Grapefruit salad/Batabi lebu makha


I am going through that time of life when I am ever busy but nothing is getting done. It’s frustrating. Every week I’ll tell myself that this week I am going to finish everything on my to-do list, but then again the lazy bug bites me real hard and I end up doing very few things from the list. I have a long list of things to cook, upgrade my blog, go to the museums, but I don’t know what is preventing me from doing it. I think every winter is kind of like that. I don’t want to do anything, just sit on the couch, read books and eat steaming hot stews or soups.

Gradually the hibernating time is coming to an end I suppose. The days are getting longer and the buds are coming out of the trees. It’s always nice to see the fresh new leaves coming out of the branches. It gives me a positive feeling. Gives me hope and I look forward to the summer, the brighter days of my life.

Sometimes I wonder how much effort it takes for a plant to start almost all over again every year. They lose all the leaves during fall/winter and then start from the beginning in the spring. If I were a tree, I would have been very pissed off with that. It’s like setting up your house every year, from scratch and in few months everything will be taken from you and you have to start all over again. That’s tiring. I am so glad to be a human being. I can be lazy when I want to (most of the times), keep the kitchen messy if I want and order takeout food if I want and I am the master of my life (I love to believe that way).


In India winter season was the season of citrus fruits. It was the season of bright orange komlalebu (tangerines) and plump batabilebu (grapefruits). It was a winter ritual to eat the citrusy fruit after lunch while soaking in the sun. Be it komlalebu or batabilebu, they always added a fresh zing to the chill.


Back in my childhood home, my mother made a grapefruit salad every winter. It’s a very simple salad with few ingredients. It’s so refreshing, combining the tang of the grapefruit with a touch of heat from the chili power or chopped green chilis. I could eat a whole bowl, as long as I didn’t have to peel all the grapefruit and make it myself.


There is no recipe as such or a list of ingredients. All you do is, peel the grapefruit and remove as much of the bitter skin and white threads as possible. Separate the individual segments with your fingers. Add black salt (or regular salt), sugar and red chili powder (cayenne pepper will do as well) to taste. Add finely chopped cilantro and mix gently. You can add chopped green chilis or jalapeños instead of red chili powder or both. Finally – EAT!!!


8 comments on “Grapefruit salad/Batabi lebu makha

  1. Kankana says:

    This reminded me of my childhood! We used to visit our Aunt’s house every winter and she had two huge grape fruit trees and every after noon after a nap, I and my brother would wake up to this! 🙂

  2. Debs says:

    Aaj eta banalam!! Banatey giye realize korlam I might have bought a smallish grapefruit and therefore it was hard to peel and get the meat out but it was worth the effort in the end. Khoob refreshing laglo. Aar etao bhujlam je tor pictures gulo ki oshadharon clear aar crisp!! amar ta puro ghanta lagchilo. Kudos 🙂

  3. Soma says:

    Gorgeous!! reminds me of home

  4. Sujay Chakraborty says:

    Finally! I came to know that its ‘Grapefruit’ what they call our beloved Batabi Lebu!
    I found it hard to explain to my North Indian friends that there is a Big Nimbu that we used to savour back home!
    Now I can tell them it was Grapefruit and they might feel that we were kinda previledged to have some exotic fruits in our garden.

    Just cant forget the sweet smelling flowers!

    Fuler gondhe ghum ashe na, tai to jege roi!!

    Cheers! \m/

  5. R C Haoladar says:

    grapefruits are a hybrid between batabi lebu and orange( kamla lebu). The former variety is smaller in size, inner flesh is also arranged to a certain extent differently.

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