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[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

This is a dish that took me by surprise. It was served at a South Indian restaurant, where one expects the usual assortment of delicious vegetable sides to go with white rice and fluffy puris, the circular deep fried bread.

But the first bite left me totally amazed. Here I was thinking this is a vegetable, when it was actually the sweetest apple I had ever tasted, coated with a generous amount of coconut, mild spices, and a delicious coconut oil flavor. It was a treat. An unexpected range of flavors that worked so well together.

And if you're not a big apple fan, this is a wonderful, unusual way to try and change your mind.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her newly-married husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

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