Ramzan special: A date with Khajoor from round the globe - Hindustan Times
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Ramzan special: A date with Khajoor from round the globe

By, Prayagraj
Apr 02, 2024 06:31 PM IST

From the posh Civil Lines to the traditional favourite Chowk market, more than two dozen popular varieties of dates are available in the markets during the period.

A wide range of tasty and healthy dates or Khajoor have hit the Sangam city markets from around the globe, keeping with the annual trend around the time of Ramzan.

Shopkeepers selling dates of different varieties in Prayagraj’s Chowk. (HT Photo)
Shopkeepers selling dates of different varieties in Prayagraj’s Chowk. (HT Photo)

Not just members of the Muslim community who break their day-long fast with the goodness of the dates but even for many Hindu families, the fruit is a big time favourite, courtesy its health-packed benefits and the holy month when posh shops to roadside vendors overflow with a wide variety of dates from as far as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen and Kenya to even Iran and Iraq.

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If stockists and shopkeepers from the posh Civil Lines to the traditional favourite Chowk market of the Old City area are to be believed, more than two dozen popular varieties of dates are available in the markets during the period. Starting at 90 per kg, many of the exotic varieties of dates are being sold up to 1,800 per kg.

“We have different types of khajoor selling in the market today. They come from all over the world including Africa and Gulf countries. The prominent varieties include Safwi, Ajwa, Kupkup, Mariyam, Bukkar and Manufi. The cheapest is available at 100 per kg while Ajwa dates, considered to be the best and the costliest in the Indian market, can cost up to 1,400 to 2,000 per kg depending upon the quality, country of origin and the packaging,” said Mohd Bashir, a shopkeeper selling dates in the Chowk market.

Dates from Kenya are selling for 160 per kg, while a few varieties from Saudi Arabia are available from 700 to 900 per kg.

Another trader in the same market, Shoaib, said that the date business was a roaring one as every year, with sales rising by 10% to 15% on average despite rising costs. “On average, a family consumes around 4kg to 5kg of dates during the holy month as it is a ritual to break the day-long fast with Khajoor and then follows it up with other delicacies in the evening at the time of iftar.

“Modern times have seen the start of a practice of exchanging gifts of dates between friends and families. So, different varieties of dates are available even in bowls, jars and wooden gift boxes the sales of which peak during Ramzan.”

Jaffar, another date merchant, said that the wide variety of dates is also popular among many Hindu families who consume it for health benefits as well as to give to their Muslim friends. “The demand is such that now one can buy dates of many varieties and price round the year in Prayagraj,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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