Closely following the mango season, Amtekayi or Indian Hog plum appears in the markets heaped in wicker baskets. Also known by names Adavi Mamidi (Telugu), Ambazhanga (Malayalam), Ambade (ThuLu), Amra kai (Tamil) or simply the Ambarella tree, Amtekayi season is quite short and disappears before you know it. The most sought after tender berries come early in the season leaving the less desirable mature fibrous ones towards the end.
The untrained eye can mistake Amtekayi to be a baby mango from a distance. Amtekayi is light green colored with glossy skin, elliptical shaped, somewhat crunchy with a sour taste and has a unique unforgettable flavor and attractive smell. They can be eaten raw with a dash of salt and red chilli powder mixed in, but they taste even better when pickled or cooked into different savory relishes and used as a souring agent in many dishes similar to tamarind and green mango.