Indonesia Eats

[WHB #111] Bilimbi and Cumi Tumis Aceh

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
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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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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39 thoughts on “[WHB #111] Bilimbi and Cumi Tumis Aceh”

  1. Very interesting entry. I've never heard of this type of fruit or seen anything like it either. Is there any other fruit that has a similar flavor?

  2. Tapi Dwi, awal aku tinggal disini asli pengen nangis, karena gak tau mana-mana. Sampe dikirimin kerupuk udang ama Meilynda dari LA dulu :)Jadinya dulu awal2 kerjaan nyusurin yellow pages buat nyari letak toko2 Asia.Mudah2an suatu saat bilimbi masuk di tempat Dwi

  3. Very interesting entry. I’ve never heard of this type of fruit or seen anything like it either. Is there any other fruit that has a similar flavor?

  4. Tapi Dwi, awal aku tinggal disini asli pengen nangis, karena gak tau mana-mana. Sampe dikirimin kerupuk udang ama Meilynda dari LA dulu 🙂

    Jadinya dulu awal2 kerjaan nyusurin yellow pages buat nyari letak toko2 Asia.

    Mudah2an suatu saat bilimbi masuk di tempat Dwi

  5. Kalyn, you might find starfruit or carambola at the groceries, because I saw starfruit at Safeway and Superstore here. That fruit has similar flavor to bilimbi, but we only use starfruit for fruit salad with peanut sauce in IndonesiaYou can see about starfruit athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Averrhoa_carambola

  6. Laurie Constantino

    Totally interesting post about a fruit I've never heard of. What is its flavor – sweet, sour, what?? Thanks for educating me about somthing so interesting.

  7. It's sour… Back then at my home, my family used to add bilimbi instead of tomato or tamarind. You might try starfruit or carambola which is a family of bilimbi. Starfruit has a sweet and sour flavor as well

  8. Bilimbi!!! I have been describing this fruit to my Indonesian friend but we could never understand each other. We call it kamias here in the Philippines. Thanks.

  9. Tell to your Indonesian friend, belimbing wuluh or belimbing sayur. I know it's called kamias in Tagalog. Thank you for stopping by

  10. Never heard of this fruit either. Have to look for it in the Asian store. The German Wiki says it´s just used to make jellies because it´s too sour!! Well they can´t be right all the time, can they.Thanks for enlarging my knowledge.:9

  11. Laurie Constantino

    Totally interesting post about a fruit I’ve never heard of. What is its flavor – sweet, sour, what?? Thanks for educating me about somthing so interesting.

  12. It’s sour… Back then at my home, my family used to add bilimbi instead of tomato or tamarind.

    You might try starfruit or carambola which is a family of bilimbi. Starfruit has a sweet and sour flavor as well

  13. Bilimbi!!! I have been describing this fruit to my Indonesian friend but we could never understand each other. We call it kamias here in the Philippines. Thanks.

  14. Tell to your Indonesian friend, belimbing wuluh or belimbing sayur. I know it’s called kamias in Tagalog. Thank you for stopping by

  15. Susan from Food Blog

    Thanks for such an intriguing post. I love to learn about new ingredients and culinary practices. Fantastic WHB entry!

  16. Helene, bilimbi can be made into sun-dried bilimi, that is what we call asam sunti. They use asam sunti instead of tamarind in Aceh, a province of Indonesia. My family usually add fresh bilimbi into cooking, instead of tamarind and tomato sometimes.Thank you for stopping by, Susan

  17. Never heard of this fruit either. Have to look for it in the Asian store. The German Wiki says it´s just used to make jellies because it´s too sour!! Well they can´t be right all the time, can they.
    Thanks for enlarging my knowledge.:9

  18. Susan from Food Blogga

    Thanks for such an intriguing post. I love to learn about new ingredients and culinary practices. Fantastic WHB entry!

  19. Helene, bilimbi can be made into sun-dried bilimi, that is what we call asam sunti. They use asam sunti instead of tamarind in Aceh, a province of Indonesia. My family usually add fresh bilimbi into cooking, instead of tamarind and tomato sometimes.

    Thank you for stopping by, Susan

  20. Hello Susan,I´ve got fresh bilimbi, but don´t know how long to cook them. The lady in the Asian store told me, these are thay bitter melons, but they look like bilimbi. Is there a difference?Anyway I´ll try to cook with them and post about it later. 🙂

  21. Helena, bilimbi and bitter melon is different thing. As I know bitter melon is a bitter vegetable and it's easy to find fresh here.Cooking bitter melon a bit tricky, I used to drizzle salt over after cutting them, then squeeze them until wilted, it is for reducing the bitterness.Here is the link for bitter melonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_melon

  22. Hello Susan,
    I´ve got fresh bilimbi, but don´t know how long to cook them. The lady in the Asian store told me, these are thay bitter melons, but they look like bilimbi. Is there a difference?
    Anyway I´ll try to cook with them and post about it later. 🙂

  23. Helena, bilimbi and bitter melon is different thing. As I know bitter melon is a bitter vegetable and it’s easy to find fresh here.

    Cooking bitter melon a bit tricky, I used to drizzle salt over after cutting them, then squeeze them until wilted, it is for reducing the bitterness.

    Here is the link for bitter melon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_melon

  24. So much information in this post: first of all, I like the name bilimbi, though I have no idea how it is pronounced, but it sounds sweet, endearing. Your dish sounds delicious. I usually look for unclean squid to save the ink sacs. Finally, the photos are great: thanks!

  25. So much information in this post: first of all, I like the name bilimbi, though I have no idea how it is pronounced, but it sounds sweet, endearing. Your dish sounds delicious. I usually look for unclean squid to save the ink sacs. Finally, the photos are great: thanks!

  26. Pingback: Bilimbi (Averrhoa bilimbi) and Asam Sunti | Indonesia Eats

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