Houston Finds: Seema Chintakaaya (Camachile Fruits)

Seema Chintakaaya
Seema Chintakaaya
(Koduka Puli, Jungle Jilebi, Bilayati Imli, Pithecellobium Dulce, Camachile, Makhaamthet)

I found these dried seema chintakaayalu at Canino Farmers Market, Houston. Here they are sold under the name Camachile fruits, shelled from the pods and partially dried.

In Nandyala, India, they were my childhood delicacy and we used to eat them fresh. They are readily available from trees lining the village fields and roads and on sale at the roadside stalls and public markets. The fresh, green pods ripen to pinkish red pods and that signals snack time not only for humans, but also for monkeys, parrots, and other creatures. The mature pods have whitish-pink flesh around shiny brown seeds and the soft flesh taste sweet and tart. We love this nutritious, nature’s snack and it’s a delight to find them here in Houston again after over a decade.

16 Comments

  • By Kiran, June 27, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

    Wow Indira,
    Thank you for sharing your finds.Seema chintakayalu thini 10 years ayipoyindi.Looks like your farmers market is full of surprises that take us down the memory lane.

  • By GB, June 27, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    Trip down memory lane, indeed! We used call it jungli jalebi :) (in the north!) There were so many fresh treasures as kids- “Jamun” and “ber” and guavas, not to mention the mangoes.. :) Nice post!

  • By lalitha, June 27, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

    Indira garu. Maa chinnatanam gurthukochhinadi, chudagane. Memu sitamma kayalu ani mariyu seema chinta kayalu ani pilichevaram.konni teeyaga bagundevi, mari konni vagaruga gontu pattestundedi. thanks for posting.

  • By Apolina, June 28, 2010 @ 2:06 am

    We not only ate the fruits but also the seeds after peeling off the thick black skin. Thanks for sharing.

  • By Sanjeeta kk, June 28, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    Wow! Same here. I think it is Kikar fruit. I had it some 35 years back and the taste still lingers. Hope to find it again. I suppose I have to go to village side to eat all these delicacies, as its difficult to find such trees in cities.
    Nice snapshot.

  • By Aruna, June 28, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Its been ages that I even saw / tasted these. It sure does remind me of my childhood days. Thank you for sharing.

  • By cs, June 28, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    You are lucky to find them in Houston. Hope I can find some in my local produce some time where i live in east coast! We used to eat them when we used to visit my grandparents in Chittoor dist!

  • By Vani, June 28, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    WOW! Thanks for the post….these are my favorite still…had them last time when I was in India…from the very tree I used to pick from 15 – 20 years ago!!

  • By Cumin Coriander, June 28, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

    What is it called in Tamil?

  • By Smrithi, June 28, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    Tamil name -’Koduka Puli’

  • By N S, June 28, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Your post reminds me my childhood. I had them in my last India trip. You are lucky to get them here.

  • By Santhiya, June 28, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Its amazing that you found them in the farmer’s market. Its called in tamil as “Seeni Puliyankai” [may be].

  • By Shilpa, June 29, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Thanks for posting this Indira…it sure brought back lot of childhood memories….this tree was on our way to school & all kids would try to climb on the tree..or throw stones to get to those fruits…I have forgotten the name in Kannada..does anyone knw?

  • By Giri, September 7, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    I know it (in Tamil) as “kona puliyangaai”. Am now hoping to find seeds so I can grow them inn my garden next year :)

  • By geetha, January 25, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

    I wsa so excited reading this post.. it is my all time favorite..we had some 10 trees in our quarters in mettur, tamilnadu and the fruit from 1 each one tasted different.. we call in “Kona puliyanga” or “Senni puliyanga” or “Kodukkaapuli”.. your blog is awesome..love it:)

  • By Ravi, June 23, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Wow, its one of my fav. fruit back in my childhood days… my grandfathers house’s backyard had this tree… we used to climb and get them…I had a childhood memory forever with the rashes of thorns on this tree….we used to call them “seema chintakayalu”….It took some time for me to find in a google… Thanks a lot for sharing and providing the info… next visit to Houston, I will visit the store and have it for sure…

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