mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

It’s Guava!

In Birds and Bees, Fruit on May 25, 2007 at 11:12 am

mystery flower

And the answer is Amrood or Guava! This is the beautiful flower of the common guava tree (Psidium guajava) that most of us know very well! Guava is a small evergreen tropical tree. The tree has a very attractive copper coloured bark that flakes off on mature branches to reveal a grey-green-silver layer underneath, giving the bark a beautiful mottled appearance.

Manisha, Nabeela, Sra and Sandhya, all got it right!

And the winner is, none other than Manisha, The Truly Learned One😉 . She posted her answer within minutes of the publishing of the post. And for the next few minute, I had no answer! I went into a tizzy – had to do something to keep the quiz alive😆 ! Into moderation went her comment and then all – for an appearance of fairplay.

She has asked for a little bit of the most expensive spice in the world, as her prize❗ I made no promises, but it is only fair🙂 So, Manisha, you can collect it whenever you are passing! Or, you will get it in the mail, in the not too distant future.

Soon after, Nabeela, followed by Sra, and Sandhya had the right answers too. To all of you – well done!

I am especially impressed because I lived for two years in this house (my parents’ house) with the guava tree, enjoyed the juicy guavas, made them into chutney, into jelly, and then distributed the fruit to everyone who would have it🙂 , and didn’t know what the flowers looked like! When it fruits, we get 30-35 small-medium guavas from this tree, everyday, for about 4 weeks! Too much of a good thing…even the house help, and the gardener refuse eventually!

It was last year, when I looked at the tree from above (from the terrace), that I saw these most beautiful large white blooms! They do tend to hide in the leaves, and are not that obvious when looking up the tree. But the fruit we make sure we see!

Guava has many medicinal uses as well. For one, it will keep you regular🙂 . The fruit is believed to be beneficial for controlling diabetes. In Cuba, its leaves find culinary use in barbecues. It is also a food plant for certain species of butterflies.

Thank you all for participating. I really enjoyed this, especially since many of you got it right! Till the next quiz!

PS: I would give you the recipe for the chutney which was much loved by a friend’s daughter, but it received a very lukewarm welcome in this house😦 And the jelly – it is just too much work- all that straining is just not worth it! Not for guava jelly anyway; though it did look stunning. The fruit is best had fresh, or at the most sprinkled with some chat masala (Indian spiced salt) and a squeeze of lemon.

  1. Was it a fresh or cooked chutney?

    Oh a very much cooked chutney! That’s why we didn’t like it so much. It had nigella, heeng, gur, and mirch. But I agreed with the family to enjoy this fruit fresh. Don’t need to make everything into a preserve🙂 !

  2. We used to have a lot of guava trees in one of the houses we lived in, so it was familiar. I can’t be certain now, but I think they have a nice fragrance as well!

    I must check that myself! They are usually higher up and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize a fruit..why ever not, you may well ask
    😀

  3. I grew up with a bountiful guava tree in the backyard too…and never once noticed this gorgeous flower! Shame on me!

    And on me too! But in our defense, they are a bit harder to spot from down below…the tree was after all, covered with hundreds of flowers! You would think I would have noticed sooner!

  4. What? There’s no prize for coming second?😉
    We had TWO guava trees at our home in India that went crazy giving off lots n lots of fruits during the winter but surprisingly we never got tired of it…if I remember correctly, there were even fights over who would get the half rotten one😀
    Can you come by next month Nabeela?
    No one else asked for a prize! What would you have liked it to be
    😉 ?

  5. >
    she hacked into your system. duh!!!
    just for being able to do that, though, she deserves the saffron, methinks.
    where is she?
    manisha, where are you?

    What do you mean ‘hacked’? There were no clues to the identity anywhere…?

    Manisha, where are you? Ah, having all that pohe, fried pamplet, bakar wadi, with masala chai…she has her mouth full, can’t talk😀

  6. then maybe she hacked into your brain. she has potent, mysterious powers, that gal with the evil twin.
    manisha!! can’t you hear us? say something. i miss ya.

    hmmm…shades of…what’s that cult movie..Matrix?

  7. I have never seen a guava flower before. Aren’t they a pretty sight! It reminds me of an extravagant brooch🙂

    Then you can be forgiven for not being able to identify it, Suganya…It is really beautiful, you’d think the rest of us would have noticed sooner!

  8. We had a guava orchard itself (okay, I mean 4-5 guava trees😀 ) in my house… but never noticed the flowers!! Beautiful!!

    It is hard to believe that we didn’t notice such a beautiful flower, and hundreds of them on every tree, and they are a couple of inches across, no not even small!

  9. It sort of reminds me of “Queen Anne’s lace” with a wild rose attached to the bottom.
    I wouldn’t care for guava with kalonji and hing..no, Indian or not…🙂 How about dhania, saunf, adrak, mirchi, gur, kala mirchi? I drink sweetened guava juice often enough to know its flavour well…😀
    It’s Memorial Day weekend now, I might be tipsy, otherwise I’d just say: great post, nice pic, will try it for sure… what were we talking about? Guava preserves. Well, “to preserve or not to preserve…that is the question!”😀
    Wait! I’ll answer it! Why preserve anything? Four reasons: 1) to have it available when not in season. 2)to experiment and have fun with the process. 3)to make too many jars and swap it with someone you know for stuff they made too many jars of…🙂 4) To eat it and remember things past.

