Diversifying Agriculture for Better Lives

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04 April 2011
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Deepa Dwivedi, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Plant Science, Ambedkar University, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, has sent us this interesting factsheet on barhal (Artocarpus lakoocha), a poorly known tree of the humid sub-Himalayan regions of India with edible fruits of an intense yellow color, and peculiar taste reminiscent of citrus. The genus Artocarpus is well-known for the pantropically distributed breadfruit (A. altilis) and jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), but the genus contains some 50 species, several of which are used for their edible fruits. Here in Malaysia, cempedak (A. integer) is a common sight in supermarkets. Cempedak fruits combine the texture of jackfruit with hints of durian flavour.

Prof Dwivedi describes the food and medicinal uses of barhal, and has identified factors that have possibly constrained the wider use of the species. The tree has comparatively low yields, its fruits are highly perishable and are irregularly shaped, which is said to result in poor market acceptability. We look forward to further research to address how these constraints can be overcome: perhaps through the selection of superior genotypes with better yield and fruit types, or convenience products with better shelf life? Apologies to Prof Dwivedi for the delay in posting her very interesting material!

13 Responses so far.

  1. A.Singh says:

    Hello,

    I have been trying to find the origin of this fruit for years. I am of Indian origin and great great grandparents migrated to Guyana SA in the late 1800 after slavery was abolished. As a child in Guyana, I grew up eating this tart/sweet fruit and loved it. I am confident they brought this fruit’s seeds from India as I can’t seem to find the fruit anywhere and I travel a lot.

    Thanks,

    A

  2. Horace Mahara says:

    Interesting articles..can someone indicate the health benefits of this fruit..thanks..am in the caribbean…

  3. umar khan says:

    lakoocha fruit chajiye please call me9910345386 delhi

  4. Murali Dhar Madhur says:

    Yesterday for some reason was thinking about ‘Barhal’ a fruit from my childhood and today early morning in the market at Hajipur[Bihar] found one person selling it in the roadside early morning bazar.Had to google the hindi name to arrive at this ,
    Great feeling.

  5. shivani says:

    This article proved to be a eureka moment for me today. i had been searching for just one look at my fruit from childhood days for long. Had begun to presume that just like the so many species this too has perhaps gone extinct. The article not only toook me down nostalgic lanes but also the value of a name. You see where i hail from in Bihar it was addressed to as Burher. No wonder then all my efforts were in vain on the net and also otherwise. Immensely indebted to Prof Deepa Dwivedi for letting me have the hope of getting to taste this friut once again…it’s gr8 nutritional value…which i was unaware of till now. Can’t express with words the delight to see it here. Artocarpus lakoocha will keep me wanting to seek out more in the form of articles and more pictures. Thank you very much indeed! :) ))

    • t.khoo says:

      Hi Shivani, you are most welcome! We are very happy to hear that our article has helped you in reconnecting with your favourite fruit from childhood days. Common names proved to be a problem due to differing languages and spelling variations (in your case). We would advice that you learn the scientific names which would negate out all discrepancies. Cheers!

  6. Amjad says:

    I want to share some informations of this fruit with you because many years ago we had this plant in our home and my mother was an expert in making a delicious pickle with this fruit (koi luta de mere beete howe din).

    Common name: Dewua/Monkey Jack (Lakoocha).
    Botanical name: Artocarpus lakoocha/FamilyMoraceae (Mulberry family)
    Synonyms: Artocarpus lacucha, Artocarpus ficifolius.

    Dewua/monkey jack fruits are nearly round or irregular, 2 to 5 inches wide, velvety, dull-yellow tinged with pink, with sweet sour pulp which is occasionally eaten raw but mostly made into curries or chutney. A dewua fruit contains 20–30 seeds that are fleshy with thin seed coat. The edible fruit pulp is believed to act as a tonic for the liver. Inside a ripe dewua fruit looks like a mini jackfruit. Dewua tree can be 10 -15 m tall. Its leaves are large, 25-30 cm long, 15-20 cm wide.

    • t.khoo says:

      Hi Amjad. Many thanks for the information sharing. Would you mind sharing the recipe to pickling this yummy fruit? Is there a cultural origin/story attached to the stated recipe, ie. taken usually or only in certain festive celebration? Also, do you have beautiful photographs that you could share with our readers on this delicious pickled fruit? Thank you.

      • Amjad says:

        Dear T.Khoo thanks for appreciation, first of all I would like to share the pickle recipe of barhal,my mother cut the fruit of barhal into big pieces then fried these pieces in oil in a frying pan and during frying she add red chilli,salt,(about oregano I am not dead sure).she did not fried it very much, then she kept it in a tray for 2 or 3 hours(for cooling) and finally she put it in a jar and add mustard oil, pickle was sinked in mustard oil because if some fruit opened it caught fungi. It was believed in the town that it is the tastiest pickle ever. We don’t use it on special festival it was used almost daily on lunch time. Amjad(Sialkot-Pakistan) email hidden; JavaScript is required

        • t.khoo says:

          Dear Amjad, many thanks for sharing your mom’s recipe with us and our apologies for the late reply. We would love to see some beautiful pictures on this delicious pickle – when the cut fruit is fried, when the pickle undergoes fermentation in the jar, how the finished pickle is served on dish. We tried to ‘Google Image’ your mentioned keywords “koi luta de mere beete howe din” but the returned results were none relevant. Also, you overlooked mentioning how long should the pickling/fermentation duration takes place before the taste is developed? You could send those pictures to my email address at email hidden; JavaScript is required and we would then update our blog post on Barhal to include your contributed recipe, with due credits given accordingly to you.

  7. Asad Baig says:

    Dear Madam,

    indeed your adicle is informative
    my grandmother is very fond of barhal, would be thankful to you if you can share further info. like seasonality and availability of barhal… since i am not able to get this fruit here in new delhi..
    do write me on my email hidden; JavaScript is required .

    thanking you in antic

  8. Khurshid A Karimi says:

    Sometimes life gives those lovely gifts when you most needed and least expected. Your article is just that for me. Any further detail will be highly appreciated. My email is email hidden; JavaScript is required

    As a child I was in total love and awe for this delicious fruit. Lately, I have been scouring the web to know more about it, now that I am in UK and haven’t seen one/ate one.

    Call me mad if you must, but I plan to make my next visit to India timing it for this fruit to be available. I refer it as my Barhal Visit and my wife and daughters laugh at it.

    An important point that I will like to make. Nature in its many mysterious ways have made few pleasures that are not replicable and portable. I would rather leave it that way. It makes every place unique.

    Humble Barhal, in all your modesty, you have quietly succeded in that concept by just lying low. Well done, wait for me , I will come to you.

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