If you are from Assam, then it is obvious that you are familiar with the Kaji Nemu or the indigenous lemon of Assam.
In Assam, mainly two types of lemon are available. The first type is Kaji Nemu and the second type is Gul Nemu. Kaji nemu is exclusive to Assam and Gul nemu is available in many parts of India including Assam.
In Assam, lemon (nemu) are classified under the category of 'nemu tenga' where nemu means lemon and tenga means sour. The botanical name of Kaji nemu or the Assam Lemon is Citrus limon. The shape of the kaji nemu is elongated and oblong and is juicier than gol nemu.
As the weather of Assam is hot and humid during summers, people prefer having the juice of kaji nemu to get them cooled down.
Even though Kaji Nemu is exclusive to Assam, it has a wide popularity among the people residing outside Assam. Due to its high demand, in the month of June, it was exported from Guwahati to the markets in London. Available in many supermarkets in London now, kaji nemu have received a positive response of the residents in London. A massive consignment of kaji nemu of 6 metric tons was exported to the European business sector.
Fit Northeast thought of having a conversation with a city based dietitian Ms N Bora regarding why Kaji nemu is so popular and what is its food value.
Fit Northeast: What is the basic difference between Kaji nemu and Gul nemu?
A massive consignment of kaji nemu of 6 metric tons was exported to the European business sector.Ms N Bora: The biggest difference between both the lemons is that one (gul nemu) is completely round in shape, whereas the kaji nemu which is native to Assam is elongated and long.
Fit Northeast: What is the dietary difference between kaji nemu and gul nemu?
Ms N Bora: From a nutritional point of view, there is no difference in the food value between Kaji nemu and Gul nemu but the flavoring agent in kaji nemu is different from that in the Gul Nemu. The gul nemu which we get in Assam is mostly available here in the winters but outside Assam it is available throughout the year.
Fit Northeast: Being someone associated with the food line, what do you think, what rises the demand of kaji nemu outside Assam.
Ms N Bora: The thing is that the Gul nemu which we get in Assam is more or less similar to the one this is available in many other parts of the country, which we commonly known as lime.The kaji nemu having a different taste that the Gul nemu adds to its demand outside. But it should be added that it is a matter of pride for all the Assamese people that the Assamese Kaji nemu have received the tag of Geographical Indications among many other products in India. Its high export charges (or carrying charges) might be a reason behind is less reach outside Assam. Sharing her personal experience, the dietitian said that earlier when she used to Delhi, her friends at Delhi used to wait for the Kaji nemu which she used to take every time, during her journey to Delhi. The people outside appreciated the difference in taste and had to say that the nemu-pani made from the Kaji nemu was more refreshing that the one prepared from the lime or gul nemu.
Fit Northeast: What are the health benefits of Kaji nemu?
Ms N Bora: Lemon is known to be rich in Vitamin C, which is very important to increase immunity. Sometimes lack of vitamin C also causes anaemia and to compensate that we have to increase the intake of Vitamin C in the patient as Vitamin C is important for the absorption of blood.