Yesterday, I encountered a kind of jam that I’d never seen before—rhododendron jam. I’ve been thinking that I should write more about India’s indigenous foods, since there is such a wonderful variety, and this has inspired me to get on with it. The food is certainly high on most people’s list of things to enjoy about India.

Red rhododendrum
This travel blog photo’s source is TravelPod page: Himalayan Wildflowers

While it’s true that most rhododendrons are poisonous, the red Himalayan ones aren’t. In fact, they taste great and are good for you, besides. It’s hard describe the taste, though. It resemblies berry jam, but it has a delightful flavor all its own.

This particular jam, which is really delicious, is made by a company called Himalayan Fresh. It’s even certified organic, although since rhododendrons grow wild all over the Himalayas without any intervention from humans, it would probably be organic by default anyway. Rhododendron squash is a popular drink in India, especially in the spring, and this company also sells the concentrate to make it.

It’s great on toast and pancakes, of course, but try some on a buttered chapati for a change. It’s also delicious mixed with yogurt. And you may want to try making some rhododendron lassi with the squash concentrate—I’ve never seen it on any Indian menu, but it should be!

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5 Responses


  1. anu jain on 03 May 2014

    I like to know where I can get this rhododendron squash in ludiana or delhi

    • JD Viharini on 04 May 2014

      In Delhi, you can get it from Navdanya in Dilli Haat (at the very southern part of the food area) or at their shop in Hauz Khas.

    • A E Balance on 17 Aug 2015

      More than a year late… but just in case you are still looking, Rhododendron squash is available in Fabindia

      • JD Viharini on 14 Sep 2015

        Thanks for your comment. I think FabIndia’s might have preservatives in it. Personally, I like the one from Navdanya best.

  2. Mitchell on 23 Jun 2013

    This stuff is great, but Indian customs WILL take it out of a package if you try and mail it home.


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