Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Stirring it up with the Passion Flower

I first saw this extraordinary flower when someone gave me one long ago. And then it was only years later that a plant left me by a friend suddenly produced these blossoms!


Unfortunately, that plant did not survive neglect when we were away on a trip and I have been unable to find seeds on creepers that I see in the neighbourhood. I loathe buying plants and seeds because I hold it in the same regard that I do the concept of buying pets or husbands or wives.

People have imbued the flower with symbolical meaning.  
Roman Catholic priests of the late 1500's named it for the Passion (suffering and death) of Jesus Christ. They believed that several parts of the plant, including the petals, rays, and sepals, symbolized features of the Passion. The flower's five petals and five petallike sepals represented the 10 apostles who remained faithful to Jesus throughout the Passion. The circle of hairlike rays above the petals suggested the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the day of His death.
In India, blue passionflowers are called Krishnakamala in Karnataka and Maharashtra, while in Uttar Pradesh and generally north it is colloquially called "Paanch Paandav" (referring to the five Pandavas in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata). The five anthers are interpreted as the five Pandavas, the divine Krishna is at the centre, and the radial filaments are opposing hundred. The colour blue is moreover associated with Krishna as the colour of his aura.
Apparently, the fruit of this plant - this variety, at least - is edible. Mine did not survive till fruiting, alas. And I look forwards to getting a Passion Flower plant sometime in the near future so that I can try out various things with the fruit. 

Passionfruit and cross section - fir0002 - via Commons

Passion Fruit - Uses

Roughly adapted from Wikipedia

In Australia and New Zealand, passion fruit is available, both fresh and tinned. It is used in fruit salads, as fruit sauce, as topping and flavouring for desserts. They even have a passion fruit-flavored soft drink right from the 1920s. This is used in cocktails.

In Brazil, you can have passion fruit mousse. The pulp is used to decorate cakes. They also have it as ice pops, soft drinks, and with caipirinha, using passion fruit instead of lime.

Caipirinha - JuAnnun

Caipirinha Brazilian Drink Happy Hour

Widely available in Colombia, "maracuyá" is of three kinds. 

In the Dominican Republic, they make fruit preserves and use the fruit-flavored syrup on shaved ice. They eat it raw, too, with sugar.

The East Africans also eat the fruit.

In Hawaii, shaved ice is topped with Lilikoi-flavoured syrup and flavours desserts such as malasadas, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream and mochi. They also have passion fruit jam or jelly, butter and use Lilikoi syrup as glaze and marinade for meat and vegetables.

Indians just sprinkle it with sugar and eat it raw.

Passion fruit drink at Shoebox Canteen, Singapore - Smuconlaw -  via Commons 

Juice emerges the most popular use in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, East Africa, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Sri Lanka.

In Indonesia, we find two types: one with white flesh, and the other with yellow flesh. The white one is eaten as fruit while the yellow one is for juice, and syrup.

In Mexico, passion fruit is also eaten raw with chilli powder and lime.


In Paraguay, it is used in mousse, cheesecake, and ice cream. Or to flavour yogurts and cocktails.

Passion fruit is incorporated into 
"marciano" or "chupetes", homemade ice pops in Peru, where it is also used in mousse and cheesecake and eaten raw. The juice is used in cocktails, such as the Maracuyá sour. 

In the Philippines, passion fruit is usually sold with a straw to suck seeds out while, in Portugal, it forms base for many liqueurs and mousses.


Walter Schärer - Banana passion fruit mousse
Called "parcha" in Puerto Rico, it is also used there in ice cream or pastries.

In South Africa, it is eaten raw and as topping for cakes and tarts. Granadilla (yellow variety = Guavadilla) is used to flavour yogurt, 
Schweppes', "Sparkling Granadilla" and other cordial drinks. Granadilla juice is served in restaurants. The yellow one is used for juice processing, while the purple variety is sold as fruit.  

Sri Lankans use passion fruit to make a cordial.
Most of the recipe videos I've curated appear easy and fun to make - something that would be delightful to try out with children/for children. And most adults are just big children, at heart. The way to the heart, we all know, is via the stomach. So let's say you can use these to stir up some passion too!

Passion Fruit Recipes





There are many flowers which can be used in cooking and for beauty, besides the joy they bring us and their use in decorations and in worship.

We shall take a break from these blossoms for a while and explore some eateries in and around Varca, Goa, in upcoming posts.
 India, blue passionflowers are called Krishnakamala in Karnataka and Maharashtra, while in Uttar Pradesh and generally north it is colloquially called "Paanch Paandav" (referring to the five Pandavas in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata). The five anthers are interpreted as the five Pandavas, the divine Krishna is at the centre, and the radial filaments are opposing hundred. The colour blue is moreover associated with Krishna as the colour of his aura.

4 comments:

Sachin Baikar said...

Very informative post 👍
Thanks for sharing 🙂

Pushpendra Dwivedi said...

very interesting informative post sharing

Gita Madhu said...

Thanks, Sachin Baikar. Alas, my plant died and I do not believe in buying plant seeds, spouses and pets :D I did not get the chance to try it for myself

Gita Madhu said...

Thank you, Pushpendra - glad it was informative. Have you seen this flower?