Sunday, November 9, 2014

Glossary of Common Fruits of Nepal (English-Nepali) - Part I

Common Fruits of Nepal (English-Nepali with Photographs)

In Nepal, fruits are called  Phal-phulharu (फलफूलहरु). Nepal produces a variety of fruits, probably more than many other subtropical countries. Nepal is situated on the southern slopes of the central Himalayas and occupies a total area of 56,827 sq mi.  Nepal's great biodiversity is associated with the country's exceptional diversity of topographic, climate, and aggro-ecological conditions.  According to these conditions, Nepal is divided into four main physiographic zones, High Himalayas, High Mountains with alpine or sub-alpine climate, Mid-Hills with temperate or subtropical climate, and Lowlands with tropical climate.

These four distinct zones make Nepal very rich in cultivated and wild varieties of fruits. According to research done by Madhusudan P. Upadhaya and Bal K. Joshi, there are more than 100 varieties of 15 major fruits.  The authors write, "Pharping cultivator (Kathmandu District) of pear, Junar (variety of sweet orange) which are indigenous to Kathmandu valley and Dhankuta in the Eastern part of Nepal and Sindhuli District -- respectively are also commercial production.  Many cultivators of lime and lemon are indigenous to Mid-Hills of Nepal and popular even in neighboring countries.  These cultivators perform better than exotic clones due to many desirable economical characters. In case of Citrus fruits, sour orange "Kalo Jyamir", citron "Bimiro" etc. are the indigenous fruit plants cultivated in Sub-Tropical climate areas".

Citrus fruits are usually found in abundance in winter months. The best varieties come from Dhankuta (धनकुटा), Terhathum District (तेह्रथुम ), Sankhuwasabha District (सङ्खुवासभा),  Ilam (इलाम), Sindhuli District (सिन्धुली), Ramechhap District (रामेछाप), Dhading District (धादिङ), Kabhrepalanchok District (काभ्रेपलाञ्चोक), Lamjung District (लमजुङ), Syangja District (स्याङ्जा), Palpa District (पाल्पा), Gulmi District (गुल्मी) and Dadeldhura District (डडेलधुरा) area. Some of the unique varieties are produced in large quantities.  The most common are: Suntalaa (Mandarin), Hariyo Kaagati (Lime), Kaagati (Lemon), Nibuwaa (Lemon), Bhogate (Pomillo), Mausham (Sweet Orange), Junaar (Junar Orange), Bimiro (Citron), Kaalo Jayamir (Rough Lemon), Kathe Jyaamir (Rough Lemon), Keep (Spur Orange), Chaaksi (Sweet Lime), Shanktro (Grapefruit), and Muntalaa (Kumquat).  Please check the botanical names under the glossary of fruits.

In the Terai regions, tropical fruits like -  Aamp (Mango), Katahar (Jackfruit), lichi (Lychee), Keeraa (Banana), Sarifaa (Custard Apples)  and many other varieties grow in great numbers.  The best varieties come from
Bara District (बारा), Parsa District (पर्सा), Sarlahi (सर्लाही), Chitwan District (चितवन), Kapilvastu District (कपिलवस्तु), Nawalparasi District (नवलपरासी), Dang Deukhuri  (दाङ्ग देउखरी),  Kabhrepalanchok District (काभ्रेपलाञ्चोक), Dhading District (धादिङ), and Nuwakot District (नुवाकोट).  Nepal has a complex topography with hills and flat lands.  Many fruits that are grown in the remote areas are hard to transport due to the lack of basic transportation.  These areas are often lacking adequate storage facilities.  It is imperative that Nepal develop fruit industry to help economy.

It is common knowledge that in every season there is a special kind of fruit.  All the seasonal fruits in Nepal are tree-ripened and have a delicious taste, texture, flavor and color.  Some of the fruits that are grown in Nepal are a definitely "must try".   The most popular ones are the exotic loose-skin tangerine, delicious mangoes, guavas bursting with flavor, custard fruit, the mild flavored papaya and the brown-skinned-juicy-crunchy pear.

In Nepali culture, fruits plays an important role in many festive occasions and religious rituals.  They are considered one of the most auspicious foods  offered to deities as a part of devotional worship offerings. The religious rituals are never complete without offering some fruits (coconut, banana, bel fruit, sugarcane) along with flowers, incense, Naivedya sweets (food made especially for deities), holy water and light.  Different fruits are used for specific religious occasions.  Fruits like bananas are considered good luck and are given to people who are about to travel. 