    You could still say, “Nice pic!” because it is beautiful😀 !
    You are barely coherent, but I will tell you I am in no hurry to make a guava preserve again. The smell and the taste are there alright, but the texture is all wrong – nothing to beat biting into a fresh guava.

  10. Are you tooting your own horn again?
    It seems to me that, years ago, I did something with a few ripe, pink guavas I found at one of the SE Asian grocers… Is it a bit gritty in texture when cooked? I only see them rarely here.
    Often these stores will acquire and sell just one crate of an “exotic” fruit-nut-vegetable so if one is in the right place at the right time…
    Unfortunately, often these things are never seen again! I once tried these black nuts that looked like demon-heads- I kept a couple and let them dry; I should photograph them and do a post- they were one of the most delicious nuts I have ever tasted! The lady selling them did not know the name of them…

    No, No…I meant ‘it is a beautiful flower!’
    You could always do a quiz😉 for those nuts! And bank on Manisha to find the answer! At least there is no chance of her hacking your brain for the answer!😆

  11. Now that you say it, i know its guava😀 love that fruit. With numbu, namak and mirchi, aha! and the pink guavas, wow! amrood and banana chat is my favorite🙂.
    How about Chikoo, another grainy fruit🙂 love that too.

    Where have you been, Musical? Cooking up a storm?
    😉

  12. Guava is such a cherished fruit here in the Caribbean. We use it to make jams, jellies, drinks, sauces and some have been known to cut it up, while a little green and sprinkle with salt and chillies. Love, love Guava.
    I also like how it perfumes the house, well the kitchen, when it is ripe.

    Maybe you have a recipe that my family will like…the tree will start loading off very soon!

  13. Oooops! I already found the answer. They are w…..yeah, maybe I will do the quiz thing!
    Musical! Where…have…you…been? You’ve been missed terribly! I can only look at a cabbage and two potatoes for just so long…😀 Anitalu was probably OK with it however…
    Cynthia, first its rampant mango-bragging, now you are on to guavas… can I thrill anyone with asparagus?😀

    It’s quiz season!

    Musical, where is yours?

  14. Here in Costa Rica we call them Guayabas (sounds a little more like the scientific name “Psidium guajava”).Guava we name a different kind of fruit. They are said to be very rich in Vitamin C (Guayabas).

    Hi Allendale2 – welcome to this party! Yes, Guayabas/Amrood is a delicious fruit and full of Vitamin C goodness. You are right, that name is much closer to the botanic name. Jamba is another Indian/Sanskrit name for it which probably became Amrood in Hindi.

  15. I would also like to add that Guayaba trees are some of the most resilient trees I have ever seen. They grow practicaly anywhere. I´ve seen them growing in cracks in walls and in the pavement out in the streets. there´s no way you could go wrong growing one except if you live in the Arctic, I guess.

    …and that is very disappointing news for my friend Pel!

  16. I live in the Arctic.😦

    But you also live in the ‘first’ world – where everything can be imported. Or is available canned😆❗

  17. LOL! Oh, yes…there’s a consolation… [pouts…and then brightens up a bit, assuming an air of superiority]] I’m going asparagus-picking soon…
    Now, that I can have from my third world grocer if I am willing to pay the ‘exotic’ price…which I do. For galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, and sometimes for celery too. I have never eaten asparagus, BTW! (here comes the lecture… )

  18. I’m back and I can tell you that if you are running/jogging/walking in a road race at over 5000ft in altitude, do not go to sea-level for a vacation just before that. I huffed, I puffed, I panted and I walked most of the 10K BolderBoulder yesterday. My family happily left me behind and jogged ahead. Bah!

    I cracked this Guava quiz but my comment was put into moderation immediately. More Bah! At least it wasn’t deleted! I didn’t have this tree in my backyard while growing up so maybe the prize really should go to Sra, Nabs, and Sandhya. I did the most clinical and unemotional thing ever: searched the net and matched the flower. Your pic, Anita, was by far the best picture ever of the Amrood flower. No kidding. And you did say that the prize was negotiable! And what would one ask of a Kashmiri? Walnuts, I have. It has to be saffron. More so cos you reminded us in that very post about Kashmiri saffron! I am willing to share the prize with the other 3 equally. 1/5th goes to each of the other 3 winners and I will keep the rest.

    I remember going to Kashmir in the seventies with Raja Travels. I remember vividly cos I was almost left behind at one of the stations! It was the first time I saw snow. I forgot how much the boots hurt and how cold and wet my feet were. My Mom was thrilled with all the goodies she collected from there. Esp walnuts and saffron. Walnuts ,I have. So ,saffron ,it has to be!😉

    So no I didn’t hack anything – what is my reputation in this blogging community, I often wonder! No! Please don’t tell me! I want to live in this castle in the air for a couple more decades at least!

