The exotic dragon fruit, once available only at the exclusive supermarkets, is now sold on the roadside in Telangana, thanks to the local cultivation

Dragon fruits are being cultivated in Telangana for a while now. However, this season there’s a rich harvest and fruit sellers are found selling them on the roads and highways with baskets full of this fruit which was otherwise seen only on the refrigerated shelves in supermarkets.

Fruit vendors on the Nagarjuna Sagar and Chilkur route who are mostly seen selling guavas and papayas are happy to sell a ‘new fruit’ as called by 35-year-old Kanchamma. She can hardly pronounce the name as she’s filling in for her son at the fruit stall. She says, “People who know the fruit are buying in big numbers. Mostly, people on their way to their farmhouses in cars stop by and buy them. We ate the fruit once or twice and that’s about it. It is expensive for our consumption. We are selling it at ₹250 for a kilogram. I am told in the city it is sold for ₹300 per kilogram. But what we sell is fresh and not refrigerated. The fruits have a good shelf life but won’t last long if it is sunny and hot. As the weather is slightly cool we are able to sell them outside.”

This year white dragon fruit is replaced with a pink one. While the taste and texture of the fruit are the same, the pink fruit has a very strong pink colour that gives smoothie bowls and juices a delectable hue.

Dragons on the roadside

To make the best use of dragon fruits in your food, check out recipes on social media pages. It is recommended for weight watchers as dragon fruit is low in calorie and is an ideal fruit to snack on. Making smoothies out of it is the easiest way to enjoy it with cereal. The pink dragon fruit is ideal for frozen desserts — ice creams, puddings, milk shakes, smoothies, sorbets — one can get innovative with this fruit.

The fruit’s neutral flavour profile also makes it an ideal ingredient to be used in baking bread. A bakery in Vietnam is doing just that. They are using up the excess dragon fruit in bread dough and making pink loaves of bread.

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