Jaam Kashundi: Spicy tangy Indian black plum

By Ratna

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“Poof”,  the  long  stem  struggled  out  from  my  right  ear,  the  two  leaves  with  it,  the  folded  leaves  straightened  after  exit.  This  was  followed  by  another  stem  with  leaves  from  my  left ear.  I  could  feel  a  rumble  inside  my  tummy  as  if  something  was  becoming  bigger  and  getting  ready  to  come  out  from  my  nose.  I  must  have  given  out  a  loud  shriek,  for  the  next  thing  I  remember  was  my  Ma  comforting  me  in  my  bedroom.

Every  summer  holiday we  visited  our  Dadu  and  Dida’s  house.  The  whole  day  was spent  playing  games  with  our  cousins,  running  around  with  no  particular  aim  or  plan.  The  dark,  shiny  Jamuns  were  washed  and  being  marinated  for  later  use.  Just  when  I  thought  there  was  nobody  watching  me  popping  a  couple  of  them  in  my  mouth,  I  was  busted  by  Bapi,  my  older  cousin.  In  the  commotion  I  swallowed  a  stone  from  the  fruit.  Bapi  wouldn’t  let  this  opportunity  slip  by  so  easily,  and  educated  me  in  detail  about  the  fate  of  the  stone  inside  my  tummy.  That  is  what  led  to  the  incident  later  that  night.

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I  vividly  remember  the  fear  even  today  after  many,  many  summers.

I  had  never  seen  Jamuns  (  Syzygium  cumini  )  in  Canadian  stores  before.  Recently  however  I  came  across  this  frozen  packet.  I  had  to  get  those,  knowing  very  well  they  will  never  taste  as  good  the  fresh  ones.

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Today’s  recipe  is  really  not  a  recipe  in  the  strict  sense,  but  a  way  of  enjoying those  fruits.

Jaam kashundi



Plums  (Syzygium  cumini)                         one  12  oz  packet

Kashundi  (Mustard  sauce)                      Two  tbsps

Sea  Salt                                                  To  taste

Brown  sugar                                           One  Tbsp


Wash  the  plums.  In  a  glass  bowl  marinate  them  with  the  mustard  sauce,  sugar  and  salt.  Taste  and  titrate  to  your  liking.  Cover  with  a  tight  fitting  lid  and  put  in  the  refrigerator  for  couple  hours.  When  ready  shake  the  bowl  with  lid  on,  so  that  the  plums  get  a  bit  macerated  and  obtain  a  good  coating  of  the  marinades.

Inside  Scoop:

The  fresh  Jamuns  have  a  very  smooth  and  shiny  skin,  unlike  the  crinkly  ones  we  see  here  in  the  picture.

They  are  full  of  Vitamins  and  antioxidants.  Having  a  low  glycaemic  index,  it  is  good  for  the  diabetics  too.

Mustard  sauce  or  Kashundi  is  available  in  Indian  grocery  stores.

The  Jamuns  could  stain  clothing.

Dadu  and  Dida  is  the  bengali  word  for  Granpa  and  Granma.

2 thoughts on “Jaam Kashundi: Spicy tangy Indian black plum

  1. Thanks so much for this story, Ratna! Loved the combination and uniqueness of adding Kashundi to these special plums. I am fond to Indian cuisine and its unforgettable spices. The Hundred-foot journey movie (I recently enjoyed with my family) is a pleasure to watch, as it transports you to the aromas and flavors of Indian cuisine. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Elizabeth, As I read your comment, I am tempted to draw a similarity between Helen Mirren and Kashundi. wherever you take them they ‘spice’ things up a notch..

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