Tsao – The Chinese Red Date June 8, 2007Posted by live2cook in Desserts, Jams and Preserves.
Now a days, it has become a hobby to look for vegetables or fruits that start with the alphabet of the week in Nupur’s A-Z of vegetables event. If it is weekend, you can find me near produce, Frozen items or canned goods sections of different super markets!
In this search, I found a fruit in a Thai Supermarket that started from this week’s alphabet “T”, Trai Tao.
With the interest of knowing more about the fruit, I talk to the lady in the billing counter. The moment she saw the fruit, her face lighted up. But, the poor lady knew only little English to handle the customers and not to give a lecture about the fruit or put her passion about the fruit into words. Poor me, I don’t know her language. But I could understand her passion for the fruit, from her face. When I was leaving the store, She pointed to the fruit and said “Enjoy! Enjoy!”.
After coming home, I searched the internet with the other name, JUJUBE, as mentioned in the label and found out that it is Chinese Red Date. The interesting fact was that we have a relative fruit in India too. Wow!
I opened the jar and immediately put one fruit in my mouth. hmmmmm……….My face lighted up too as that of the lady in the billing counter. I knew this fruit very well. I knew this fruit by name “Seemai Elandha Pazham” in Tamil. The ones I bought here are the bigger variety of the locally grown ones, which we call “Naattu Elandha Pazham”.
This fruit reminded me of my Elementry school days, when a old lady used to sell these in the entrance of the school, me holding a handful of fruits, eating one by one, rolling the seeds in the mouth, Accidentally, swallowing one of the seed and being afraid that the tree will grow from my stomach the next day or grow very tall that it will come out of the head…….my happiness found no bounds and was lost for words!!!
I washed the Fruits, as it was in Brine and prepared a simple recipe, “Elandha pazha Pachchidi” .
1 cup of chopped Jujube
3/4 cup of Jaggery
1/2 teaspoon of Ghee
1 Pinch each of Cardamom Powder and dry ginger powder
3 Tablespoons of Water
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the chopped Jujube. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the jaggery and water. Stir till the Jaggery dissolves. Boil till the jagggery turns in to simple syrup of the Consistency of Honey. Add Cardamom powder and serve.
If you wish you can boil till the syrup turn to a double string consistency and make candied fruit too.