Buddha’s hand recipes for the Holidays

by Monica Gisella
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This crazy looking fruit called my attention the other day when grocery shopping.

It was hard not to notice its bright, intense color and exquisite aroma.

In winter, since sunshine is scarce, yellow is always a warm addition to our clothes, food, and decor. It fosters positivity and stimulates happiness. Sweet scents are soothing and hydrating. They bring softness and stability.

So, I brought it home.

And created these Buddha’s hand recipes to enjoy for the holidays!

Buddha's hand recipes
The fruit is separated into finger-like parts, resembling those seen on representations of the Buddha.

Buddha’s hand

Buddha’s hand or citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, is a variety of citron that has a unique shape resembling a close hand, a hand in praying position, or a hand with multiple fingers spread out.

Like other citrus fruits, it ripens and is harvested starting in winter.

Typically, it doesn’t have any fruit, pulp, juice, or seeds.

However, its zest offers culinary creations an exceptional harmonious lemony taste and fragrance, reminding us of the sweet blossom appeal of spring.

Buddha’s hand, a symbol of happiness, hope, good fortune, and longevity, is used as an offering at Buddhist temples, an ornament for perfuming rooms and clothing, and as a New Year’s gift.

How to use Buddha’s hand?

The insides of a Buddha’s hand tend to be bitter; hence nature encourages us to only utilize the zest and peel.

To use it in your recipes, simply break off a “finger”, and then, grate or peel the bright lemon exterior.

You can incorporate the shredded skin in teas, desserts, dressings, mocktails — or cocktails —, and baked goods.

Just be aware that a little goes a long way, as Buddha’s hand is delicious in every sense, but it can also be very intense.

Store Buddha’s hand at room temperature for about a week, or in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ayurveda and Buddha’s hand healing properties

Native to India and China, this fruit has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, soothe intestinal muscles, treat constipation, and prevent diarrhea.

Since it contains elevated amounts of vitamin C and calcium and has powerful expectorant qualities, it can alleviate asthma and respiratory conditions, clear cough and mucus, and boost immunity.

Further, some compounds in Buddha’s hand (coumarin, limonin, diosmin and bergapten) naturally relieve pain and ease inflammation.

Buddha’s hand recipes

An aromatic and delightful mocktail

Buddha’s hand festive mocktail recipe

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Organic green apple
  • 1 Buddha's hand “finger”
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Coconut sugar
  • 3 cups Water

Instructions

  • Slice the apple and grate the Buddha's hand “finger”.
  • In a pan, add all ingredients and bring to a boiling point. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes to extract all flavors.
  • Let it cool. Decorate. And enjoy!

As a dressing or marinade

Ayurvedic Buddha’s Hand salad dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Buddha’s Hand “finger”.

Spices

  • Sea salt, ground fennel, ground coriander, black pepper

Instructions

  • Grate the bright lemon exterior of the “finger”.
  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients.
  • Pour into a salad or store in the refrigerator in a jar.

To alleviate Kapha symptoms

Winter honey and Buddha’s hand tea

Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Buddha's hand “finger”.
  • 1-inch Chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1-inch Chunk of fresh turmeric root
  • 1 tbsp Manuka honey
  • 2 cups Water

Instructions

  • Slice the ginger and turmeric into pieces no wider than ¼-inch.
  • Grate the Buddha's hand “finger”.
  • In a pan, add the zest, ginger, turmeric, and water. Bring to a boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
  • Enjoy with a drizzle of Manuka honey.

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