Friday, November 12, 2010

Pomme Cythere - apples of Venus

The pomme cythere (French origin, apple of Cytherea - another name for Venus, goddess of love; also golden apple) surely refers to its golden nectar-y pulp when it is ripe or its delicious distinctive fragrance. In some places, it is disliked for its spiny seed and considered pig food. In Trinidad, it is plentiful from Divali through Christmas and enjoyed in peppery chows (when the fruit is green), in juices when it is ripe, or curried like a chutney.

Here are two ways with pomme cythere: both for green not quite ripe fruit.

POMME CYTHERE CHOW
Pomme cytheres, three or four peeled
Hot pepper, sliced
Garlic, one clove crushed
Salt, half teaspoon
Brown sugar, two tablespoons
Chadon beni, 2 leaves cut in slivers (optional)

Peel the fruit, then use the knife to cut a longitudinal wedge out of it. Continue to cut wedges until you have taken all the fleshy part off the seed. discard the seed (or plant it). Season with the other ingredients and refrigerate for a couple hours. Then eat!
These wedges have stringy spines - just chew and remove like bones!


CURRIED POMME CYTHERE
Pomme cytheres, half ripe and firm, six
Salt, half teaspoon
Whole geera (cumin), heaping teaspoon
Garlic, two or three cloves, crushed
Curry powder, two tablespoons
Amchar massala, heaping tablespoon
Oil, 3 tablespoons
Brown sugar, a cup (more if you think it needs it)
Hot pepper, one sliced (with or without seeds - depending on how hot you like it)
Quartered pomme cythere fruit

Wash fruits (no need to peel) and use a sharp knife to cut in quarters. Heat deep pot and add geera seeds until fragrant. Add oil, garlic and hot pepper and reduce heat to medium. Add fruit quarters and stir well for a few minutes. Cover (to allow fruit to steam) tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook covered, stirring every five minutes or so to make sure it doesn't burn.  Sprinkle salt, amchar massala and curry powder and stir well when the fruit are starting to soften. If the frit are dry and sticking to bottom of pot, add half cup of water, and continue to cook at medium to low heat, covered, stirring frequently. You may have to cook like this for about 40 minutes. Try not to add too much water to make it soupy.

When the fruit is soft, add sugar and stir well. Continue to cook for another 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar is well-absorbed and the mixture is chutney-like. Remove from heat and cool before serving. You can store in the refrigerator for a few days, delicious cold or hot.
Curried pomme cythere

2 comments:

  1. The curried pomme cythere sounds delicious,I can try it with green apples, to eat with curried chicken,...I'm gonna try it tomorrow..
    the chow makes my mouth water!!

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