Jujube fruit also called as Indian Dates, Chinese dates, Red Dates, Korean Dates is not a very common fruit sold in shops here in India but it is easily available if you look for it. It’s botanical name is Ziziphus Jujuba and belongs to the Buckthorn family. There is a jujube tree in my parent’s farm that produces ample fruits that are beautiful red color. Jujube fruit is popularly called Elantha Pazham | Elantha Palam in Tamil, Regi Pandu in Telugu, Baer in Urdu, Ber in Sindhi, Elantha pazham in Malayalam, Yelchi Hannu in Kannada, Kul in Bengali, Ber in Hindi, Bor in Gujarati and Marathi. I have very very fond childhood memories with jujube fruit. Here in Tamil Nadu, we make a wonderful sweet called Elantha Vadai with it. You will rarely find a person who does not love and cherish elantha vadai here in Tamil Nadu, I completely adore it. When I was little, we were not allowed to buy elantha vadai from the shops at all because usually most of the fruits have small worms and it has to be cleaned properly. My mom felt that store bought elantha vadai from local shops will not be cleaned properly of the worms. In our village we have only one small shop and it used to (even now it does) stock elanth vadai in small packets regularly. I was so fond of ilanthai vadai that I used to save my pocket money for sneaking to buy those packets without knowing to my parents. Once my mom found out that I was regularly buying elantha vadai from the shops, she started making them at home and I have to tell you elantha vadai made at home tastes divine and of course has wonderful health benefits. Jujube Nutrition: Jujube is rich in many nutrients, 100 grams around 79 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. It is especially rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Here are the medicinal uses of jujube fruit: 1. Anti Cancer Properties: Can you believe this small fruits have amazing anti cancer properties! I love this amazing fruit mainly for it’s taste but I love it even more now after getting to know how effective it is as an anti cancer food. Jujube fruits have bioactive compounds which has been clinically proven to have anti cancer properties and is being researched widely now. You can read the anti cancer properties here. 2. Prevents Neuro Toxicity: Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nervous damage that can occur for diabetic people. Diabetic neuropathy mainly affects nerves of the legs and feet causing intense pain. This amazing fruit has a protective effect and water extract prevents diabetic neuropathy, you can read the study that proves this claim here. 3. Anti Obesity: Jujube fruits also have noticeable anti obesity properties and it has been proven to have positive effect on serum lipid profile. Also this fruit is also well tolerated by most people, you can read the study that supports this claim here. 4. Antioxidant: This wonder fruit is very rich in antioxidants and thus greatly help protect us from free radicals which is the major reason premature ageing. Since it is so rich in antioxidants regular consumption will improve immunity. So happy to know consuming elantha vadai is so good :). 5. For Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Jujube fruits have wonderful anti microbial properties and has been clinically proven to help prevent infections in children. It is especially useful in children who are under going chemotherapy, as they have very low immunity who are under going chemotherapy and are susceptible to infections. It amazed me how a simple unassuming fruit can save so many young innocent children who are already going through very difficult time with cancer treatments from falling ill. You can read the study that proves it here. Along with the above said medicinal uses, jujube fruit also treats constipation, reduces anxiety and improves digestion. Here in our place we mainly consume the fruit in the form of elantha vadai but in some countries jujube tea is famous, it is made by boiling the dried jujube fruit along with spices like ginger and cardamom. Jujube honey is an other famous preparation done in certain parts of the world. I have given the recipe for making elantha vadai | regi vadiyalu at home below. Jujube Side Effects: Jujube fruit has anti fertility properties and so I would suggest not consuming jujube fruit in excess when trying to conceive. I was having this fruit in moderation during pregnancy and would advice the same too…
1. Collect fresh fruits and wash it well under running water, drain the water completely and spread on a cloth to dry the fruits completely.
2. Split each fruit to see if there are any worms. The worms are small and white in color so you have to be patient and look carefully in each fruit. It is a long process but so worth it..:)
3. Mash the fruits with hands completely.
3. Take dried red chillies, asafoetida and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound it to get a coarse powder.
4. Take jaggery and pound it in a mortar and pestle to help mix easily….
5. Add the pounded red chilli mixture and jaggery to the mashed jujube fruit and mix really really well.
6. Make small balls, flatten it with hands and spread on a polythene sheet and sun dry till crisp.
- The amount of jaggery, red chillies to be added is individual preference.
- We do the whole process in a mortar and pestle.
- Checking for worms is the most time consuming otherwise you can do this very healthy sweet fast.