1-in-3 – Buddha’s Hand Citron

From octopus to orange, squash to Star Wars, I had more fun than you all did, coming up with names for that strange-looking-thingy I posted yesterday. Isn’t Imaginaaaation fun?

Buddha's Hand Citron

As you many of you have guessed, it is indeed a citrus; Buddha’s Hand Citron, to be exact. Believed to have originated from India, this citrus got its name for its ‘fingers’. The fruit has no juice or pulp, just peel and pith.

When I first spotted it at Whole Foods, I wasn’t sure what it was. It looked weird, smelt nice and was exorbitantly prized. However, I was hesitant to buy as I had no idea of what it was. Looking at my bewilderment, the floor manager voluntarily sliced one and offered me a sample; few actually. I was intrigued and impressed by its texture right away. The peel was crisp and the pith was ‘cloud-like’, with almost no bitterness. It also had its signature lemony and floral notes. The more I had, the more I wanted take one home. And this story has a happy ending. Did I mention it was exorbitantly prized? Ah! All in the name of blogging.

So now I have an exotic fruit lying in my refrigerator and I am clueless on how to deal with it. There was not much information or recipes on the internet. Though marmalade sounded like a straight-forward option for a citrus with neither pulp nor juice, I wanted something different. When have I stuck to a standard procedure? So I decided to use them in recipes that calls for lemon zest, 3 recipes to be exact. And, so here it is 1-in-3 – Buddha’s Hand.

Buddha's Hand Cupcakes

First stop, cupcakes. Adapted from this book, these cupcakes were dense, moist and tasty. I was surprised how a small amount of Buddha’s Hand zest made a difference. This is my entry to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Cate of Sweetnicks.

Buddha’s Hand Low - Fat Cupcakes

Ingredients

All purpose flour – ¾ cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Grated Buddha’s Hand zest or lemon zest – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – ¼ tsp
Egg whites – 2
Buttermilk – ½ cup

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with liners. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

In a big bowl cream butter and sugar until well mixed. Beat in zest, lemon juice, egg whites and buttermilk and whisk thoroughly. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scoop batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes. The cupcakes should be well-risen and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. If desired, frost ‘em with cream cheese frosting or serve as is. Yields about 8 medium sized cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat equal portions of cream cheese and powdered sugar with Buddha’s Hand zest until fluffy. Frost cupcakes just before serving.

Buddha's Hand Cupcakes

I am off to a good start. Lets see where these goblin fingers take me next.

31 comments:

Sig said...

I was right... First saw it at Musical's blog last year, then at Whole Foods, after that I've been seeing it everywhere.... Never thought of buying it though, it is way too expensive for something that tastes like lemon ;)

Arundathi said...

glad you're ok - i was worried the hand might be up and attack during the night! :)

The cupcakes are adorable!

Srivalli said...

suganya..thats love only looking dish!..those flowers look so cute..not sure how i missed out the guess..but nice one!..

Raaga said...

Hmmm... atleast I was close ;-) These look so pretty... did you eat them? Its a crime :-)

Jayashree said...

I've never set eyes on a citron before, and believe it or not, yours is the second blog where I've read about it today.....

sra said...

Very pretty results, Suganya! I had seen this on Haalo's blog some time ago - somewhat terrifying and fascinating at the same time!

Suganya said...

Sig, You were right. I also agree that it is quite expensive. But I assure you that its more than a lemon. More fragrant and palatable than a lemon. Imagine eating a whole lemon.. eww..

Thanks for the concern, Arundathi. I had my lightsaber ;)

I was wondering where were you, Sri. You had yr gyaan for the day?

Ooh, somebody's jealous ;). Your guess was close, Raaga.

Jayashree, where was the second mention?

Sra, fascinating to our taste buds, terrifying to our wallets :D

ushaprashanth said...

Hi suganya!
I Had a nice laugh at my ignorance... great work. waiting for the other two ...

ms said...

Beautiful cupcakes.I especially like the restrained and simple flower. On Iron chef, the chef made something called citron confit using this Buddhas hand.

Homecooked said...

Wow....have never seen this! Great dish by the way.

lakshmi said...

you sure it originated in india? i have to hunt for this now

Meeta said...

This sounds like a great start SUg. I have never seen anything quite like this. So I am keen to see what else you'll be cooking up with it!

Grace said...

that's one ugly fruit. it's hideousness is wonderfully balanced by that one beautiful cupcake. :)

Shilpa said...

I have seen this "thing" before, but had not idea what to do with it and one look at it and I knew I wont buy it :). Din't know it is so expensive. But your cupcakes look beautiful. Let me see if I get the courage to buy it ;)

Meera said...

I had seen those on one of the TV shows. and then at Whole Foods. It fascinated me but I was clueless what to make out of it so never bought it. Thanks for sharing the recipe, maybe I will try it next time.

Cham said...

Oh this first time i am seeing such a citrus, looks like orange octopus... But the flower is so cute beautiful creation :)

Uma said...

Never saw a citron before. that looks lovely. The cupcakes are beautiful. Yummy!

Vanamala said...

Lovely ...beautiful pics

Suma Rajesh said...

These looks very pretty and must tastes good tooo..great work huh

Mansi Desai said...

fancy name for a fruit! but the cupcakes make it worth everything!:)

Anonymous said...

Sukanya,

Can you please adjust u r feeder so that we can read your blog through google feeder.

BLogs are blocked at work and this is the only option. Kindly adjust

From your Fan
K

Divya Vikram said...

nice to hear about the fruit..the cup cake looks just adorable with the frosting and flower

Asha said...

OOH! I need an award now! I guessed it right for the first time! Hahaha!

I never used this veg, cup cakes look delcious!:)

Passion Cooking said...

I was wondering what recipe you would come up with the juiceless, almost fleshless fruit. Cup cake made with citrus zest is a fabulous idea.

ranji said...

beautiful flower...delicous cupcake too...an award waiting for u in my blog:)..congrats and enjooy!!!

Lisa said...

Very creative use of this unusual fruit. If I ever do see one, I'll be sure to buy it. Stunning photos as always!

Maya said...

Aha, now I know the name. Cupcake with it looks great ..

Suganya said...

Lakshmi, I myself have never seen this fruit in India. I am sure its not available in Southern India.

K, Can you please mail me in this regard?

Hetal said...

This recipes looks delicious and the flower on the top is very nice..

Psychgrad said...

Very cool looking. I think I've only seen it on Iron Chef America. The muffins looks very pretty.

Kalyn said...

I think Buddha's Hand has to be one of the very most interesting plants! Beautiful photos of the cupcakes.

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