HAMINAH BINTI SIRAT (MIN MOHD)
“My family loves cooking with Belimbi. It’s part of our Malay tradition but recipes are disappearing”
This small oblong fruit used to be a staple in many local kitchens for sambals, prawn lemak and fish curry, as well as a tamarind substitute and meat tenderiser. In Malay, it is known as Belimbi Buluh (Averrhoa bilimbi), which literally meaning ‘Bamboo Starfruit’ It is often referred to as belimbing asam as well. A close relative of the carambola tree, it is in no way close in taste to the sweet starfruit. This innocent-looking fruit is extremely sour and acidic, and yet it stirs up an unbelievable tangy ‘punch’ that can only come from the belimbi.
SAMBAL BELIMBI BULUH
150 gm Belimbi Buluh
(green or yellow)
1 tepus (tumeric shoot or flower)
2 turmeric leaves
SAMBAL1 tbs of baked blacan
1 tsp sugarRed onion/chili/ikan bilis (amount desired)
1. Pound (not blend) all the sambal ingredients to a coarse consistency.
2. Slice the Belimbi.
3. Chop up tepus and tumeric leaves.
4. Add sambal mixture to Belimbi. Mix well.
5. Sprinkle roughly blended dried prawns, chopped tepus and cut up tumeric leaves on the Belimbi sambal. Serve with rice.
BELIMBI BULUH JUICE
Sugar (adjust to taste)
Salted Somboi (dried prunes)
1 cup boiling water
1. Cut and blend Belimbi.
2. Mix sugar and somboi in hot water.
3. Stir till sugar is dissolved.
4. Add to blended Belimbi and strain.
LEAF: A TIP
Belimbi leaves can be used as:- substitute for tumeric leaves – a tea to alleviate stomach irritation – a bath for babies with jaundice.