Chirongi nuts

Chirongi nuts

Chironji, Buchanania lanzan (also known as Charoli, chirolo, charooli, almondette, calumpong nut, Cheronjee, Cuddapah almond, Hamilton mombin) is a spice made from the seeds of the Buchanania lanzan tree, a member of the Anacardiaceae (cashew) family that’s native to northwestern India.

The kernels of the fruit are eaten as a nut and used as a spice. These are the Chironji, which are soft, taste like almonds and have a soft texture rather like pine nuts. They are commonly used in Indian sweets and desserts, but are also ground into powders to thicken savoury sauces and to flavour batters. Chironji is also a common ingredient for thick, meaty, kormas. They can also be added to minced (ground) meat kabobs and impart a subtle nutty flavour. They are also dry roasted and used as a garnish for desserts and rice dishes (especially biryanis).

The chironji nut is extracted from the fruit first by peeling and then by soaking the nuts in fresh water over night at room temperature. The following day, the skins are rubbed away with a kitchen towel. The seed within is lentil-sized, slightly flattened and has a distinct almond-like flavour.

Culinary Uses of Chironji

  • Used primarily as a topping for sweets they go especially well with sweet halwas where vegetables like carrots and fruits like bananas and sapotas (chikoo) are cooked with sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • They are also a must on top of a delightful dessert called Shrikhand which is a tantalising combination of thick strained yoghurt, sugar, saffron, cardamom, and milk that has been cooked on a slow heat until it resembles condensed cream.
  • Chirongi nuts are used for texture and nuttiness in kababs and kormas.
  • You could be adventurous and sprinkle them on fruit salads, soups and chicken or lamb dishes

Availability and Selection

  • They are quite difficult to come by outside India and they generally would only be found at well stocked Indian grocery shops.
  • In India, they are readily available in regular grocery stores as chironji daana or seeds.
  • Look for small whole nuts without any insect infestation or stones.

Chironji Substitutes

Buchanania lanzan Tree

Buchanania lanzan is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to about 15m tall. It is common to the forests of northwestern India, typically on dry ravine lands (it does not like its roots to be waterlogged). It can be identified by the dark grey crocodile bark with red blaze and is considered an excellent species for afforesting and stabilising hill slopes. It has thick leathery leaves which are broadly oblong, with blunt tip and rounded base. Leaves have 10-20 pairs of straight, parallel veins. Pyramidal panicles of greenish while flowers appear in January to March. These ripen into the fruit from April to May and the fruit remain on the tree for many months.

Comments and Feedback

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
Hi There - We notice that you have an ad-blocker
Plenty of visitors do. All we ask is that you please consider sharing us or commenting on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
General Profile
User Information
John Doe
Professor of Botanics
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, John is a superior specialist in growing palms and exotic plants.
Social rating:
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scel erisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas placerat.
Subscribe Now
Join our weekly newsletter for more great recipes
Just before you go
Please consider sharing us or commenting
on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Just before you go - please share us with your friends and followers.
Thank you for visiting
The Taste of Aussie
Subscribe Now
Join our free weekly newsletter to get the best recipes and cooking information.
TrophyWin a copy of "From The Source - Mexico"
Your Entries
Total Entries
Days Left
Mexico's best local cooks - from street food stalls, family-run haciendas and haute-cuisine restaurants - reveal their culinary passions, along with such classic regional recipes as marinated pork tacos, hot lime soup and Oaxacan hot chocolate

Enter the sweepstake to win a copy of this fantastic cookbook.
Recipe Newsletter
Subscribe to our ad-free newsletter and get new recipes and cooking info every weekend