    Pel, I love guavas but the most I will do with anything guava is buy the canned guava juice (Goya I think and there is another brand that comes from Canada – they make lychee juice too). The guavas here are really overrated. And you live in the Arctic, you say? Find a large glacier quickly – they say it’s all melting away.

    And you have to eat the pink guava on the streets of Bombay – I have no words to describe it. Oh bliss! I need to stop thinking about food and get back to work!

  19. Sorry about the l-o-n-g comment. I can see some more complaints coming my way…

    Anita, I ate asparagus for the first time this spring. I had no clue how to cook it. I did a decent job I think: olive oil, cajun seasoning and roasted them. Only mistake I made was that I did not discard the woody part of the stalk. It’s got a very different flavor that grows on you. I liked it raw, too. Medha did not like it at all but ate it because it was on her plate. A friend of mine described herself as Durga the other day. But I think I am the real Durga😆 (You think this will bring out the moral police?)

  20. […] can hear some people crying for prizes in the hope that I might share some more of the Kashmiri saffron that I may have won. To them I say: to have prizes, there must be a correct or best answer and a […]

  21. Oh! I was wondering why you were so proud of your home-grown celery! I understand now… that’d be the equivalent of me trying to grow an orange tree, which I have attempted many times; once, it even flowered before croaking!
    Asparagus is very good raw- especially when dipped into one of the Thai nam prik, not the nam prik wan (sweet) but nam prik kapi(shrimp-paste chile water) or name prik ong(tomato chile-water). If it’s cooked, well…there are a lot of options of course, smothered in hollandaise sauce is most decadent…or cream of a- soup! I am considering that “haakesque” would be very good as well…or any recipe for okra. It’s really really cheap here in season- that’s the end of my treatise on asparagus, for now.
    Shri Durga, too late! The glaciers have all melted around here, and we now have tropical weather [fans himself]. Actually, I should get a cut of the saffron-prize because I’m the only one who answered it and managed to pass it through the strict moderation! Notice the little poem that bears no relevance to anything? (hint: first letters)The fact that I didn’t know what the flower was until a little birdie told me is totally irrelevant!

    I’ll try to grow asparagus one of these days…

    Please tell me you wrote that ‘poem’ after you knew what it was…which would make it very clever, and not coincidence.

    I know who is going to win the caption contest!

  22. Um, she be Madam Durga. (Shri = Mr.)
    Saffron prize? Huh! You are destined to be washed off te melting glacier. That’s what it is. I wondered what you were drinking when you wrote that piece of gibberish. Sheesh! Who’da thunk? But that was very clever indeed. Did the hostess get that one?
    And, tosh! I did not tell anyone! My comments were either under moderation or were attached to pictures that others could not see. I’m not sharing any of my booty with you.

    Pel is quite clever. Other than getting his genders mixed up sometimes (only in alien languages, have to admit)!😆 Like me! The mix-up bit; I can’t hold a candle to him where ‘cleverness’ is involved.

  23. And I thought “Shri” meant “resplendant”! Well…my source might not have been the best… cleverness is limited by raw materials available methinks. What about that island south of India? Pleez essplain!

    And what caption contest?! And does it have a cash prize?😉

  24. I told you people would clamor for a prize. Ain’t no contest.

  25. I wonder whether we can make Guava jelly with gelatine and guava juice? I haven’t seen the fruit anywhere in England. Your post brought back lovely memories of home…

    Hi, Mallika! I think Pel (below) has answered better than I could have.
    However, if it was not the preserve but the jelly dessert you were talking about, then sure, you could use gelatin with guava juice to make a quick dessert.

  26. Mallika, I don’t know where Anita is; she bounces from party to party, especially weddings, where she sneaks in and samples the food offered. I wouldn’t use gelatine for any fruit-preserving; it’s made from animal parts as a by-product of the meat industry and is a relatively-recent method of making jams, jellies, what have you…I use the old-fashioned method: put a pile of cleaned/peeled/pitted fruit in a pan and cover it with water; simmer it gently until the fruit is soft; then add sugar to taste and balance tartness, and continue to boil gently until it is reduced, thick, and coats the back of a spoon. You can keep a plate in the freezer to blop some on and test the consistency. Never fails! Just don’t let it catch on the bottom.
    Thanks, Pel, for helping out. Just have not been in a blogging kind of mood lately

  27. P.S. If you want jelly, pour the contents into a triple-layer of cheesecloth and hang it to let it drip through. I like jams and whole fruit preserves though for the fiber-goodness.😀

  28. Was that helping? I was just having fun…I hope that recipe works…[nervously bites his nails]

    She could actually just take the sweetened guava cocktail and gently boil it until it coats a spoon, couldn’t she?

  29. Isn’t there a kosher version of gelatin?

  30. […] can hear some people crying for prizes in the hope that I might share some more of the Kashmiri saffron that I may have won. To them I say: to have prizes, there must be a correct or best answer and a […]

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