‘Bam Tchoonth’ : The Winter Superfruit of Kashmir

‘Bam Tchoonth’ : The Winter Superfruit of Kashmir

Suhail Khan 

Srinagar, Nov. 22: Kashmir, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, is not only a paradise for nature enthusiasts but also a culinary haven.

Among the wide variety of Kashmiri dishes, the ‘Quince Apple’ shines during the winter season in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bam Tchoonth (Quince Apple) is a kind of wild apple that is used in different ways in the winter months in Kashmir.

A local female chef, Nida Jan, told Kashmir Despatch that this Quince Apple, locally known as ‘Bam Tchoonth,’ has many health benefits. She said it is not only good for coughing (chest infection), but also has other medical benefits as it is said to be an anti-cancer fruit.

She added that during the winter months, when most people are susceptible to different diseases due to the cold temperature, this fruit really helps in maintaining good health.

Nida also emphasized that this fruit is beneficial for children as well.

According to her, nowadays people prepare jams, jellies, and puddings from it and use it in the winter months.

She further mentioned that it is also used as a special dish in Kashmiri marriages, and people enjoy eating this fruit with mutton or paneer.

Muneeb ul Haq, a farmer in north Kashmir, revealed that his family has been using this fruit for the winter months for ages due to its various benefits.

He shared that their elders used to make jams (Maraba Bhi) from this fruit, and his family used to consume it with breads for months.

Muneeb stated that nowadays, people have this fruit in their daily routine by incorporating it into different dishes, including mutton and others.

Dr. Azmat, a health expert, in a conversation with Kashmir Despatch, shared the benefits of this wild fruit. He pointed out that it is one of the best fruits, especially for elders.

He said this fruit is beneficial to health since it contains dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and is quite low in calories.

Further, the catechin and epicatechin present in this fruit bind to cancer-causing toxins, thereby protecting the colon and its mucous membrane from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancers, he said.

Dr. Azmat mentioned that this fruit can ease gastrointestinal diseases, promote heart health, and aid in digestive disorders.

Quince, or Bumm-Tsoonth, is cultivated in Iran, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, the USA, France, the UK, the Middle East, Armenia, Georgia, and various other countries in Central Asia and Europe. The unripe fruit is green like a pear but changes color to golden yellow on ripening.

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