Ambarella is a sub-tropical tree native to the Indo-Malaysian region, but it grows well in Queensland and most likely would grow, perhaps not so lustily, in my Melbourne backyard. It would go well as an ornamental, a smallish ornamental, in Collingwood but I’m interested in the fruit. My daughter-in-law, Nockie, tells me that in Vietnam the unripe fruit is eaten with sugar, salt and shrimp paste. If you want to buy some, try your local Asian grocery and ask for Coc
The fruit is eaten fresh and also used in juices, jams and jellies. The green fruit can be used in salads curries and pickles. Fresh, it’s best while still firm and crisp because as the fruit softens the flesh becomes more fibrous and difficult to eat or cut. So you need to eat the fruit when it’s new and crisp.
Ambarella fruits make a nice little curry. You can make your own curry powder or just use a readymade from the shop. Here’s a recipe for Ambarella Curry
- 3 Ambarella Fruits
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 cm ginger crushed
- 2 red onions chopped
- 1 Tblespoon oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- pinch salt
- Peel and chop the ambarella and set aside.
- In a shallow pan add a tablespoon of oil and fry the onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder and curry powder over medium heat for 1 minute.
- Tip in the chopped ambarella and pour the water until covered. Cook on low for ten minutes
- Add the coconut milk and salt, simmer. Add the sugar last and stir well.