Hearle kai is the kannada name for citron, a citrus fruit. Known only in Southern India, herale is called nartangai in tamil. This citrus fruit's sharp astringent/sour taste stimulates taste buds. In Mysore/Bangalore region new mothers are barred from having citrus fruits for atleast three months, however harale kai is exempted from this rule.
Herale kai is used to prepare gojju, chitranna and pickles. Gojju provides the six basic tastes - sweet, sour, salt, astringent, bitter and spicy - as prescribed in ayurveda.
  • Ease - moderate
  • Preparation time 20 - 30 mins
  • Cooking time - 30 minutes

  • Herale Kai (Citron) - 1
  • Urad dal- 3/4 spoon
  • Channa dal - 3/4 spoon
  • Hing - 3 -4 grains
  • Cumin 1/2 spoon
  • Fenugreek - 1/2 spoon
  • Seasame seeds - 3/4 spoon
  • Byadagi Chilly - 7 - 8
  • Desicated coconut - 1 cup
  • Jaggery - powdered - 3 -4 spoonfuls
  • Tamarind - size of a small lemon/gooseberry
  • Salt - to taste (1 1/4 spoon)
  • Oil - for seasoning - 2 - 3 spoons (Pea nut oil/any neutral oil)
  • Mustard - 1/2 spoon
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

  • Cut the citron/herale and squeeze the juice into a cup - add a pinch of salt/sugar - keep aside.
  • Cut the rind into small pieces as shown
  • Soak tamarind in water, Crush jaggery and keep aside
  • In a thick bottomed wok/kadai heat oil, add mustard seed, let it sputter, add curry leaves, add cut pieces of citron rind and start frying till translucent, add tamarind juice, salt and jaggery, adjust water (should not be too dry/watery. Just enough too cover citron pieces).
  • Add ground masala paste*, adjust water, bring it to boil, add citron juice in the end, mix thoroughly
  • Gojju is ready to savour.
*Preparation of masala paste
In a kadai heat one spoon oil, add hing, hing will swell. Add urad and channa dals roast till golden, add fenugreek and cumin, roast till aroma wafts, add broken chillies and roast till crisp, add grated coconut till nutty aroma wafts. Remove from fire, let it ccol. Grind with just enough water to a smooth paste.

  • Herale kai is helpful in reducing pitta
  • It helps in digestion


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