Kair

Ark of taste
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The spicy fruits of the kair tree (Capparis decidua) are pink, fleshy berries that are used in preparing vegetables, curries and pickles. It can be both cooked fresh or dried and stored for later use. After the tree has flowered, which occurs twice a year (from March to April and from August to September), it takes about one month for the berries to ripen and be ready for use. The kair tree is extremely drought resistant and tolerates some frost. It is a useful food source in marginal habitats, and can also be used for reforestation in semidesert and desert areas, helping against soil erosion. The kair tree can be found in northwestern and northern central India. It is common the Thar Desert in Rajasthan and in the area of Khair in Uttar Pradesh. 

The tree can also be found in parts of the Middle East and Southern Asia. Kair is mentioned in the Mahabharata Book VIII (a major Sanskrit epic of ancient India). While kair was still being collected regularly in the 2010s and sold commercially, the rapid pace of desertification in its natural habitat, and the encroachment of land in rural areas means that the tree is becoming rarer, and, therefore, the so also is use of the fruit as a seasoning in traditional cuisine. 

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Territory

StateIndia
Region

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Other info

Categories

Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Indigenous community:Marvari