The hog plum, also known as ambara or amra in Hindi, is widely used as a key flavoring agent in a variety of different cuisines across the country. For example, throughout the Western Ghats, especially the Konkan region and Goa, the hog plum (called ambade or ambado in Konkani) provides a tart taste to vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals like the khatkhate, which is a mixed vegetable stew. It can also be used to create sweet and sour Chutney that is popular in Goa as well as in West Bengal. In Kerala, this fruit can be used to make pickles.

The reason people consume food that is sour isn’t evident. Based on one hypothesis proposed by US research team members in an study paper that was published on February 20, 2022, within Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the receptors that detect sourness originated in fish, and then transformed into terrestrial organisms. Fish from the past would likely have receptors on their body to determine what pH the water had (sourness indicates acidity) where they were navigating.

These days, many people are not sure about the taste of sour foods and are advised to avoid the food. However, just as sweets are a source of calories, salty food items help keep fluid balance in check and umami foods give delicious, meaty flavors which are a result of eating proteins and foods that are sour, such as the hog plum has its own benefits.

The fruit is a significant source of nutrients, and contains medicinal properties. It is a rich source of the phenolic compound, antioxidants natural and minerals. It also contains the properties of malic acid and ascorbic acid calcium, and phosphorus according to research conducted by researchers from Delhi which was that was published by the journal Food Research International in August of 2011. The fruit does not only aid in digestion, but also believed to have antiidiabetic properties.

Recent research has even suggested that the fruit might aid in the treatment of cancer. Scientists of India and Vietnam made use of the extracts from the fruit to create the hematite (iron ore) nanoparticles, which proved to be very effective in battling cancerous mammalian cells in laboratory studies.

Nanoparticles in their own way are used to provide medication to cancerous areas and decrease the quantity of drugs required. Nanoparticle production can be expensive, but the widely available hog plum may aid in reducing costs, according to researchers in a paper published in Environmental Research in November of last year.

Additionally, mucositis (inflammation of mucous membranes that line the digestive tract) is common among patients who are receiving chemotherapy. Hog plum extract may be used to reduce the impact of this disease for those who are undergoing treatment, scientists from Karnataka have reported in a study published in July 2021 published in The Journal Veterinary World.

This goes against the common belief that sour foods cause inflammation. It’s not just the fruit that is beneficial. The bark extracts of the hog-plum tree could protect against oxidative as well as inflammation-related changes that happen in the body as a result of mucositis.

Furthermore, hog-plum seeds contain compounds that can help in the suppression of parasites like Plasmodium Berghei that causes malaria in some rodents. However, further research is required to identify and isolate these substances as well as to determine the mechanism behind inhibition, according to scientists from Thailand within the publication BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies in March 2022.

What’s the meaning behind the name?

While some advantages associated with the hog’s plum are well-known but the fruit hasn’t been extensively studied. The hog plum is classified as belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, which includes the mango and cashew nut. Its genus Spondias is known to have a long history of use dating back at least 6000-years BC from the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, but it’s not extensively studied.

Some scientists consider the hog plum to be an entirely different kind of plant, Spondias pinnata, and others consider it under the umbrella of Spondias, another fruit that is commonly referred to as the June plum. This variety is sweeter, larger and more fleshy.

It is the Spondias Pinnata tree is a deciduous plant that can reach an average height of 25 meters. It is typically located in gardens of homes in tropical regions. it’s not limited in India and is found in nations like Malaysia, Indonesia and Bali in Indonesia, where it is a part in traditional medicine and food.

In Bali, the leaves are utilized to treat and prevent hypoglycemic symptoms of diabetes. When the extract of the leaves was examined on rats it was discovered to be just as effective in treatment as metformin, which is a widely used medicine for treating diabetes according to the findings of research teams who came from Nepal and Australia which was that was released in Scientific World Journal in June 2021.

Evidently, the sour hog’s plum is many advantages, if people can overcome the unpleasant taste.



  • Hog plums: 6
  • Coconut (freshly grated) 3 tablespoons
  • Jaggery 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon
  • Chilli red (whole) 2
  • Curry leaves 2.
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon
  • Salt 1 teaspoon
  • Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon


Peel and wash the hob plums. Cook the oil in a pan with mustard seeds as well as curry leaves. Add the fruits that have been peeled and turmeric, and cook for about a minute. Add 1 cup of water and cook the fruit until they’re soft. While you’re at it, make a thick paste with grated coconut jaggery, sugar, chillies, salt and. Mix this mixture with the fruits that are boiling. Let it cook until the spices are in the fruit. The Chutney is now ready to serve.