Taste is said to be subjective – for one, because people can have preferences and second because different people might have different taste buds. That said, I consider myself a good and capable taster, able to differentiate the subtle flavours; with this ability to taste subtle differences, comes the ability to cook well, for the former is often needed to validate the latter. I have always loved home cooked meals as nothing, ever compares to it, when to comes to satisfaction, if done well.
A sweet sour dance story
Went to volunteer at a friend’s farm for paddy sowing, as it is the season now, and I happened to look at their fruit laden bilimbi tree (Averrhoa bilimbi) right there! I had not gotten the chance to try bilimbi before but had identified the small dainty flowers of the tree long ago, while walking the streets of Bengaluru (will post a pic of this after I have successfully traced and retrieved it ;). And so, our friend kindly offered for us to take home a few bilimbi and I did.
Initial taste testing revealed a prominent sour taste with notes of sweet (for the riper ones) and a mild after taste of bitter-sour, especially when you bite into the raw fruits, as-is. I had earlier tried making a simple fresh juice from amla (gooseberry), ginger and jaggery that came out really zesty and so decided to try a similar hand with the bilimbi.
And it did not fail to satisfy. The sour taste of the bilimbi, with the slight raw spice of the ginger, with the jaggery and added salt was the perfect way to round up all the tastes into one concoction! And the cool-heat combo of the bilimbi ginger is also great refreshment while packing a gentle kick. So next time you are around the bilimbi, try it out. And from here, wait for more recipes to be tired and partaken. 🙂
My ‘experiments with bilimbi’ continues! (Dec 8, 2022)
There was still some bilimbi left after making the juice and so it was onto other attempts at working with this fruit and giving it new ‘colours’. Given its souring nature, the first 2 attempts were to make some chutneys – a green one with coriander and a red one with red chillies. And a third even more yummy pachadi style – taking inspiration from the mangoes pachadis and pineapple gojjus that get savoured! And these did not disappoint me! They taste zingy and yummy! so now you know, if you see one, never let a bilimbi go by! 🙂