Pile of Nuts [Chirauli-nut, Chironji, Chiraunji, Saaraparuppu; Buchanania lanzan | B. latifolia]

B. lanza is native to India and Malaysia, while B. latifolia has a wider range, extending into China and Laos. Seeds of this shrub look much like pine nuts, and have a similar hard shell. Once broken out of their shells they have about the same size and soft consistency as pine nuts, but a flavor compared to almonds or hazelnuts. They are generally lightly toasted before use, which is often in sweets. They are also ground for use as a spice, flavoring and thickener in savory sauces, curries and kormas.

Subst: These are rather difficult to find in North America, so substitues will need to be used most of the time. For sauces, I use lightly toasted raw cashews (related and reasonably soft), though raw almonds could be used similarly. Some suggest pine nuts, similar in size and consistency but much more resinous. Instead, I'd choose raw pistachios (related, but also a bit resinous).   Photo by Badagnani (cropped, edited, color balanced) distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Unported attribution required.

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