Kuldhara: Tale of an Abandoned Village | Desert camp in Jodhpur

One of Rajasthan’s most special side dishes, the berries of the Khejri trees and the Sangri beans make for a brilliant spicy and tangy pickle. As one of the most underrated dishes on the menu, despite being a staple side dish in every thali, it is one of the most special foods to try in Jodhpur. It is essentially dried berries and beans soaked in cold-pressed mustard oil with whole red chilies and raw mango.

Let’s see what the ingredients of Ker Sangri are:

¾ cup Sangri

2 tablespoons Ker

2 Dry Red Chillies

½ teaspoon Ajwain (Carom seeds)

¼ teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing)

½ teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)

½ Red Chilli powder 1 teaspoon Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)

2 teaspoons Coriander Powder (Dhania)

1 tablespoon Jaggery, optional

¼ cup Raisins

4 sprig Coriander (Dhania) Leaves Oil, for cooking

Let’s get to the recipe now:

Ker Sangri - 1

To start with the preparation, soak the Ker and Sangri in water separately for at least 8 hours.

Drain rinse the Ker Sangri in the water a couple of times, to remove dust and dirt.

Pressure cook the Ker and Sangri in 1 cup of water till 3 to 4 whistles. Turn off the flame and let the pressure release naturally.

Then heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the ajwain, the red chilies, and allow it to roast a little. Add the cooked raisins, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, coriander, amchur powder, and the Ker Sangri, and give it a good stir.

Stir fry until all the ingredients are come together in a slightly sticky consistency and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and the Ker Sangri Sabzi is ready to be served.

Serve along with Kadhi, Phulkas, and Steamed Rice, and don’t forget to add ghee.

But if you want to have an authentic taste of Ker Sangri, have it made by a local of Rajasthan. It is a must food to try in Jodhpur. Manvar, our desert camp in Jodhpur is surrounded by Khejri trees that are used for making fresh Ker Sangri.

Storage Suggestions:

Ker Sangri can be stored for a week in the refrigerator if kept in an airtight container. If you are making it in large quantities, only heat the amount you want to serve. Reheating, multiple times can decrease the shelf life. Sprinkle a little water if you feel it’s dry and give it a nice mix whole reheating.

History of Ker Sangri:

Ker Sangri - 2

Ker Sangri’s story is of survival in the Thar desert. The desert sun weakens all manner of vegetation, but not the Ker and the Khejri trees — the fruits or pods of which are called Sangri. These tenacious trees have roots that go deep into the soil — so deep, in fact, that they can store enough water for several months. The berries of Ker and pods of the Khejri tree are the ingredients that lend the Ker Sangri its ultimate flavor.

Sangri is found in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan in India, where it is said to have its origins. Because Sangri grows abundantly on sand dunes, it is a plant product that is highly prized in the dry, arid regions, because there are very options. Sangri is used by nomads of the desert, as well as by villagers.

Sangri was supposedly first used as a food source when famine-struck villagers of Rajasthan had nothing to eat. In the famine of 1868 to 1869, the people depended on everything from the bark of the Khejri tree to the carbohydrate and protein-rich Sangri pods, for sustenance.

Sangri has a lot of nutritional value with minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron and is also a good source of protein and fiber. Sangri pods also contain a moderate amount of saponins, which help to boost the immune system and lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

Ker Sangri can be had with Bajre ki Roti which is a staple millet flatbread in Rajasthan along with Garlic Chutney. There are multiple dishes that are local to the Thar region which you can try at Manvar, our desert camp in Jodhpur like Dal Bati Churma, Gatte ki sabzi, etc. If you want to learn about more specialties of Rajasthan, you can visit our blog Traditional Recipes of Rajasthan.