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Robab Tenga : A Big Citrus Fruit

October 26, 2009
Robab-Tenga is a very delicious and popular citrus fruit from Assam.It is very similar to a Pomelo and Grapefruit .It tastes sweet and sour and is a favorite amongst my family members specially the kids and me.It weighs around 1-1.5 kg at times,has a greenish yellow pitted outer covering.It is considered very auspicious to offer this fruit to God in many rituals and at the time of some specific festivals.I have tasted this fruit in some other parts of India too like Arunachal and once in Karnataka but the one we get here in Assam is the best in taste .It is highly recommended to handle this fruit very carefully because if treated roughly it gets bitter in taste,i had two very over enthusiastic volunteers to hold the fruit while i was about to click the picture( my kids),but the weight of the fruit was little heavier for them to balance,the result was shaky pictures.Finally i settled for this picture where i stuck Robab Tenga between two large spaced bars of grill.
We peel this fruit only minutes before we want to consume it because it gets bitter once you store it after pilling off.As you can see it has about an inch thick spongy cushion like inner covering……God’s perfect packaging to save its taste getting bitter from minor falls and bumps.The inside fruit varies in color from a light pink to a dark pink .I divide the fruit into two parts and slit the back of the fruit one after another section….as you open up the fruits ,large seeds are discarded and the pulp(????or the fruit) is removed very carefully from the thin covering…..as you can see in the picture.To this we add a little salt,chopped green chillies(after removing kid’s portion) and a teaspoon of mustard oil which gives it the final punch….no more pictures after this stage we don’t want to get this treat bitter .

This year the price of this fruit is doubled,i don;t know why? Last season we paid 5 bucks for one while this year it was 10 bucks.We have many trees of this in our village house so we do get our more than fair share from time to time during the season.Have you seen or tasted this fruit before?If yes,share your experience if not you are welcome to Assam ,but be sure of this time of the year(SEP—NOV).

49 Comments
  1. Wow.. thanks for the great detailed info on this fruit. Well, on the outset it looks like Moosambi (Sweet Lime – Citrus Sinensis). But sweet lime is more of yellowish inside, but the fruit you have mentioned is somewhat crimson in color. Infact sweet lime too has the same property.. if you peel it and keep it open to atmospheric oxygen, it gets bitter.Certainly need to taste once to know the difference! Would you mind sharing where you got this one in karnataka?

  2. I had never heard of this fruit before. It sounds like a lot of work, but well worth it. Beautiful pictures. I like the first one and am glad you explained the bars. I was curious.

  3. Looks good, but I have never heard of this fruit before. Looks very similar to the pink grapefruit we buy here.

  4. MOHAN….Thanks ,it was my brother who bought one from Devengere where he was studying 15 years back .@CLYTIE….Thanks,once you learn to peel it ,it is not that hard work and it tastes real good.@PATTY….Thanks,i was sure that it is not a very common fruit,hence the thought of sharing the information came to my mind.

  5. Thanks for the description . I had tasted a grapefruit which looks like the pics but the seeds were very small.Actually what does 'Tenga' mean? In Malayalam there is a similar name 'Thenga' which means coconut.

  6. @BHAVYA.B….Thanks,Tenga means SOUR in Assamese language.

  7. Great post, Kavita!Looks a lot like grapefruit and i love grapefruit and have it often for breakfast.Your pictures of the fruit are awesome!Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!Margie:)

  8. fascinating, wonder what causes it to get bitter? when I lived in Brazil many years ago I tasted a fruit that had a cashew nut on top enclosed in a castanta or covering. when I opened it to get the nut out and touched my lip to it, it had acid and caused my lip to swell. what a surprise and it took quite a while to get my lip back to normal…so I look at new fruit carefully but we do love grapefruit.

  9. This looks just like the batabi lebu as called in bangla and grape fruit as called in english. In cal we slice the grape fruit just the way you have siad and mix it with a bit of salt and green chilli and it tastes lovely. Though it is a bit bitter, but i believe its great for health.

  10. @MARGIE….Thanks.We have a guest from your country right now at my house,she has consumed a lot of it and she is the one who pointed out the similarity between Grape-fruit and Robab-tenga.@LIN…Thanks.Yes,it is always good to be careful before trying out a new food or fruit ,but this fruit is very widely consumed by most and till today i have not come across any bad-reaction.It doesnot get that bitter-bitter but looses some of its sweetness and gets very slightly bitter,because it tastes great when it has that sweet and sour mix it is better consumed fresh as soon as peeled.

