Buchanania cochinchinensis
Charoli nuts
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Buchanania
B. cochinchinensis
Binomial name
Buchanania cochinchinensis
(Lour.) M.R.Almeida
    • Buchanania lanzan Spreng.
    • Buchanania latifolia Roxb.
    • Lanzana solitaria Stokes
    • Loureira cochinchinensis (Lour.) Meisn.
    • Lundia mangiferoides Puerari ex DC.
    • Spondias elliptica Rottb. ex Hook.f.
    • Spondias simplicifolia Rottler
    • Toluifera cochinchinensis Lour.
    • Glycosmis cochinchinensis (Lour.) Pierre ex Engl.

Buchanania cochinchinensis (syn. Buchanania lanzan) is a deciduous tree which produces seeds that are edible to humans.[2] It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and adjacent parts of China.[1] It is known as chironji (or charoli[3]). These almond-flavoured seeds are used as a cooking spice primarily in India.[4] Buchanania cochinchinensis is cultivated across India, primarily in the northwest. After the hard shell is cracked, the stubby seed within is as soft as a pine nut.[4]

The charoli seed is lentil-sized, is slightly flattened and has an almond-like flavour. Though they can be eaten and used raw they are often toasted or roasted before use, as this intensifies the flavour.[3]

They are commonly used in sweets in India. They are also ground into powders for thickening savory sauces and flavoring batters, and stewed into rich, meaty kormas.[4] Charoli seeds are used in the Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Buchanania cochinchinensis (Lour.) M.R.Almeida". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Buchanania lanzan Spreng". India Biodiversity Portal. Archived from the original on 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  3. ^ a b "Celtnet Spice Guide Engtry for Chironji". Celtnet Spice Guide. August 11, 2012. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Bowen, Dana (April 28, 2004). "TEMPTATION; Charoli Nuts Flavor the Dishes, and Memories, of Indian Chefs". New York Times. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  5. ^ Pankaj Oudhia, Robert E. Paull. Chironji Buchanania lanzan Spreng. Anacardiaceae p14- 15. Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts - 2008, J. Janick and R. E. Paull -editors, CABI, Wallingford, United Kingdom