July 23, 2024, 12:23 pm

Price of Khulna’s beloved Chuijhal sees a spike ahead of Eid-ul-Azha

  • Update Time : Sunday, June 16, 2024
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As Eid-ul-Azha approaches, the price of Chuijhal, a popular and expensive spice from Khulna, is skyrocketing. Known for significantly enhancing the flavor of meat dishes, Chuijhal has become a festive staple, driving its demand and price higher.

Salam Fakir, a seasoned Chuijhal trader at Gollamari Bazar in Khulna city, has witnessed this trend over his 18 years in business. “The popularity of Chuijhal is increasing day by day, especially during Eid. People carry it from Khulna to various parts of the country,” Salam remarked.

He added that Chuijhal is now also available online, further broadening its reach.

The wholesale price of Chuijhal has seen a sharp rise, climbing from Tk 800 per kg to between Tk 1,000 and Tk 1,200. The highest quality Chuijhal in Salam’s shop is priced at Tk 1,800 per kg. The spice is highly sought after in Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, and Jashore districts due to its distinctive taste.

The surge in demand has led to the opening of numerous shops in Khulna, including popular spots like Zero Point, where cooked beef or mutton infused with Chuijhal is a major draw.

Habibullah Khan, a customer, shared, “Now I don’t really enjoy beef without Chuijhal. Every year during Eid, I have to buy more and send it to my relatives in Dhaka. This year, I see that the price is quite high.”

Sohrab Hossain, another Chuijhal seller, attributed the price hike to increased wholesale rates. The local variety, once sold at Tk 2,800 per maund, now fetches Tk 3,500.

Chuijhal, derived from a creeping tree, uses its roots, branches, and stems as a culinary spice. Its small pieces are prized for their ability to enhance meat dishes.

Shariful Islam, another trader, noted the year-round demand for Chuijhal, which peaks during Eid, especially in Dhaka. “I take orders online and deliver through courier,” he said.

According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Khulna, Chuijhal production in the southern districts of Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, and Narail reached 576 tonnes in the fiscal year 2022-23, up from 347 tonnes in 2021-22. Five years ago, production was just 238 tonnes, indicating a more than threefold increase due to rising demand and commercial interest from farmers.

The DAE has highlighted several health benefits of Chuijhal. Beyond enhancing meat flavor, Chuijhal helps alleviate gastric problems and constipation, improves appetite, reduces nervous tension, acts as a sleep aid, and addresses physical weakness and body pain.

As Chuijhal’s popularity and production continue to grow, its presence in both local and national markets solidifies its status as an essential spice for festive and everyday cooking in Bangladesh.

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