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Chibud melons are medium to large in size and have an oblong to oval shape with curved, blunt ends. The melon’s rind is smooth and firm with a mottled, golden-yellow to brown base hue, sometimes tinted with patches of green. The surface is also covered with thin, cream-colored, broken stripes that extend from the blossom to the stem end. Underneath the rind, the flesh is dense, white to orange, and aqueous with a tender, succulent consistency. There is also a central cavity filled with ivory oval seeds suspended in a gelatinous liquid and cream-colored fibers. Chibud melons have a very mild and neutral flavor with sweet, cantaloupe-like nuances. The melon will also emit a musky and sweet aroma when ripe.
Chibud melons are available in the summer through fall.
Chibud melons, botanically classified as Cucumis melo, are a type of Indian melon belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. The large melons grow on creeping, trailing vines and are a seasonal ingredient grown during the Indian monsoon season, favored for their juicy flesh and sweet, mild flavor. Chibud melons are also known as Mash melons, Chiber, Chibbad, and Chibbada and are a somewhat rare variety that is cultivated on a small scale along the west coast of India. Chibud melons have historically been used as a food source, a spiritual offering, and decoration for several Hindu holidays, and the mild melons are primarily consumed fresh to savor the succulent, aqueous nature of the flesh.
Chibud melons are a good source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning. The melons also contain some fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and are a source of hydration as the flesh has a high water content.
Chibud melons have a neutral, subtly sweet flavor primarily utilized in fresh, uncooked preparations. The melons are sliced, discarding the rind and seeds, and the flesh can be consumed straight, out of hand, cut and mixed into green salads, or used as a fresh topping over ice cream, shaved ice, or other desserts. Chibud melons are also blended into juices, milkshakes, and lassi, a yogurt-based drink, or they can be mixed with coconut milk to create a sweet fruit bowl. In India, Chibud melons are often served with dumplings or flat pancakes, known as Chibada-che pole. Chibud melons pair well with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper and fruits including mango, bananas, lime, and coconut. Whole, unwashed, and unopened Chibud melons should be ripened at room temperature for the best quality and flavor. Once ripe, the melons are recommended to be consumed immediately. Sliced pieces will keep for 1 to 4 days when stored in the refrigerator.
Chibud melons are a favored seasonal ingredient in the Konkan region along the west coast of India and are commonly utilized in a regional dish known as rasayana. The sweet dish is comprised of Chibud melon mixed with rice, coconut milk, palm candy sugar, spices, and nuts. Rasayana is customarily consumed cold and is viewed as a refreshing, cooling meal. The dish is also consumed during Navaratri, a festival celebrating the Hindu deity Durga. Navaratri translates from Hindi to mean “nine nights,” also the festival’s duration, and for many families abstaining from specific foods such as meat, grains, onion, and alcohol during the celebration, rasayana is a nutritious dish to help provide energy during times of fasting. Chibud melons are also used as decorations during Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival honoring the birth of the god Ganesh. During the festival, Chibud melons are gathered along with other locally sourced flowers, seeds, leaves, fruits, and nuts and are hung across a canopy known as a matoli over a Ganesh idol. The seasonal decorations celebrate nature, and one Ganesh idol can have as many as 400 pieces of decorations hung above it.
Chibud melons are believed by experts to be native to the Konkan region of India, an area situated along the mid-western coast. Within Konkan, the melons are specifically found in the city of Goa, and the melons have been grown for culinary and cultural purposes since ancient times. Chibud melons have mostly remained localized to India and are a common home garden cultivar. When the melons come into season during the monsoon, they are sold through fresh markets, along roadside fruit stands, and are also gifted from home gardens to family and friends. Outside of India, Chibud melons are cultivated in very small quantities through specialty farms worldwide.
Recipes that include Chibud Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Mad Scientist's Kitchen!!||How to Serve Chibud?|