Buchanania lanzan or Chironji is a deciduous tree which produces seeds that are edible to humans. It is known as chironji (or charoli). These almond-flavoured seeds are used as a cooking spice primarily in India. Buchanania lanzan 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.
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.
They are commonly used in sweets in India. However, they are also ground into powders for thickening savory sauces and flavoring batters, and stewed into rich, meaty kormas.
Charoli seeds are used in the Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine.
Chironji must be extensively used in dishes prepared in summers, because it has a cooling effect on the body. These nuts naturally reduce body heat, and keep you cool from the inside. In Ayurvedic medicines, chironji is often added to preparations for treating itching or prickly heat on the skin.