Most of the pictures in my blog weres captured in the colorful open-air market around Indra Chowk square and the historic district of Asan Bazaar in Kathmandu.  In the early hours of morning time, the farmers and fruit vendors set up produce stalls and are ready for service.  The locals have a great selection of seasonal or year around fruits to choose during the peak season.   You may see a local farmer balancing a bamboo pole across his shoulders, holding two wicker woven baskets full of freshly picked fruits and vegetables, heading to the market.  In Nepali vegetable markets, one can experience the proud skills of vendors arranging every tiny space with a dramatic display of vegetables and fruits. On many street corners, vendors set up their wicker baskets stands,  with a just picked fresh fruits and vegetables.  The most popular ones are green Gooseberry, Lichi fruit, Labsi (Hog plum), Guava, and Tangerines.

The vegetables are sold in the markets weighted in a hand-held local scale, known as Taraaju, which comes in a variety of sizes and forms.  Measurements are done in kilograms.  Most Nepali households do not store fresh vegetables and fruits, so they are bought fresh every day.

I am so glad to be able to compile the glossary of the most common fruits of Nepal and present it to you in my blog. I trust the glossary is useful to you, but I am still looking for some pictures of fruits that I wanted to add to the lists.  I have included the images of the fruits along with Nepali, Scientific and Common names of the most fruits of Nepal.  Most of the information was collected from several journals, research papers and a book on the introduction to Nepalese Food Plants.  Please go through the images and check the scientific names and if you find it incorrect in some cases, please let me know what I missed. Since I am not a botanist, there may be some inaccuracy.  I would deeply appreciate your feedback - so that I can revise and make corrections.
I will be dividing the "visual guide to the fruits of Nepal" into three different sections.  Please check each one out.  I hope you will have much fun as I am have had putting together the virtual tour of Nepali fruits.  Please drop me a few lines in the comments section of the blog.  Your comments and feedback are important and I would love to hear from you. 

Apple -  Shaayau - (स्याउ) - Malus sylrestris
Apricot - Khurpaani - (खुर्पानी) - Prunus armenica L.
Avocado - Gheuphal - (घीउफल) - Persea americana
Banana - Keraa - (केरा) - Musa paradisiaca
Barberry, Nepal - Chutro - (चुत्रो) - Berberis aristata Dc.
Bayar (Chinese Date, Indian Plum) - (बयर) - Zigyphus mauritiana Lamk
Bay-Berry - Kaaphal - (काफल) - Myrica esculenta
Bead Plum - Haade Bayer - (हाडेवयर) - Zizyphus incurva Roxb
Blueberry - Neelo Aaiselu - नीलो ऐसेलु
Cherry - Paiyun - (पैयुँ) - Prunus cerasoides D. Don
Coconut - Nariwal - (नरिवल) - Cocos nucifera L.
Custard Apple or Sugar Apple - Sariphaa - (सरीफा) - Annona squamosa L.
Date - Khajoor - (खजूर) - Phoenix sylvestris Roxb.
Fig - Anjir, Nevaro - (अन्जिर, नेभारो) - Ficus carica L.
Goji berry - Goji Beri - (गोजी बेरी) - Lycium barbarum
Gooseberry, Indian - Amalaa - (अमला) - Emblica officinalis
Grape - Angoor -Daakh - (अंगुर, दाख) - Vitis vinifera L.
Grapefruit - Sankhatro - (संखत्रो) - Citrus paradisi Macf.
Guava - Ambaa or Ammaa - (अम्बा) - Psidium guajava L.
Jack Fruit - Rukh Kathar - (रुख कटहर) - Artocarpus heterophylla Lamk
Java Plum, Black Plum - Jaamun - (जामुन) - Eugenia jambolana Lamk.
Kumquat - Muntalaa - (मुन्तला) - Fortunella joponica Swingle
Lapsi - Nepalese Hog Plum - (लप्सी)
Lemon (very sour) - Jyaamir - (ज्यामिर)
Lemon, Rough - Kaathe Jyamir - (काठे ज्यामीर) - Citrus jambhiri
Lemon, Citron - Bimiro - (बिमिरो) - Citrus medica L.
Lemon, (chook-amilo lemon) - Kaalo Jyamir - (कालो ज्यामीर) -  Citrus junos Tanaka
Lemon (yellow) - Nibuaa - (नीबुआ) - Citrus limon Burm
Lime (green) Kaagati - (कागती) - Citrus aurantifolia Swingle
Lime sweet - Chaaksi - (चाक्सी) - Citrus limettioides Tanaka
Lychee, Lichee - Lichi - (लिची) - Nephelium litchi camp.
Loquat – Loquat - (लौकाट) - Eribotrya eliptica
Mango - Aanp - (आँप) - Mangifera indica L.
Mulberry (black, red, local) - Kimbu - (किम्बु) - Morus alba L., Morus rubra L., Morus bombycis Koidzumi)
Oleaster - Maadilo - (मदिलो) - (Elaeagnus latifolia L.)
Orange - (Mandarin, Tangerine, Satsuma orange, Loose skin Orange) - Suntalaa - (सुन्तला) - Citrus reticulata Blanco
Orange (sweet or Malta orange) -  Maushambi - (मौशम्बी) - Citrus sinensis Osbeck
Orange - Junaar - जुनार - Citrus sinensis
Orange Keep, (Spur Orange, Bitter Orange) - Keep - (कीप) - Citrus aurantium L.
Papaya - Papitaa or Mewaa - (पपिता अथवा मेवा) - Carica papaya L.
Peach - Aaru - (आरु) - Prunus persica Stokes.
Pear - Nashpaati - (नास्पाती) - Pyrus communis L.
Pear Chinese  - Chinia Naspaati - (चिनिया नासपाती) - Pyrus: pyrifolia Nakai.
Persimmon - Haluaabed -  (हलुवाबेद) - Japanese persimmon - Diospyros kaki
Persimmon - Haluaabed -  (हलुवाबेद) - Diospyros virginiana L.Physalis
Plum - Alubukharaa - (आलुबखडा) - Prunus domestica
Pineapple - Bhuin Katahar - (भुइँ कटहर) - Ananas Comosus
Pomegranate - Anaar, Daarim - (अनार - दारिम) - Punica granatum L.
Pomilo or Pummelo - Bhogate - (भोगटे) - Citrus grandis Osbeck
Quince - Nepali Shaayau - (नेपाली स्याउ) - Cydonia oblonga Mill.
Raspberry Himalayan - Ainselu - (ऐंसेलु) - (yellow, red, black) - Rubus ellipticus Smith
Sati Bayar - (Nepal sumac) - Satibayar - (सति वयर) - Rhus parviflora Roxb.
Starfruit - Kantaraa - (कन्तरा) - Carambola
Strawberry - Straberi - (स्ट्रबेरी) - Fragaria ananassa
Wood Apple, Bengal quince - Bel - (बेल) - Aegle marmelos Corrg
Walnut (thick shell Black) - Haade Okhar - (हाडेओखर) - Juglans regia L.
Water Melon - Kharbooza or Kharbujaa - (खर्बुजा) - Cucumis melo L.
Wild Pear - Mayal - (मयल) - Pyrus pashia Buch-Ham

