Dear Ms. Emily,
I live in an Asian country and all year long, we have an abundance of Bilimbi fruits. Often, we just let the fruits ripen and rot since we do not have much use for them. Can you suggest an easy way to make use of the fruit? – Clueless Mum
Dear Clueless Mum,
I am familiar with the Bilimbi fruit – green on the outside and very sour, common in most Southeast Asian countries. It has a variety of uses such as souring agent in soup, relish, beverage, pickles and chutney.
The leaves of the tree can be boiled and added to bath water to remove negative energy and after effects of illness from the body, for children and adults alike. Apparently, the fruit is also used to control cholesterol.
I can understand your predicament – the Bilimbi tree bears fruits profusely in both wet and dry season. During the wet season, I find it easiest to manage the fruits by giving them away to neighbors where they are always welcome to use for native cooking.
During the dry season, that is when it becomes more interesting. What I suggest is to cut the fruits in half, spread them on a metal sheet and leave them out to dry under the heat of the sun. Dried Bilimbi is expensive and you can add to your household budget by selling some of your dry goods.
Below is my original recipe for dried Bilimbi that even kids will love.
Dried Bilimbi Pasta
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 Cloves of Garlic
3 Medium Sized Onions
12 Pieces Ripe Tomatoes
Beefsteak Pepper (Roughly Ground Pepper)
A Handful of Dried Bilimbi
4 Cans Tuna
250 grams Spaghetti Pasta
Mince the garlic, cut the onions and tomatoes.
Soak the dried Bilimbi and cut into very small pieces.
Drain the tuna.
Boil the pasta.
Saute the garlic, onions, tomatoes and bilimbi in a lot of olive oil. Add the tuna, fish sauce and roughly ground pepper. Add some water to make a good pasta sauce. Season to taste and add the cooked pasta.
It is an original, very straight forward and easy recipe that will make use of your extra Bilimibi fruits — healthy and kid friendly at the same time. Your family will love it, mine does.
Till next time.
*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.