Hi, I'm back. It has been a busy week, the school terms starts and have been busy making cookies for the coming Chinese New Year festival. I am selling cookies and have been busy making samples for distribution. Cookies, anyone? OK, time for "belimbing". The picture above was taken yesterday from my very own belimbing tree. I planted this tree from the seeds about 9 or 10 years ago. It looks like the version of grapes, don't you think so? My family, loves this fruit, we use it in cooking as it is very sour to be eaten by itself, although it can be taken raw dipped with a little salt. The scientifc name for this fruit is "averrhoe bilimbi". This tree can reach as high as 15m (mine is about 5m). The fruit can be eaten fresh (very sour!), dried, used in cooking, jam (just imagine the amount of sugar that has to be added!) and pickles. This tree is a tropical species and grow well in full sun. It usually fruits well and the juice from the fruit is useful for bleaching stains from the hands, among other uses, because of its oxalic acid content. It has medicinal uses too. The leaves are applied as a paste or poulticed on itches, swellings of mumps and rheumatism, and on skin eruptions. A leaf infusion is a remedy for coughs whereas a flower infusion is said to be effective against coughs and thrush. A syrup prepared from the fruit is taken as a cure for fever and inflammation. It is believed that the leaf and fruit can be beneficial for those suffering from hypertension.
As you can see from the picture, the flowers are red in colour. When plucking the fruit, be careful to handle it gently as the stems is very fragile and breaks easily. The fruit is crisp when unripe, turns from bright green to yellowish green and nearly white when ripe and falls to the ground. The outer skin is glossy, very thin, soft and tender, juicy and extremely acid. There are about 6 or 7 small seeds in the fruit.
Now here comes the delicious part : How to cook Sambal Belimbing Chicken. This is one of my family favourites. My late dear mother is a great cook, so we are lucky (my 5 sisters and myself) being brought up with her wonderful cooking. You can check out their blogs at www.nyonyapendekmelaka.blogspot.com (my youngest sis) and www.straitsbakes.blogspot.com (my 5th sis). By the way, I'm the 4th in the family.