Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Belimbing buluh

We have a medium-sized belimbing buluh tree (scientific name : averrhoa bilimbi) growing in the front yard of our house. The tree has been there all these years, presumably planted by the original owners.

At certain times of the year, the tree bears fruits that can be used in Malay cooking. This time round, the fruits seem to have sprouted in abundance... more than I can recall from previous times. Yesterday, I collected enough to fill a small basket and yet there are more than half the tree that was unplucked. A lot of the ripe fruits have already fallen to ground.

The green belimbing buluh fruits are too sour to be eaten directly but they make excellent additions to certain recipes such as any `masak lemak' type of dishes. While searching for the scientific name on the internet, I came across a simple recipe involving belimbing buluh and ikan bilis. I have not tried it yet but being the ikan bilis fan that I am, I'm sure it's going to taste delicious.

The recipe is reproduced below (credit to Nani Z @ resipi.mesra.net) :

Sambal Ikan Bilis Goreng Belimbing Buluh
Kiriman : Nani Z
Sumber : Resepi arwah moyang Limah turun temurun

Bahan-Bahan :
Segenggam Ikan bilis sederhana besar
5 ulas bawang merah
2 ulas bawang putih

7 biji cili padi (ikut suka)

Kicap secukupnya

2 sudu belimbing buluh (berwarna coklat / hitam)

Minyak masak untuk menumis

Garam secukup rasa

Cara :
Basuh ikan bilis dan toskan. Kemudian tumbuk sederhana lumat dan asingkan (Bahan A). Tumbuk cili padi, bawang merah, bawang putih dan belimbing buluh hingga lumat (Bahan B).

Panaskan minyak dan masukkan Bahan B serta goreng hingga kekuningan. Kemudian campurkan Bahan A, kicap serta garam. Goreng hingga garing. Angkat dan hidangkan.

Cadangan Hidangan :
Sambal ini dikenali juga sebagai sambal hitam (di tempat kami Kg Gua, Kuala Lipis). Ia boleh dimakan dengan nasi panas, roti canai dan lain-lain sebagai bahan pencecah.

Tambahan :
Buah belimbing buluh direbus dulu hingga hitam keperangan. Dikenali juga sebagai asam belimbing buluh.

Source : http://resepi.mesra.net/Detailed/5067.shtml


JUJUL said...

Bro..sambal itam tu mmg yummy n org kuale lepih aje yg expert on that..hehehe.. adei..dah jejes lah air liur..

mamasita said...

Waah sedapnya! Lecur airliur! Sambal hitam memang delicious!
Lucky you ada pokok belimbing buluh kat depan rumah. Not easy to find unless pergi kampung areas...tu pun tak brani pakai petik! Nanti mengerling tuan dia! hahaha

Anonymous said...

wow1!! sodapnya resipi tu, belimbing buluh tu pon sedap klu di masak ngan sardin , tumis ngan cili api... pergh!!! mmg menyelerakan... mak mertua lalu belakang..sah tk nampak la ehehehe...
satu lgk..campur dlm masak asam pedas, fuyooooo...terangkat!!!

jawa style, mcm resipi bro tp tanpa kicap...cuber la...

Unknown said...

bestnya belimbing buluh.

mmg main ingredient dalam resepi sambal hitam. Kat Kuantan ni, Restoran Ras Aman and Akop Ikan Patin serves this delicacy!

when I was small, used to eat it raw... cicah garam. Terkernyih2 muka, tahan masam.

Mahmud Yussop said...

Salam Datuk, Thanks for dropping by. You're lucky to have this tree in your garden. It's becoming rare now, just like the cermai and kemunting.Here we use it to cook asam pedas in replacement of asam gelugor and also for kerabu.Hav a nice day.

Iskandar Syah Ismail aka DR Bubbles said...


the other version of sambal hitam is banning garlic altogether.The only ingredients are boiled-black belimbing,shallots,chillies (lots of it) and ikan bilis.

If you by chance,driving along Benta - Kuala Lipis route, you can find the best sambal hitam from a small shop in front of SK Penjom.The owner prepare the sambal fresh everyday.Do come a little bit early, as by late afternoon,tinggal pinggan aje!

Snakebite said...

there was a belimbing tree in front of my house in the kampung long time ago. there would be a flock of noisy green bird (the type that picks card for the fortune teller)during fruiting season, feasting on the fruits. now the belimbing tree, kampung and birds all gone.

Oldstock said...


I dah try resipi sambal hitam tu. First time tak berapa menjadi, tapi rasanya ok jugak la. Something different.

Read about it in the next post.

Oldstock said...


So far the belimbing tree has been fruiting quite regularly. I let my neighbours come over and petik sendiri. Makan sendiri tak habis.

Oldstock said...


Memang sedap belimbing buluh masak dengan sardin. In fact, buat beberapa hari ni, almost setiap lauk campur belimbing buluh.

Yang tumis dgn cili api tu memang takyah cakap le sedapnya.

Oldstock said...


Uiks! macam mana you boleh tahan makan belimbing tu secara direct? Masam beb!

Belimbing buluh campur dlm masakan ikan patin... bunyinya macam sedap gak tu.

Oldstock said...

Salam Pak Mahmud,

Thanks for coming over.

I take care of the tree quite well by trimming it regularly. So far it has been fruiting quite regularly. Sometimes the fruits are not as rounded and `lebat' but this time round the bunches look quite good.

Except that now, I see to many ants burrowing at the base of the tree and I'm afraid that this might cause the tree to rot on the inside. I need to do something before this happens.

You are right about the cermai and kemunting trees. I seem to remember that a friend's garden had a cermai tree but it is very difficult to find one nowadays. The cermai fruits are made into `jeruk', if I'm not mistaken.

Oldstock said...

Salam Drbubbles,

Seems to me that this sambal hitam is a speciality of Pahang. A bit strange that I did not come across it during my student days.

I don't think I've ever traveled the Benta-Lipis road, but if I do, your pointer is noted.

Thanks for dropping by.

Oldstock said...


Kampung kat mana tu bro? Even the kampung is gone, ataupun you guys have all moved out and there's no family left over there?

Hope you are enjoying the city life ;-)

Unknown said...

meleleh air liur dengar nama belimbing buluh nie.. pegh.. da lame tak makan... sape ada anak benih pokok belimbing buluh nie..