[WHB #111] Bilimbi and Cumi Tumis Aceh

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One time, Anh of Food Lover’s Journey asked me regarding bilimbi, one of ingredients that I use lots in Indonesian culinary, especially Acehnese. As one of my friends through multiply told me that bilimbi also use lots in Moluccas culinary as well.

Bilimbi has a scientific name Averrhoa bilimbi and belimbing wuluh or belimbing sayur is other names in bahasa Indonesia. A close relative of the carambola, of genus Averrhoa, family Oxalidaceae. Carambola itself is known as starfruit or belimbing in bahasa Indonesia.

Nowdays, bilimbi is cultivated or found semi-wild throughout Indonesia, the Phillipines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. It’s also common found in other Southeast Asian countries. In India, it’s found in gardens, has gone wild in the warmest of the country. Bilimbi’s information is courtesy of wikipedia.


bilimbi 2

Cumi Tumis Aceh (literally translated Acehnese Spicy Squids) is a version of Cumi Teutumeh (literally Acehnese Squids in Spiced Coconut Milk) without coconut milk added. In this recipe, I added bilimbi as well as asam sunti (sun-dried bilimbi). As other Acehnese recipes, do not forget daun temurui or daun salam koja, which also known as curry leaves.

Bilimbi and this recipe are my entry for WHB (Weekend Herb Blogging) # 111, hosted by Kalyn. Since I can’t find any fresh bilimbi for purchased, I have been using frozen bilimbi. You might find them in vegetable freezer at Asian groceries. If you notice on my bilimbi package’s label, it is said kamias, that is in bilimbi’s name in Tagalog.

Cumi Tumis Aceh

500 g cleaned squids, cut as desired
1 lime
salt as desired
8 curry leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass, bruised
2 shallots, finely sliced
125 ml water
salt and sugar as desired to season

Grind into a paste
4 shallots
2 cloves garlic
5 dried red chillies
5 bird’s eye chillies
10 asam sunti (sun-dried bilimbi)
3 bilimbis (Indonesian: belimbing sayur, belimbing wuluh)
3/8 – 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/8 – 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1. Squeeze and drizzle lime over squid and sprinkle with salt. Add 1 – 2 tbsp spices paste, mix and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Stir fry shallot slices, the remain spices paste, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass until fragrant.
3. Add squids mixture. Season with salt and sugar.
4. Add water; cook at medium heat until spices absorb and the water evaporates.

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.