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Every thing about KARAUNDE KI CHUTNEY | Vahrehvah :

Karaunde ki chutney is a tangy spicy fresh chutney made with seedless karonda (Carissa carandas) spiced with red chilli, jeera and dhania. Finally the chutney is added with a dash of lemon juice to give that zing to the dish. Karonda (Carissa carandas) is a hardy, evergreen, spiny and indigenous shrub widely grown India and also found wild in the states of Bihar, West Bengal and many parts of South India. 

It is grown commonly as a hedge plant. Regular plantations of Karonda are very common in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh.  The karonda fruit is sour and astringent in taste and the cultivated types are classified on the basis of fruit color e.g. green-fruited, whitish fruits with a pink blush and dark purple fruited. Karonda is a berry sized fruit which looks like a grape or olive and is commonly used as a condiment or additive to Indian pickles and spices.

Karonda is called by some common names which include Vakkay in Telugu, Kalakai in Tamil, Karaunda or Karonda or karvand in Hindi. It is also known as Natal plum/ Cranberry in English.  This fruit is also known as “Christ’s Thorn” (like the hawthorn) and in southern India it’s called the Bengal currant. Raw or mature fruits are the most suitable for pickle making, which is liked very much all over the India. These can also be used for making jelly and candy. Ripe fruits can be processed into a squash, syrup or a ready to serve bottled drink.

They can also be dried. The ripe fruit emits a gummy latex when it is cooked, but yields a rich red juice which clears when it is cooled, so this is used a refreshing cooling drink in hot weather. It is also sometimes substituted for apples to make an apple tart, with cloves and sugar to flavor the fruit. Usually the fruit is pickled before it gets ripened and has the taste close to that of the British gooseberry.

Mature Karonda fruit contains high amount of pectin therefore, besides being used for making pickle, it is also used in making jelly, jam, squash, syrup, tarts and chutney. The sweeter types may be eaten raw out-of-hand but the more acid ones are best stewed with plenty of sugar. Even so, the skin may be found tough and slightly bitter.

To prepare the Karaunde ki chutney, firstly cut the karondas into two halves, split and remove its seeds. Grind the seedless karondas, salt, mirchi (red chilies), jeera (cumin seeds) and dhania (fresh coriander leaves) together finely. If the consistency of the chutney is too thick, add some water. Finally add lemon juice and mix well.

There are a variety of chutneys that one can make like the cranberry chutney, beetroot-amla chutney, plum chutney, tomato chutney, aam chutney etc. Do try this new variety of chutney and enjoy its tangy taste.

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The karonda fruit is a rich source of iron and contains a fair amount of Vitamin C. It is antiscorbutic and very useful for cure of anaemia. The fruits have astringent properties and have been used for tanning and dying.

In traditional medicine the fruit is used to improve female libido and to remove worms from the intestinal tract. The fruits can also be used on old wounds which have become infected, as the juice will clean them and it has been found that the plant has anti-microbial and antifungal properties. The fruit have an analgesic action as well as an anti-inflammatory one. The juice can be applied to the skin to relieve any skin problems.  Traditionally Karonda has been used to treat anorexia and insanity.

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