Apple - Shaayau - (स्याउ)
Apricot - Khurpaani - (खुर्पानी) - Photo courtesy
Avocado - Gheuphal - (घीउफल) - Photo courtesy
 Banana - Keraa - (केरा)
Another close-up picture of -  Banana - Keraa - (केरा)
 Bay-Berry - Kaaphal - (काफल) - Myrica esculenta - Photo Courtesy - Saroj Bhattrai
Blueberry - Neelo Aaiselu - नीलो ऐसेलु
Cherry - Paiyun - (पैयुँ)
Citron - Bimiro - (बिमिरो) - Citrus medica L.
Coconut - Nariwal - (नरिवल)
Custard Apple or Sugar Apple - Sariphaa - (सरीफा) - Annona squamosa L.
Close-up image - Custard Apple or Sugar Apple - Sariphaa - (सरीफा) - Annona squamosa L.
Fig - Anjir, Nevaro - (अन्जिर, नेभारो) - Ficus carica L.
Fig - Anjir, Nevaro - (अन्जिर, नेभारो) - Ficus carica L.
Goji berry - Goji Beri - (गोजी बेरी) - Lycium barbarum - photo courtesy
Another image of - Goji berry - Goji Beri - (गोजी बेरी) - Lycium barbarum - Photo courtesy 
Gooseberry, Indian - Amalaa - (अमला) - Emblica officinalis
Grape - Angoor -Daakh - (अंगुर, दाख)
Grape - Angoor -Daakh - (अंगुर, दाख)
Guava - Ambaa or Ammaa - (अम्बा)
Close-up image - Guava - Ambaa or Ammaa - (अम्बा)
Grapefruit - Sankhatro - (संखत्रो)
Please turn to the next chapter (2 of 3) to take another visual guide to the fruits of Nepal 

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  1. Wow! We have so many varieties of fruits in Nepal (I didn't realise it until I saw your post). Keep up the good work, Jyoti didi. I hope to see many more photos of Nepal in future.

  2. what is the local name of goji berry......where do we find figs fruit n plant.

  3. Thanks for given information, this is very useful for me. Visit our Website

  4. great work........i think it is Malus sylvestris not sylrestria

  5. नेपाल ने 500 रुपये और 2000 रुपये के नए भारतीय नोटों पर पाबंदी लगाई

  6. This is really wonderful list. Check this Android app to learn fruit names in English in a very short time. It is learning by game.

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  9. Do you know where to get Jinngola fruit in Nepal

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  11. I have never tasted this natural product either, however it looks fascinating, dangling from trees like enormous German frankfurters. Some are the shade of profound purple egg plants (aubergines) and they are identified with the horned melon, nectar melons and watermelons, to give some examples of its family members. exotic fruit