Botanical name: Buchanania cochinchinensis | Hindi: चिरौंजी | Marathi: चारोळी | English: Cuddapah almond


The Cuddapah Almond, known as Charoli (चिरौंजी) or Buchanania cochinchinensis, is a majestic deciduous tree reaching up to 30 meters tall. Its dense canopy boasts glossy, green leaves that turn golden yellow in autumn, adding to its beauty. During spring, clusters of small, white flowers grace the branches, followed by the star of the show – the fruit. This oval-shaped, green fruit ripens to brown, housing a single, hard-shelled nut within. This nut, resembling a miniature almond, is the prized Cuddapah Almond.


Interesting Facts

Medicine and Wellness
Medicinal Uses: Traditional medicine utilizes various parts of the Cuddapah Almond tree. The bark and leaves are used for their potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and digestive properties. The nut itself is believed to help with urinary tract problems, cough, and skin conditions. However, scientific evidence is limited, and potential side effects exist. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial before using any part of the plant medicinally.
Culture and Belief
Culture & Tradition: The Cuddapah Almond holds cultural significance in various regions. In India, it’s offered to deities and used in religious ceremonies. Its rarity and unique flavor make it a symbol of prosperity and well-being. In Ayurveda, it’s considered a “Tridoshic Rasayana,” balancing all three vital energies in the body. Its presence in sweets and dishes signifies auspiciousness and celebration.
Bees, Butterflies, Birds: 3Bs of healthy environment.
Environmental Impact: The Cuddapah Almond tree plays a vital role in its ecosystem. Its strong root system prevents soil erosion, and its dense foliage provides shade and shelter for wildlife. As a slow-growing tree, it promotes biodiversity by offering habitat for various birds and insects. Additionally, its leaves decompose to enrich the soil, contributing to overall environmental health.
Food and Culinary Use
Food & Culinary usage: The Cuddapah Almond’s rich, buttery flavor adds a luxurious touch to various culinary delights. The nut is eaten raw, roasted, or candied. It features in savory dishes like curries and pulao, adding a distinct textural and taste element. In sweets, it adorns desserts like payasam and kheer, offering a delightful crunch. Its oil, with a nutty aroma, is used for cooking and flavoring. However, due to its rarity and cost, it’s often used sparingly for a hint of its unique flavor.

Anandvan Trivia Quiz

Question 1:How is it Cuddapa Almond related to cashew? Answer: Despite its name, the Cuddapah Almond isn’t directly related to the cashew nut. They belong to different botanical families – Anacardiaceae (cashew) and Burseraceae (Cuddapah Almond). However, they share some similarities:
  • Both are single-seeded fruits housed in a hard shell.
  • Both possess a rich, nutty flavor.
  • Both are used in similar culinary applications.
However, their taste profiles and appearances differ slightly, and the Cuddapah Almond is significantly rarer and more expensive.

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