Tonight I was lucky enough to have a spa date with the girls, followed by a curry- a very very good curry.
I try to make a pact that I will try something different on the menu if I can. Tonight I went for a Satkora Gosht- a lamb curry made using the Satkora fruit which comes from the Sylhet area of Bangladesh (or so the menu told me). And although I had no idea what I was ordering, it turned out to be delicious and this made me want to look further into the story behind the fruit.
The lovely waiter reminded me of the name and told me that it was part of the orange family. It turns out that its tree has thorns, the fruit grow to about 6cm in diameter and is actually used more as a vegetable. Before we left, he handed me a piece of paper with it written down on- how thoughtful!
In Sylhet, Bangladesh there is, in fact, a folksong dedicated to the Shatkora and interestingly, some say that it has healing powers, probably due to it being rich in vitamin C. Apparently you really have to know how to prepare it to get the taste right, as it can be quite sour and bitter. But when you do get it right- that’s when it transforms a dish into excellence.
Its biological name is Citrus Macroptera, which is interesting in itself as the ‘ptera’ comes from the Latin word for ‘wings’, due to the shape of its leaves. The ‘petiole’ (the bit which attaches the leaf to the stem) is actually almost as big (wide and long) as the leaf itself as it has ‘wings’, and gives the effect of the plant having double leaves.
So the next time you sit down to have a curry- or any other meal out in fact, take a minute before you choose your ‘usual’ as there may be a little gem waiting for you to discover by taking a closer look.