Indian Cooking with Jolpai (Olive): Things to Explore

Jolpai is a unique fruit that is available in the Indian subcontinent and it is olive everywhere else. Olive and Jolpai are the same things other than the terminology.

Both are similar in taste. You can find black olives too which are used in continental cooking and they taste a little different. “Jolpai er Chutney” – is one of the condiments that is considered one of the best that you can ever have.

The taste of the olive or Jolpai is something out of the world that you can never think of having just one.

This is wonderful and at the same time mouth-watering. Bengal, Orissa, Assam, and Bangladesh are all having this fruit used for pickles or condiments.

Uses of Jolpai in Indian Cuisines

Cooking with Jolpai

Indian cuisines are having different varieties of chutneys and every cuisine has its style and preference of having condiments.

There are so many types of recipes of condiments that are available which are having sweet, salty, and even chili-hot flavors.

Sweet & tangy chutneys are making Bengali cuisine a loved one. The main course is having Dessert at the last but in Bengal, it is incomplete without condiments.

Even Bengali restaurants are also famous for these types of sweet, tangy, and chili chutneys. Jujube fruit, Papayas, Tomatoes, Pineapples, and even raw mangoes are used for chutneys.

With Jolpai you can simply make condiments and pickles, other than this you have no such other recipes to deal with Jolpai. Jolpai er Chatni is one of Bengal delicacies that is made up of Indian olives cooked with jaggery or sugar.

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The Jolpai is boiled and then it is cooked. This is a very unique and wonderful recipe where Panch Foron is used as tempering. It is a delicious chutney made with a limited amount of ingredients.

Panch foron is simply a combination of five spices that are available in Bengal and it creates a beautiful aromatic temperament.

It has Radhuni (Trachyspermum Roxburghianum), Fennel seeds (Saunf), Nigella seeds (Kalonji), Cumin seeds (Jeera), and Fenugreek seeds (Methi).

Sometimes the Radhuni is replaced by black mustard seeds that are shorshe.

In this preparation, you need to boil and smash the Jolpai, it’s optional, and you can keep the Jolpai as it is also.

You can deseed or even keep the seed of the Jolpai, this is too optional. You can also use dry red chili and fennel seeds powder after preparing the chutney or you can use the Panch Foron Masala.

Sugar and jaggery also depend on your choice, you can use any one of them.

Other than chutney, Jolpai pickles are also made and kept in a jar for quite a long period.

How Does Jolpai Taste?

Jolpai, also known as Indian Olive or Ceylon Olive, has a distinct sour and tangy taste.

The flavor can be described as similar to a mix of lime and mango, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

It is commonly used in Bengali cuisine as a souring agent in fish and meat dishes, as well as in chutneys and pickles.

Some people also eat it raw, sprinkled with salt and chili powder.

Overall, Jolpai has a unique and refreshing taste that adds a special touch to many dishes.

What Can Be Made from Jolpai?

Jolpai, also known as Indian or Bengali Olive, is a versatile fruit that can be used in many different ways in cooking. Here are a few examples:

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Chutney: Jolpai chutney is a popular condiment in Bengali cuisine. It is made by cooking the fruit with sugar, spices, and vinegar or lemon juice. The result is a sweet and tangy sauce that can be served with meat, fish, or vegetables.

Pickle: Jolpai can also be pickled. The fruit is soaked in a mixture of salt, vinegar, and spices, and left to ferment for a few days. The resulting pickle is tangy and flavorful, and can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to sandwiches and salads.

Juice: Jolpai juice is a refreshing drink that is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. The fruit is blended with water and sugar, and can be served over ice.

Jam: Jolpai jam is a sweet spread that can be enjoyed on toast, biscuits, or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. The fruit is cooked with sugar and pectin to create a thick and sticky jam.

Curry: Jolpai can be used in savory dishes as well. In Bengali cuisine, it is often added to fish curries to give them a tangy flavor. The fruit can also be used in vegetarian curries with potatoes, onions, and other vegetables.

What Goes Best with Jolpai?

Jolpai has a sour and tangy taste that goes well with spicy and savory dishes.

In many Bengali households, jolpai is often used to make a sour chutney which can be served with rice, dal, or any spicy curry.

It can also be used in pickles, jams, and marmalades. Jolpai can also be added to salads, fruit bowls, and yogurt to give them a tangy twist.

In addition, it can be used in marinades for meat, fish, or poultry dishes to add a zesty flavor.

Some people also enjoy eating jolpai with a sprinkle of salt and chili powder as a snack.

How Do You Serve Fresh Jolpai?

Fresh jolpai can be served in various ways. One common way is to cut the fruit into small pieces and sprinkle some salt or chaat masala on top to enhance its tangy flavor.

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It can also be added to salads or used as a garnish for various dishes. Some people enjoy eating it raw with a sprinkle of sugar on top.

Another popular way of serving fresh jolpai is by making chutney or pickles out of it.

The possibilities are endless and it all comes down to personal preference.

Questions & Answers

Which Part of Jolpai Do We Eat?

The edible part of jolpai is its juicy pulp, which is surrounded by a thin, soft, and edible skin. The seeds inside the pulp are not eaten.

Are Olive and Jolpai the Same?

Yes, Olive and Jolpai are both the same as these two different names of Jolpai. Jolpai is known as wild olives or Indian olives in English.

What is Jolpai Called in Different Languages?

Jolpai is known as Olives in English and Jalpai in Hindi.


Jolpai, also known as Indian Olive or Ceylon Olive, is a versatile fruit that is widely used in Bengali cuisine to add a sour and tangy flavor to dishes.

It can be used to make a variety of dishes such as chutney, pickle, jam, juice, and curry.

Jolpai goes well with spicy and savory dishes and can be used in marinades for meat, fish, or poultry dishes.

Overall, Jolpai’s unique and refreshing taste adds a special touch to many dishes.

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