IFCA aims to develop the culinary professiona and promote curilnary tourism even as it continuously scaled up Indian cuisine on the Global platform

Baer -Chef Manjit Gill

Baer – Ziziphus Mauritiana, Jujubbe, Jujube berry in English. Ajapriya, Badara, Karkandhu, Kuvala, Madhuraphala in Sanskrit, Baer, Ber, in Hindi & Punjabi, Kool, Boroi, in Bengali, Bor, Bordi in Gujarati, Reegu, Gangareegu, Karakandhavu in Telugu, Yalachi, Elanji in Tamil, Elatha in Malayalam, Barkoli, Bodokoli, Bodori in Oriya. In India the tree is sacred to Shiva and is known as “the tree which removes sorrow”, perhaps because of its sedative properties. It was depicted in the Ramayana so has been known for centuries and native to the Indian subcontinent. The Baer finds a special mention where Sabari, an adivasi woman, served the fruit to Lord Ram. This is probably why Baer is treated as a ‘poor man’s fruit fit for the gods’
It is oblong-globose or ovoid, red, orange or yellowish and brownish skin when ripe and smells a little like hops, with an astringent taste. The fruit can be found in between October to March the month of December, and it is sold then fresh, but can also be dried.
At maturity the fruits are fully enlarged has different colour of the variety such as green to greenish yellow in Kaithli and Banarsi, and green to golden yellow or light chocolate in case Umran. There are many varieties in different parts of India. Pewandi and Karaka are famous varieties of Varanasi. Umran or Umari is a large-fruited variety with a good keeping quality grown around Delhi. Gola is the other verity, which is a round-fruited having excellent quality exclusive to Delhi. There are not so popular varieties, Dandan, Kheer and Chonchal because, do not have a good keeping quality. Kotho or katha and Meherum from Rajasthan. A seedless variety for baer was found in Puna, but it has not spread, probably due to the small size of the fruits. Baer is almost grow all over dry areas of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The fruit are eaten fresh, dried like raisins, candied, stewed or smoked. The taste is sweet & astringent, the meat firm and plump, but it has wrinkled skin when dry. It is great to cook as well as make chutney, jam, or fruit butter. Baer butter is made in a similar way to apple sauce, and can be spread on toast. Continue in the next………..

Continue on Baer: The fruit Baer can be eaten raw or can be pickled. Raw Baer is a favourite to have it seasoned with salt. Use crushed Baer as syrups in beverages like mocktails etc. Fully mature unripe Baer can be used in murabbas and make delicious jellies.
Baer has calming properties and is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The fruit can be used to alleviate anxiety and insomnia. Jujuboside A is a powerful natural chemical that affects the hippocampus and is used as a natural sleep aid. Besides containing anti- oxidants. Baer contains a 20 times more vitamin C than citrus, in the form of ascorbic acid in the fruit. Good source of B-complex, vitamin A and B2, thiamine, riboflavin. Pectin and 18 out of the 24 required amino acids, and minerals like potassium and calcium. Light green to dark brown when ripe, these berries are a great way to maintain health, boost immunity, and get a good night’s rest!
The fruit also helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The leaves can be used as a laxative and for throat problems as a decoction. The fruit has been used in traditional medicine as an emollient, expectorant, coolant and tonic. In Europe the fruit was made into a cough medicine and tisane. Medical researchers have found a new flavonoid in Baer called zivulgarin and trials are underway to discover how it might benefit us. It is one of the ingredient in Joshanda a herbal remedy for cough & cold.
While selecting ensure that the fruit Baer are free from blemishes or other marks. They should have flesh intact and a bright colour as per the variety. Dried Baer will have a more shrivelled appearance and pale reddish brown colour. Baer can be stored fresh under refrigerated conditions. Many people in North India dry the fruit under the sun so that it can be used all round the year.
Roadside carts selling Baer outside school gates is how we usually know the humble Baer. It’s a modest fruit, cheap and usually ignored.Seldom do we bring the Baer to the kitchen and think of cooking it. Well, Baer has high quantities of essential vitamins and minerals, and is a healthy option to include in your meal.


7th IFCA International
Chefs Conference