IMG_6505 rai jamun closeupThis Sunday, under the interest and insistance of my husband, we go back to the Indian quarter to get some really good fresh fruits and vegetable, here in Dar es Salaam.

Among the pile of ripe, juicy and fragrant tropical fruits, I notice one I have been seeking to buy. It is the black jamun, I love eating them the Mauritian way, that is with crushed salt and chillies.

They are my snack during the hot humid days, when a cuppa feels too heavy for a break.

The rai jamuns (Syzigium nervosum), not to be confused with regular jamuns (Syzigium cumini). Rai jamun is a different species that has slightly bigger, more elongated fruits. The jamun wallahs call rai jamun “ashadiya jamun” because it ripens in Ashad (June-July). The regular jamun is called “jamoa” or “bhadoniya jamun”, and ripens in Bhadon (August-September). Most of the trees in Lutyens’ Delhi are jamuns, though rai jamuns line the lawns on both sides of Rajpath. I got them by bunches there, compared to teh dwindled availability in Mauritius. And too delicate, they do not travel well, hence the stack of abundant exotic fruits in the UK and France these days …. still miss them.


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