Chui Jhal for both taste and health benefits
In the Southern regions of Bangladesh, 'Chui Jhal' (Piper Chaba) is one of the most well-liked and unique spices. Jashore, Khulna, Satkhira, and Bagerhat districts are where the Chui plants are most commonly used, commonly in meat curry.
Chilli (pepper) use in sub-continental cuisine first became apparent when the Portuguese arrived in India in the 15th century. The invasion of the hot spice in our tastebuds has persisted and is still running great. Bangladesh's culinary tapestry, which developed due to the fusion of several cultures adapted during the establishment and impact of various colonies in India, is renowned for its great flavours.
The Chui plant
Chui is a tree-line creeper that clogs up the space between bigger trees. Chui tree stems and leaves resemble betel leaves. Two species belonging to the Piperaceae family include betel and Chui.
The plant's chopped stems, roots, and skin are used for cooking food. In Bangladesh, it is an expensive spice, and due to its potent perfume, the roots are typically more valuable than the stems.
Use of Chui Jhal in curries
Bengalis developed a special spice called Chui Jhal (Piper Chaba), which allowed them to enrich their curries with a spicy, vinegary, and aromatic taste.
Chui Jhal is mostly used to boost flavour. It intensifies the heat and spice of the cuisine. It is used differently in Bangladesh since it is the twigs, branches, or roots used as spices rather than the fruit.
Chui Jhal can be used to cook fish, meat, or mutton curries, but it is less frequently used to make vegetable curries. Ten to fifteen minutes before the cooking procedure is complete, dried-up Chui Jhal twigs, stems, or roots are added to boiling curries.
The softened roots enhance the curry's flavour and aroma. As the Chui gets soft and spreads the flavour into the curry, it can be chewed if one can tolerate spice.
Most popular use
Chui Jhal is used extensively in beef and mutton curry. It takes the meat curry to a new level. Usually, it is not used in curries in day-to-day cooking in households. Chui Jhal is rather used on any kind of occasion or festival like Eid, Shab-e-Barat or when
guests are invited. It tastes better when cooked in a large amount of meat.
Hotspot of Chui Jhal, Khulna
The places one should not miss to try while they visit Khulna, the region where Chui Jhal is widely popular, are Kamrul and Abbas in Zero point.
Kamrul and Abbas are two of the most famous local restaurants, named after their chefs. Kamrul serves both beef and mutton curry with Chui Jhal. Abbas only serves mutton with Chui. Also, a place called Muslim hotel, located in Bejerdanga, serves beef curry with Chui Jhal.
Apart from taste, Chui Jhal is rich in medicinal properties. It is useful in alleviating stomach problems like gastric and constipation. This spice can also be eaten moderately to relieve stomach and intestinal inflammation.
In Ayurvedic and Kabiraji treatments, new mothers are advised to consume small amounts of Chui Jhal. Mixing it with ginger is also beneficial for colds. Chuijhal is also effective in chronic cough, phlegm, asthma, shortness of breath, diarrhoea and anaemia.
With all the benefits and usage of Chui Jhal, this indigenous spice item has enormous export potential. It is cultivated by farmers in Khulna only, in a very limited proportion.