We walked on Juhu Beach yesterday evening and saw a cart with a bunch of things we’d never seen before. The cart owner wasn’t very informative – there was Chota Ber and Ber and Ber again. I looked up K T Achaya’s The Illustrated Foods Of India A-Z, and it says there are at least six varieties of Ber (Indian Jujube Fruit) grown in India, three of which seemed to be on the cart.
I asked Zarina, who helps with the cooking, and she got very excited seeing my photographs. She used to eat these snacks after school. In Delhi, they’d be a man hanging around outside school who carried his shop of Churan, Imli and Aam papad on his shoulder, brightened with lots of flags.
So, Zarina’s list of the Ber(ry) Men’s cart of goodies –
- Karwanda or Karonda – sprinkle a little salt and eat
- Ber – Indian Jujube Fruit
- Sukha Ber – Dried Ber
- Singhara – Water Chestnut – these ones are boiled and then roasted on coals.
- Seeng Dana or Mungh Phali – Peanuts – which have been boiled in their shell in Salt and Turmeric
- Khatta Meetha Kairi or Kaccha Aam – Raw Mangoes
- Bel – Stone Apple or Bengal Quince – mix the fruit with Gur (Jaggery)
- Safed Imli – White Tamarind
- Gilli Imli – Wet Tamarind
- Sukhi Imli – Dry Tamarind – break it open and sprinkle salt on it
- Awla or Kamrakh – Star Fruit
- Badi Saunf – Fennel
- Pink Masala to put on top of everything – Mixture of Salt, Red Chilli Powder and Kala Namak or Black Indian Salt.