Garcinia pedunculata is known commonly as Sohdanei in Khasi, the language of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya. It is a traditional wild fruit found in the foothills of the Himalayas and distributed along the Northeastern states of India.
Did you know that Meghalaya falls in one of the 4 biodiversity hotspots of India? Thanks to this, the land is pristine and home to very many nutrition rich plants, herbs and spices. The true potential of the region is yet to be realized as most are family farms and the farmers face the challenge of not having a ready market for their produce. Zizira is working to help them realize the potential of the land and improve the livelihood of the farmers we work with. We are not an NGO – but a business which believes that a courageous, profitable business can make a difference to the farmers, to our customers and to us. Here is why we do what we do.
In this post we introduce you to a little-known wild fruit of Meghalaya, Garcinia pedunculata.
The Zizira explorers learnt that Garcinia pedunculata is a wild fruit that the locals of Meghalaya have been using as a traditional delicacy. It is also found to have amazing health benefits.
Wondering What the Fruit Looks Like?
Garcinia pedunculata or Sohdanei is a medium-sized, green coloured fruit which turns yellowish once ripe. Mature fruits range from 8-12 cm in diameter with a fleshy aril which encloses 4-8 seeds.
Here is a photo of dried Sohdanei slices.
A Special Component of Sohdanei
Sohdanei is believed to be useful in helping weight loss.
What makes it so?
Sohdanei is believed to be a rich source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is known as a weight reducing agent and is found in the rind of Sohdanei. HCA is believed to be the principle acid in Sohdanei (Garcinia pedunculata).
Did you know? Sohdanei consists 20.1% of an organic acid called hydroxycitric acid, which is the believed to be helpful in reducing weight. Source
How Does it Grow?
It is not easy to propagate as the Sohdanei seeds take time to germinate, sometimes taking as long as 6 months! It grows into a medium sized tree. It has short distributed branches with large pale green flowers. The tree starts bearing flowers by Sept-Oct. The harvesting season for this fruit is the end of January. In the month of April, the Sohdanei fruit is fully ripe.
Sohdanei grows in a tree where the leaves and the seeds are said to have medicinal benefits. The fruit is believed to be used as an antiscorbutic (a medicine that prevents scurvy). Sohdanei is also known to be rich in antioxidants. It is also believed to be helpful in addressing gastric issues and rheumatic pain. Due to its high HCA content, it is believed to be useful as a natural antiobese agent.
The Multiple Uses of Garcinia pedunculata
- Add Sohdanei pieces while brewing tea and enjoy every sip.
- It can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Add it to curries to add sourness
- Sohdanei is also used for enhancing the flavour while fermenting bamboo shoot. Fermented bamboo shoot is a traditional food in the northeastern states which help to extend the storage life of bamboo shoots and adds a unique aroma and taste.
Zizira is determined to identify the best and unique produce from Meghalaya and reach to those in search of healthy food options. We would love to hear from you. Add your comment and share with us your valuable experience.