Its not that guavas arent available here. Infact most of the desi stuff is available in Toronto, but they are not always actually affordable. Back home in India, tropical fruits as such like guavas, sapodillas etc are so easily available and a mediocre sight, that one doesnt give them their due importance. People been living outside India bereaved of such delectations I know can understand my pain.
We even had a giant and very old but healthy green guava tree amid others in our ancestral house. In season the tree used to be full of chirping parrots, atleast a dozen of them, amongst many other visitors, that nibbled and destroyed most of the fruit for the annoyance of my dadi.
So a couple of days back, I was thrilled to see a few those alluring guavas on sale at reasonable prices. First I thought to prepare some guava jelly using them. My dadi was an expert at it and her guava jelly used to be distributed among neighbours and loved ones during the season. Then, I recollected the classic kachalu that makes its appearance quite frequently at iftaar during Ramadan, and I just couldn’t resist making it. Kachalu is the name for guava chaat, made by adding flavorings such as sugar and black pepper power.
It was such joy to taste guavas (also called as jaam or amrood in Urdu) and to be able to fill my lungs with their characteristic musky odor after a long time. Can’t wait to visit Hyderabad and enjoy all that I have been missing inshallah.
Jaam ka Kachalu – Guava Chaat
Ripe Guaves/Jaam/Amrood – 1.5 lbs
Granulated Sugar – 4-5 tbsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Wash the guavas well. Top and bottom them. Now chop them into thin triangles and transfer to a bowl. Add sugar and black pepper powder to taste, or according to the measurements given and mix well. Do not worry if a few of the pieces mush up. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for a few hours the flavors to intensify until chilled. Serve as chaat at tea-time.
Note: Use ‘just overly ripe guavas’ to prepare this chaat. Green guavas that are hard/unripe are not suitable for this preparation. Also, the seasonings such as sugar is needed according to the sweetness of the guavas and to your fancy.