  11. @SUJATA….THANKS.I think that it is available in West Bengal too but not very sure of it,in Uttranchal(my home-state)we get a similar fruit called CHAKOTRA.Once i saw this fruit as prasad in Durga-Puja being observed in Kalibari-Marg New Delhi by Bengali Community.

  12. Thanks for the picture, otherwise it was difficult for me to recognize. But is it not the batabi lebu that we bengali normally refer to? from the pics and your description "We peel this fruit only minutes before we want to consume it because it gets bitter once you store it after pilling off" it seems it is the same 🙂

  13. No, I have never tasted Robab Tenga. My mother has a pomelo tree in her yard, and she often gives us some. I don't much care for it, though. I think it is an acquired taste.

  14. Wow! It really does look like our zabon or pomelo. I wish I could eat it but I can't because it interferes with my medication. I did used to love it.

  15. It is just as you said that it tastes sweet and sour, but it is also a very health fruit.

  16. I sure would love to get my mouth on that sucker!

  17. ये बहुत सुंदर है.मुझे इसके रंगों में पाश्चात्य बिम्ब दिखाई दे रहा है. आपने इसको परत दर परत इस तरह खोल कर पेश किया है कि इश्क हुआ जाता है फिर स्वाद और उपयोगिता के बारे में भी….

  18. Nice to know about this fruit.Not aware of this fruit kavi.Here we get grape fruit which is very good for to reduce cholestrol level.I am sure this fruit also will have health benefits.I love the colour inside,it is similar to the colour of the fruit u mentioned.Your kids help u, so sweet :)Thanx for sharing.

  19. Interesting information. I think we call it bubblimaas here and I had tasted it in Kutraalam, a hill station in Tamilnadu. I don't remember about the colour inside.Your children helped you to take the photograph? Then if it is shaky also no problem! Because of the grill, the tray looks like hanging and looks great, Kavita

  20. Kavita,I'm well familiar with this fruit. I'm not sure but often I've heared people near Siliguri calling it 'Daab Neemboo' or something similar. Probably because it shares the same family with Lemon and it as big as a raw coconut (Daabh).

  21. Oh I also have the picture of this tree. Captured when I was back in home town for Diwali a few days back. I'll send you the pic some time.

  22. Hey Kavitha, In Kerala, this fruit is called the babaloos naranga (roughly translated as the big lemon). We still have this tree at my Mom's place. I just love the insides of this fruit which looks like pink pearls. Widely available in the state, in everybody's backyard, haven't seen anybody selling it in the market..So we share a fruit!! coolCyaAshes

  23. @MUSTAFA….THANKS.I just asked few of my Bengali friends living here,they call it JAMBURA.@GIGI..THANKS.I am a fan of this fruit ever since i first tasted it.. my daughter is allergic to some citrus fruits but with this one she had no problems ,lucky of her because she loves Robab.@KAY…THANKS.The other day in my other blog you commented about this fruit on one of my post …in a way you inspired me to write about it.My sis-in-law who was on a very strong trial drug ,she was strictly advised against consuming this fruit.

  24. @HALF INDIAN..THANKS.Thanks for reminding me its health benefits.@BLASE…THANKS.I am glad you want to try this.@KISHORE JEE…DHANYAVAAD.Aap ko yeh ishq dard bhi nahin dega…aap ka hausla badane ka andaaz sabse zuda hai,accha lagta hai.

  25. @VARUNAVI…THANKS dear.Yes,kids get over helpful at times and so much of screaming and halla-gulla is involved that neighbours start inquiring.@SANDHYA…THANKS.Bublimaa is an interesting name.I can't wait to see their happy faces(kids)when i pass your compliment to them,it was a collective effort after all. @NISHANT…THANKS.You are right it does have a similarity with Daabh as far as look is concerned.@PINS and ASHES..THANKS.Baboolos Narang is another interesting name…that is what i love about our country ….unity in diversity.Welcome,once again.

