most folks, including myself, chill them in the fridge and eat them as it, squishing the sweet juice out into your mouth.

However, I have a few recipes and wanted to try them this year. This is a lovely recipe for a juice that I converted to ice cream. The ice cream was delicate, to say the least. Do not add too much sugar to the ice cream, you will drown out the soft flavours of the fruit in the sweetness. The ice cream has soft flavours of the fruit with an almost imperceptible hint of clove. It is light and refreshing on the palate, perfect after those heavy and greasy main courses.

The Jaffna community is a small community that live on the North of the island and has a distinct culture and cuisine of its own. This was a hard-to-find cookbook, but it brings to my table a unique cuisine that is delicious. The book is unpretentious but filled with wonderful, authentic recipes.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.


2 cups water

1 cup sugar

3 cloves

12-14 palmyra fruit with juice

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 cup milk

heat the water, sugar and cloves in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes making sure the sugar melts completely.

Purèe 11 of te palmyra fruit and juice in a blender till quite fine. I like to have small chunks on the palate.

Cool and add the palmyra fruit purèe and the lime juice. Taste for sugar and tartness. The flavours should be subtle and delicate.

Cool completely and add the cream and mix in. Taste again.

Make ice cream as per the settings on the machine. Alternatively, freeze in the freezer churning the mix with a fork every 2 hours till set.

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