Bilimbi, Cucumber tree, Tree Sorrel.Ethnic names:
Kamias, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Buloh, Bimbiri
Scientific name: Averrhoa bilimbi
Origin: Malaysia and Indonesia
Appearance: The fruit is very crunchy when unripe and it turns from bright-green to yellowish-green, when it is ripe. Once it got ripe it falls on the ground. The outer skin is shiny, very thin and gentle, and the flesh will be greenish-white in color which will be very juicy and extremely sour. It has a few flattened seeds which is brown in color.
* The fruit juice has a high concentration of oxalic acid which is useful for cleaning and bleaching.
* The fruit is generally regarded as too acid for eating raw so are used extensively in soups, sauces, curries etc.
* There is a sweet variety of bilimbi in the Philippines where the sour bilimbis are called kamias, while the sweet variety is called balimbing.
* The fruits are available throughout the year.
* The tree bears hundreds of fruits per year.
* Bilimbi is preserved by sun-drying, the sun-dried bilimbi is called asam sunti.
Medicinal benefits in Bilimbi
* The leaves of bilimbi are used as a treatment for venereal disease.
* The leaf decoction is taken as a medicine to relieve from rectal inflammation.
* The fruit seems to be effective against coughs and thrush.
* It fights against cholestrol and is used as a tonic and laxative.
* The fruit is also known to control internal bleeding in the stomach.
* The leaves serve as a paste on itches, swelling, mumps or skin eruptions.
* Syrup made from Bilimbi is a cure for fever and inflammation.
* It is also used to stop rectal bleeding and alleviate internal hemorrhoids.
1. Bilimbi Toffee
* Bilimbi pulp 1/2 kg
* Sugar as required
* Citric acid 1/4 tbsp
* 100g of Milk powder
* 100g of glucose
* 50g of ghee
1. Make the milk powder into a thick paste with little warm water.
2. Extract the pulp of the bilimbi after cooking it in a pressure cooker.
3. Puree out through a sieve.
4. Keep the puree on a fire and when the water content in it has reduced, add the sugar, citric acid and glucose to it.
5. Keep stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the vessel.
6. When the above mixture becomes slightly thick, add the paste of milk powder and ghee to it.
7. Continue to cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the vessel.
8. Remove from the fire and transfer into pre-greased trays and allow to set.
9. Cut into desired shapes or roll into balls and wrap into butter paper when cool.
10. Yummy Toffee is now ready to serve.
2. Bilimbi Squash
* 1\2 kg of Bilimbi
* Sugar as required
* Citric acid 1 tbsp
* 2 cups of water
1. Beat the bilimbi in a liquidizer after adding 1/4 cup water.
2. Strain the pulp through a sieve and keep the juice aside.
3. In another bowl boil the remaining water and the sugar along with citric acid.
4. Remove the matter that floats on the top of the syrup, using a spoon.
5. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the fire and add the juice of the Bilimbi to it.
6. Store it in clean sun-dried bottles when cool.
7. Mix it with 3 parts of water while consuming.
3. Bilimbi Curry
* 1/2 kg bilimbi fruit
* Salt as required
* 2 tablespoons oil
* Fresh curry leaves
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander
* Chilli powder as required
* 1/2 cup coconut milk
1. Slice the bilimbi, put into a bowl and pour over just enough water to cover.
2. Stir in salt and leave for 30 minutes or longer, then rinse and squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the bilimbi.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the curry leaves and onion until the onion is soft and starts turning golden.
4. Add the chilies, turmeric, coriander and chilli powder and fry for 1 minute, then add the bilimbi and fry for 5 minutes.
5. Add coconut milk and salt.
6. Simmer uncovered until the mixture is thick and oily.
7. Will be tasty when served with rice.
4. Bilimbi Wine
* 1/2 kg bilimbi
* 1 kg sugar
* 5 cups of water
* 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1. Boil bilimbi, sugar and water together in a bowl.
2. Remove from flame.
3. Allow it to cool down by 30 degrees.
4. After it got cooled add the yeast to it.
5. Once its completely cooled, pour it into a clean, sun-dried bottle.
6. Close the bottle with an air-tight fitting cap.
7. Seal for 22 days.
8. After 22 days, strain out the wine through a fine cloth (folded into 4-5 layers).
9. Keep this strained wine in an airtight container for another 22 days before use.
10. This wine has an original golden colour.
11. Bilimbi wine is ready to serve.