  26. aaa… I know this fruit. it is like a memory from previous birth. it used to be called as "jam-burra" then.have not eaten or seen that for agesgreat post

  27. Jambura? I thought it looked like batabi lebu. Whatever it is called, it tastes heavenly. I love the sweet sour taste. Moreover it has many health benefits.I used to eat this in the afternoon, complete with a dash of chaat masala and green chilly and read a book. Simply divine.

  28. i think in karnataka it is called toraanz. remember eating it in vittal near mangalore.

  29. i have need eaten this, but looks interesting……is it available only in Assam? Local friuits are gud, even better than some exotic ones……i love jack fruit….thanks for sharing

  30. @SUMANDEBRAY…THANKS.Bengalis settled here in Assam call it Jambura as i am told.@APARNA….THANKS.Simply divine..i completely agree!!@MAGIC EYE…THANKS.I tasted it once in Banglore 15 years back i am sure it is found there too..i like the name Toraanz.@ZB…THANKS.It is a very popular and loved fruit out here in Assam but i am sure that it is found in other states too.

  31. I never seen or heard this fruit, thanks a lot for the information.

  32. thanks for the info with pic

  33. Yummy! i love Citrus …i don't think I've tasted one like that.

  34. Oh what a beautiful fruit and how great! It must be very good: unfortunately I do not know.:-(Is wonderful to know new things, traditions of other countries and discover how many beautiful things gives mother earth!Thanks!:-)

  35. Sounds delicious. I wish that type of fruit was easier to find where I live!

  36. Kavita- I couldn't find your e mail address on your blog so up loaded the picture on my web album. The picture is not on my blog so visit this link- http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dXB9RouYULw-NOq7dyTCVw?feat=directlink

  37. In this time of the year, it is good to eat one of those with some chillies and mustard oil when the sun is at your head. Ummm….

  38. You've been honored with the Honest Scrap Blogger Award. Check my blog for details.Here in Arizona, grapefruit trees line the streets and the grapefruits can be had free of charge, but they don't look abything like these.

  39. @SUFFIX,SM,KATHY,AMATAMARI,THAT IS THE CHICKEN,NISHANT,PRAMATHESH,167 DAD…..THANKS all of you.

  40. is it assamese? I have a big tree of it right in our courtyard in kerala. we call it 'the woolen lemon'. Its juice is sweet and slightly sour, and mixed with a bit of ginger and garnished with mint leaves, tastes heavenly.. my dad's specialty actually..

  41. we call it, 'kambili naranga' kerala climate matches assam's anyway

  42. This fruit reminds me of my time spent in Dehradun. It used to be a very popular fruit in Dehradun. –Dave's Dad

  43. gracias a Dios por intiresny

  44. Robab tenga is called Grape fruit in English.Came to know about the name from a fruit chart I bought for my daughter.Please send me your email id. I need to send you an important mail.Thanks,Jyoti SarkarEmail id – naxatra2001@gmail.comWebsitehttp://www.angelnorah.co.in

  45. Hi Kavita,Robab tenga is Grape fruit in English.I came to know about the English terminology from a fruit chart I recently bought for my daughter.One request : I need few of your photographs for my website http://www.angelnorah.co.in. This is a site dedicated to Assam.Please let me know how do I obtain copyright to your pics…Please visit my website and give your precious comments.Also there is a poll.Please do vote for your choice.Thanks,Jyoti Sarkarnaxatra2001@gmail.comwww.angelnorah.co.in

  46. i love dis fruit ….

  47. i love dis fruit !!!!

  48. What is the "State Fruit" of Assam??? Can anybody tell me coreectly?

  49. অসমীয়াত এইবিধ ফলক ৰবাব টেঙা বুলি কয়। ইংৰাজীত Pumelo। ইয়াৰ নটা (Nine)প্রকাৰ অসমত আছে।আনহাতে আঙুৰৰ দৰে থোপা বান্ধি লগা বাবে ইয়াৰে দেখিবলৈ আন এবিধ Citrus জাতীয় ফলক grapefruit বুলি কোৱা হয়। Grapefruit অসমত বিৰল। অ'ত ত'ত দুই-এজোপাহে দেখা যায়। যিকি নহঁওক আপোনাৰ আগ্রহ দেখি ভাল লাগিল। লগতে আমাৰ এই ফলবিধক বিশ্বৰ আগত দাঙি ধৰাৰ বাবে ধন্যবাদ।

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