Have you ever seen these berries in market or have you tried growing this thorny plant in the garden? We basically planted it in our garden when it was delivered as cherry plant about 5 years back by an old man who supplied some rare plants to us. It was the time we have started our gardening journey in Bangalore.
Last year we harvested about a cup of Karondas (Karomcha in Bengali as told by my friend), which we finished eating. I learnt that, sweetened cherries which we see on bakeries are made using these berries by processing them in colored sugar syrup. I tried making them which was not success as I haven’t followed a proper process.
This year we had good harvest again. First harvest went into brine which tastes great as it is or one can make spicy pickles with it. Then I happened to come across a post of Karonda jelly in Instagram and I thought I will be making it next season thinking I will not get more fruits this year again. But to my surprise within 2 weeks, I got another set of harvest of 1 cup karonda berries. I did not wait anymore and made this jelly/ jam which is not only tasty but also has a attractive color which I never imagined. I browsed a bit for a recipe as I could not find one on instagram. Every recipe which I saw suggested sieving the puree of berry to get smooth consistency. I did not want to waste any portion of this home grown goodies and I discarded seeds before pureeing and used that pulp completely in jam.
Coming to this fruit, it is known to be nutritious and having number of medicinal properties. It is great source of vitamin A, C and I also read as iron rich. These fruits are used in Ayurveda & folk medicines in the treatment of fever, cough, diarrhea, and believed to be good for heart health.
Now, let us go to the recipe of Karonda jelly or jam.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 1 cup
Karonda/ Carissa carandas (unripe) – 1 cup
Sugar – 1.25 – 1.5 cups
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Water – ½ cup
- Wash berries thoroughly. I used only unripe fruits.
- Cut them lengthwise remove the seeds with the help of a sharp knife. 4-5 thin seeds are found in a single fruit.
- You can rinse once with water if you wish as it has gummy latex. It will not go completely even on washing.
- Now take deseeded berries in a pan. Pour half cup of water. Boil until the berries are soft & water is absorbed. Switch off the stove.
- Allow cooling. When it comes to room temperature, blend in a mixer coarsely. This helps in getting proper texture to the jam as the skin remains fibrous/ harder even after cooking.
- Transfer it to the pan again. Switch on the stove.
- Add sugar, pepper powder, cumin powder and salt.
- Stir occasionally and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until whole mixture turns little thicker (consistency of tomato sauce).
- Switch off the stove before it thickens like jam as on cooling it turns to be thicker.
- Beautiful colored jam or jelly is ready to be served.
- On cooling transfer to a glass jar and store in refrigerator for long shelf life.
- It goes great with bread, chapathi, dosa…
- Spice powders are optional here. You can add cardamom powder instead cumin powder too.
- It is easy to clean the vessel/ pan used to make the jam by applying little oil as the latex sticks to it on cooking.