Cooking With Edible Camphor: Try These Interesting Recipes Using Edible Camphor


  • Many traditional recipes embrace camphor as a flavouring agent
  • One of many first identified ice-cream recipes had camphor as an ingredient
  • Camphor can be produced synthetically from the oil of turpentine

Thomas Stevens, a British Jesuit, was among the many first British missionaries who arrived in India (in 1579). He ultimately spent 40 years in Western India. His documented letters to his father provide fascinating vignettes about what he referred to as the ‘items of India’. A kind of letters mentions camphor as a generally used meals ingredient again then in India and that a lot of the camphor consumed in India got here from China. Curiously, one of many first identified recipes for ice-cream relationship to the Tang dynasty (that lorded over China between 618 and 907 AD) consists of camphor as an ingredient. Stevens additionally mentions within the letter that the very best camphor could possibly be traced again to the Indonesian island of Borneo. It is why it ought to come as no shock that the fashionable chemical model of camphor – Iso-Borneol flakes takes its identify from the island. 

Karpooram in Tamil (Karpooora in Kannada) or Kapoor in Hindi, camphor has not simply been a vital merchandise in non secular rituals but additionally a flavouring agent throughout India. In South India, this ingredient provides an fascinating edge to 2 of my favorite sweets – ladoo and candy Pongal. Many traditional recipes additionally embrace camphor as a flavouring agent in South Indian payasams (kheers). I ended up chatting about edible camphor with Chef G Muthu Kumar, the Government Chef of Novotel Ibis Chennai OMR, throughout my final go to to the resort a couple of months in the past. He’s obsessed with heirloom recipes from Tamil Nadu and the remainder of South India. He believes that camphor was additionally integrated into dishes for its healing properties that embrace combating indigestion and fatigue. Different well being advantages embrace bettering circulation and inspiring leisure. 

Additionally Learn: 5 Fascinating Culinary Makes use of Of Edible Camphor You Should Know

Edible camphor is to not be confused with the camphor that’s used for non secular ceremonies. Historically, camphor was extracted from the wooden of the camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), an evergreen tree present in East Asia. Camphor can be produced synthetically from the oil of turpentine. Grand Sweets, one among Chennai’s common candy retailers, is well-known for his or her conventional South Indian type ladoo. This ladoo is flavoured with a touch of spices that embrace cloves, cardamom and camphor that offset the candy flavour. Chef G Muthu Kumar’s recipe (see recipe under) makes use of camphor. You possibly can do that recipe at residence. Most grocery shops and supermarkets inventory edible camphor and its necessary you utilize the best ingredient. Most retailers in Tamil Nadu seek advice from edible camphor as pachai (recent) karpooram to differentiate it from the model utilized in poojas. 

Recipe Of Ladoo Flavoured With Edible Camphor

Recipe Courtesy – Chef G Muthu Kumar, Government Chef – Novotel Ibis, Chennai OMR


  • Gram flour (Besan) – 250 gm
  • Cooking Soda – 5gm
  • Water – 200 ml + modify accordingly
  • Oil for deep frying

For Sugar Syrup: 

  • Sugar -500 grams
  • Water – 600 ml
  • Cardamom Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves – 1/four tsp powder
  • Saffron pinch in scorching water about 2 tablespoons
  • Edible camphor – 1 granule

For ending: 

  • Cashew nuts – 15 damaged into small items
  • Raisin- 25 items
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon


  1. Sieve gram flour Add in water and blend to a clean batter. 
  2. Add in water slowly and make it right into a clean batter. Now add in cooking soda, combine effectively. 
  3. The batter must be in a thick coating consistency.
  4. Warmth oil for deep frying.
  5. Now, take a boondi jhara or a perforated ladle. Maintain it over oil. Pour a ladleful of batter over the ladle and unfold it out. The boondi will fall in drops 
  6. Fry the boondi until they’re little crispy. Drain them and put aside.
  7. Deliver collectively sugar and water in a pan, convey it to a boil, combine effectively, and prepare dinner until it attains a single string stage. (A tip: Whenever you take the spoon of the syrup and let it drop, the final drop falling from the syrup kinds a single string like consistency.)
  8. At this level, take it off the warmth and add in cardamom powder, clove powder, saffron water, edible camphor and blend effectively.
  9. Add boondi to this syrup and blend effectively.
  10. Add in raisins, cashew nuts, and ghee, let it soak for five minutes.
  11. Roll into Ladoos, retailer in cool place.

Sakkarai Pongal Recipe

Recipe Courtesy: Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel, Chennai


  • Uncooked Rice – 100 gm
  • Inexperienced Gram –  50 gm
  • Jaggery –  125 gm
  • Ghee –  30 ml
  • Raisins –  5 gm
  • Cashewnut –  5 gm
  • Edible Camphor –  2 gm
  • Inexperienced Cardamom –  three gm


  1. Dry roast the inexperienced gram in a thick backside pan and add it to the uncooked rice.
  2. Wash the rice and inexperienced gram combination not less than twice.
  3. Add water to the rice and inexperienced gram combination and produce it to boil.
  4. Grate the jaggery and take it in a separate pan, add water to it and warmth it until the jaggery melts to kind a syrup.
  5. When the rice and dal combination is totally cooked, simmer it and add the jaggery syrup to it.
  6. Combine all of the elements effectively and mash it with a ladle.
  7. Warmth ghee in a pan and add the cashew nut and raisins to it. After they start to show brown, add it to the kedgeree.
  8. Mix the edible camphor to the above combination. Barely pound the inexperienced cardamom and add it to the candy Pongal. Cook dinner it for a short time over a low flame.
  9. Serve scorching.

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About Ashwin RajagopalanI’ve found cultures, locations and felt at residence in among the world’s most distant corners due to the varied meals I’ve tried which were ready with ardour. Typically they’re conventional recipes and at most instances they have been audacious reinterpretations by inventive cooks. I may not prepare dinner usually however once I do, I think about I am in a cookery present set – matching measuring bowls, et all!

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