The underrated jamun, or Indian blackberry, is a nutritional powerhouse. Also known as java or black plum, this seasonal berry is available from June-August.

It delivers calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, vitamin C, and loads of difficult-to-find B vitamins—thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, vitamin B6. Plus, it is low in calories: 100g has just 62 calories.

High iron content makes it a must-eat food for those prone to anaemia; it boosts immunity and also has anti-ageing properties owing to the presence of antioxidants.

The presence of calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin C means it is good for bone health and serves as an osteoporosis-preventive food.

It aids in digestion, relieving stomach pain and reducing flatulence. It’s a diuretic too, so it’s a perfect antidote to water retention.

Jamun is a diabetes-preventive food thanks to its hypoglycaemic (helps keep your blood sugar stable) effect.

—Experts: Kanika Malhotra, senior nutritionist, HealthCare atHOME; and Aditi Sharma, executive nutrition and dietetics department, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.

‘Jamuns’ are an excellent source of B vitamins. Photo: iStock
‘Jamuns’ are an excellent source of B vitamins. Photo: iStock

Jamun chai chaat

300g deseeded jamun; 1tsp light soy sauce; 50g tamarind chutney; 20g jaggery; 4 tbsp ready-made mushroom sauce; 4 wedges of deseeded watermelon; 1 garlic clove; 20g fresh green chillies; 2 lemon wedges; sea salt to taste; 1 tbsp coriander stalks; 3 dates, chopped; 2 tbsp of any mild, light tea; and some fresh mint leaves.

Method Cook tamarind chutney with mushroom sauce and light soy sauce for 15 minutes on low heat. Adjust the sourness with jaggery. Keep the chutney aside to cool. Brew tea in warm water and cool. Add the melon wedges, mint and sea salt to the tea, and cool again. Use a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, chillies, sea salt and coriander stalks into a paste . Add the tamarind-mushroom chutney and mix in the jamun, dates and lemon wedges. Serve the watermelon and jamun mix side by side.

—Chef Nishant Kumar Choubey

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