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Grapefruit in Ginger-Cardamom Syrup

Grapefruit is the epitome of citrus. Bursting with fresh flavors, this fruit is delightful when you know how to eat it!! I usually just segment the grapefruit, sprinkle it with loads of sugar, a tiny pinch of salt and let it rest for about 5 minutes. The sugar gets into the segments, the salt draws out the juice and then I devour it! I love the burst of the citrus flavor in my mouth when I bite into a segment. This is a perfect palate cleanser and the perfect light dessert after a heavy meal. Apart from being delicious, grapefruit is a nutritional powerhouse. Half of a large grapefruit gives you 100 % of your daily Vitamin C  and 35 % of Vitamin A requirement (data from And it is full of antioxidants and helps lower cholesterol! And I love grapefruits for another reason, they have a really cute and funny name in Tamil – Bamblimaas!!! I used to not like this fruit so much as a child, but I loved saying bamblimaas! I still do :)

Today’s recipe is just a more refined and sophisticated version of sugar sprinkled grapefruit. I just made a simple syrup flavored with grapefruit zest, raw ginger and cardamom. Ginger pairs really well with citrus and cardamom gives it a flowery aroma. Then segment the grapefruit and add it to the syrup. Chill and serve! This is good enough to be served as a standalone dessert! You may also add in some orange segments just to add variety. This is so much better than the ready made stuff you buy from grocery stores!! The only difficulty you might have in this recipe is in making the grapefruit segments. Practice and patience and THIS video can help you make beautiful segments. Don’t worry if they are not perfect, just be careful to remove the skin and the pith (the white portion under the skin). The pith in a grapefruit is extremely bitter and you don’t want to bite into that. I have used some lime zest to add extra zing, but it is totally optional.

This is not exactly a recipe, this is just how I like to eat my grapefruits. You can get creative and try making the syrup with your favorite spice combinations!

Serves 2-3

Grapefruits – 2 large
Sugar – 1/4 cup
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Water – 1/2 cups
Fresh Ginger (grated) – 1 tsp
Green Cardamom – 2 no.
Lime Zest – 1 tsp (optional)


  • Combine the sugar, salt, water, zest, ginger and cardamom in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved and then for about 3 minutes after that on medium heat. Remove and cool to room temperature and pass the syrup through a strainer. Discard the remaining spices.

Tip: You can add in the zest at this point if you don’t want to see it in the final product. I like to filter the syrup and the add the zest so you can see pretty green specs when you are eating!

  • Add in the grapefruit segments and the torn mint leaves if using. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve.
  • I like to serve this in margarita glasses. Once you finish eating the grapefruit segments, you can just pick up the glass and drink the juice, which is absolutely delicious!!

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Drunken Orange Cake

Aam Panna – A Refreshing drink made with Raw Mangoes

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Gulab Jamun – Indian Cooking Challenge

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