jump to navigation

Tsao – The Chinese Red Date June 8, 2007

Posted 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.




1. Asha - June 8, 2007

We call it Nerale hannu I think, but they are purple. There is another fruit I used to eat outside the school caleed Bore` hannu which was reddish brown in color.
I will get this in Asian store and see which one it is!:)
Thanks for that delicious dish,looks gorgeous.

2. bee - June 8, 2007

what a great post. enjoy your new found treasure.

3. Suganya - June 8, 2007

The recipe couldnt get more traditional than that. But the moment I saw the bottle with JUJUBE, I thot of ‘Jujubi’ 😉 .. Yeah yeah, with Rajini’s new film buzz, that was all I cud think of…

4. mathy - June 8, 2007

I’ll look for this in the Asian stores here.

Suganya: I thought of the song ‘elandha pazham’ by L.R.Easwari. 😉

5. Sheela - June 11, 2007

wow, elanda pazham is something i had forgoten about – is it also called gunda? and as mathy mentioned – i do rememebr that song by L.R.Eshwari… i think one of the lines in the song says it is sweet as honey!!

i’ve had gunda pickle but never tried making pachadi. thanks for sharing this recipe – don’t you just love finding (“discovering”) new foods that are old favorites…enjoy!

6. aspiring annapoorna - June 16, 2007

Hi all,

Elandha Pazham is Bor in gujarati and Ber in Hindi….Asha..I think Nerale hannu is what is called Naavallipazham in tamil and jamun in hindi.
Sheela, Gunda is different from ber, they are green berries (sold usualy on their stalks) during the raw mango season in gujarat as they are a favorite addition to mango pickles, and make a great pickle on their own too, as you have mentioned.
The pachchadi looks good L2C…the joy of rediscovering a long lost childhood flavour is boundless I guess!! 🙂

I think some maharashtrian, kannadiga and tamil families make a ritual of pouring cupfulls of a mixture made of elandhapazham/ber with assorted goodies likes puffed rice and candy, over the heads of their toddlers during makar sankranti….

Nice blog!

7. aspiring annapoorna - June 16, 2007

🙂 Since I am in the process of making translations…I thought I might add that the ‘elandha pazham’ song came out in a hindi movie as ‘Ber leyo’ (with a young tanuja pushing the ber cart)…if my memory serves me right, the tamil film was called ‘panama paasama’ and the hindi one was its remake ‘paisa ya pyar’ … 😀

8. shree ganesh - June 12, 2008

passion fruit in tamil what we call ?. Any one Know the answer please mail mail me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: