Category Archives: Fruity Fridays

Fruity Friday…#fruits…The Cotton Candy Berry…

Often especially at weekends and holidays the small traders with produce from their farms come and sell their wares at the markets you can normally tell as they have small amounts of fruits and vegetables which are hand-tied in little bundles. Lucky for me as this is where I first discovered this little known fruit one which is difficult to find and either grow wild or comes from a tree in the garden…Back Yard fruits as they are known here…

smart

The second time I came upon this little fruit and one that I always remember as it was also the day where we pulled into a small roadside eating place and clever clogs somehow managed to leave her fingers in the car door…a painful experience I do not wish to repeat…It was definitely an ouch moment…

It is a tiny fruit quite sour when not fully ripened but one which as I like sour fruit rather than sweet…I also think Lily takes after me as she loves sour and eats limes without batting an eyelid…

Known as Tak̄hbf̄rạ̀ng (ตะขบฝรั่ง), krop farang, ta kob farang, takhop farang here in Thailand it is also known as the Panama Berry, Capulin, Japanese cherry, Jam fruit, cotton candy berry, calabur tree….  in fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a tree with so many names around the world. A huge tree with wide sweeping branches both the birds and the bats love this little fruit.

It bears creamy-white flowers with prominent bright gold stamen. The flowers last for just one day. Fruits are prolific round and green, ripening to red. They actually resemble tiny pomegranates when they mature.

When fully ripe the flavour is said to be very sweet …Fruits fall easily when ripe and may be collected by laying a sheet under the tree and shaking the branches.

These make excellent tarts and jams or can be squeezed for a refreshing drink. An infusion of the leaves also makes a nice tea.

In Brazil, the trees are planted over river banks. The dropping fruits attract fish which are easily scooped up by fishermen lounging under the tree’s shade.

Used in traditional medicine to block pain…I am now thinking it must have been the leaves of this tree which I was given pounded into a pulp to ease my jellyfish sting which it certainly did and that was painful it is said to block your nerves from sensing pain.

Although it perpetually flowers and fruits all year round I am guessing the fruit is slightly sweeter this time of year as it seems the only time I see it on the market or street stalls… it has a high vitamin C content…

So far I haven’t come across a large enough quantity to make jam or tea …as the tree grows too big for my garden it would do well down on the farm which means it is on my shopping list it is also a tree which loves to spread its branches so an ideal tree for shade on a hot day…

Thank you for dropping in today…I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and stay safe…Carol x

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…4th April-10th April 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…we are now into April…Time is marching on…thus far we had some humdingers of storms and the thunder here is certainly the loudest ever…a burst pipe…WP to deal with and their planned and unwanted changes by us the loyal customers…a plethora of sad news all in all one of those months so far…

Just in case you missed any or love to catch up like I do… snuggle deep be kind to yourselves …I think we all need to do that… get comfy in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine or two…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…

Where I shared one of my favourite Kofta recipes made with green bananas…which are unripe bananas…

Bananas are generally cut while still unripe here which is good as it then gives you chance to make various recipes as the bananas go through the different stages of ripeness…

Meatless Monday’s…Green Banana Koftas…

Tuesday…

I headed over to Smorgasboard Health 2021 where Sally was talking cravings…those of us who have had children can probably remember having some strange cravings but also at times we still get cravings, don’t we…?

If it something strange that you are craving then Sally has the answers…an interesting and informative read on cravings…Please head over and have a read…Sally always makes you very welcome …

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/smorgasbord-health-column-revisited-what-causes-your-cravings-part-four-coal-dirt-and-other-strange-stuff-by-sally-cronin/

Wednesday… Series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is C…

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…

I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and it’s sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter C…

Thursday…Week 8…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Vegan Non-Dairy Cream and Cream Slices.

I am always surprised how easy it is to make some of the processed and manufactured foods we may buy at home...Thus saving not only money but omitting chemicals in our foods. This non-dairy cream is one of them…the vegan tag and dairy-free tag is a bonus … we are neither in this house it is just something I make…  for starters cream is very expensive here and coconut cream is not…

coconut- palm-

laden with coconuts

Coconuts are two a penny they are so plentiful…Coconut water or milk can be purchased fresh here you can watch it being made while you wait and the cartons are 100% just milk or cream no additives and the man of the house who loves his cream does not know the difference when I serve him this dairy-free version…

CarolCooks2…Week 8…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Vegan Non-Dairy Cream and Cream Slices.

Friday…I have been lucky and blessed with good skin I have however had friends who have not…Acne can cause much stress, especially for teenagers…

In this helpful and informative post, Sally’s covers the causes and some remedies…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Acne – Teenage and Adults by Sally Cronin

Fruity Friday’s…Bamboo…

Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…

But bamboo has so many other uses and the shoots of bamboo are delicious in stir-fries and curries…one of my favourite vegetables…which happen to be in season at the moment as I saw so many bamboo shoots today on the market.

There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.

Fruity Friday…Bamboo…

Saturday Snippets…A shortened version this week…

R.I.P Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh…

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…see you next week …Love Carol xx

Fruity Friday..how does my garden grow…Chocolate Habaneros…

There are no silver bells and cockles shells…but I have seedlings… my garden is growing…welcome to an update…

Having found a new market place I am filling my garden with some unusual plants and fruits…from seeds to seedlings all is well…if only I didn’t have to share my seedling with the birds…sigh…if I didn’t feed them I could understand…

Hubby had a good idea to try and thwart the little darlings…  my seeds and tiny seedlings I have transferred to my second kitchen…most Thai houses like mine have them… a sort of enclosed but open-air kitchen if that makes sense…A gas hob which is great for Thai stir-fries and my second oven but there is still lots of room for my seedings it is warm and humid and the birds can’t feast on my seedlings… they are out of the sun it’s like a greenhouse…

This purple mango is so beautiful I know I have a few years to wait for the fruit but it will be worth it…

One of the beautiful purple mango trees now has its permanent spot… I am still deciding on where to put the other one but for now, it is in my plant nursery…the brightly coloured little rainbow treasure chilli seeds which I planted in the eggshells last week have just started to peek their heads through the soil… one yesterday and another 4 today …

I can’t wait for these to start fruiting I wonder how hot they will be but they also look so pretty…

Our Chocolate Habanero chilli plant arrived yesterday smaller than I hoped but strong and with lots of little offshoots…

The Chocolate habanero is from Jamaica. It is also known as “Congo Black” or “Brown Scotch Bonnet”. The plant grows to about 1 metre in a pot and would probably grow bigger in the ground. … This is one of the hottest Habaneros measuring over 400.000 SHUs units.

The long pepper has now been staked and is climbing there are also quite a few little long peppers appearing…

The purple melon is a little sturdy seedling but growing well a few months and they should be well established…Pepino melons like most purple fruits and vegetables are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and are rich in dietary fibre.

Again I eagerly await the fruit as it is supposed to be very nice…I have decided my first dish will be a nice salsa…

The white Taiwanese Bitter gourd has been planted, so they will start appearing within the next 7-10 days…fingers crossed…

taiwanese white papaya

These are stunning looking fruit and I can’t wait for them to start growing I am also hoping they fruit quite quickly as most gourds do, unlike the mango which takes about 5 years to fruit. I am struggling to find very much information about this beautiful white gourd…

The coriander and grapow (Holy Basil) are growing well…

Today I will be planting some more Horapa seeds, a Thai sweet Basil…both these basils are true annuals which mean it has to be replanted each year…

Thai - Basil- horapa

I have discovered a Clove Basil which is a new one for me…hopefully, I can get some seeds or seedlings…

Clove Basil has much larger leaves than regular basil and is nicknamed “tree basil” the plant can reach 3 metres tall hence its name. It is an aromatic perennial herb the oils in the leaves give off an intense clove aroma with the occasional notes of thyme. Mature plants develop edible, white flowers that have a slightly feathery appearance and are bitter compared to the sweet and spicy leaves.

Thank you for reading this post if you have tips on growing any of these or you have grown any of these plants and fruits please leave a comment I love to chat and any tips are gratefully received…Carol x

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday’s…Snake Gourd (Buap Nguu)

The snake gourd or Buap nguu, serpent gourd, chichinga or Padwal are some of the other names it is known under.

Native to south-east Asia it is a vine that grows around a tree or trellis and then unfurls its large white frayed flowers. Then the fruits grow straight down towards the ground.

Snake gourds can grow up to 5 feet in length often a stone is tied to the small gourd to help it grow straight down as otherwise, it can grow into all sorts of shapes.

It turns orange when it is fully ripe but this is when it is very bitter so it is usually used in curries and raitas before it ripens fully.

Fully ripe fruit is quite inedible, orange and mushy, although the red, jelly-like substance surrounding the seeds can be eaten much as a tomato sauce in recipes or used in ayurvedic medicine. Seeds are often used as fodder for livestock but are toxic to humans.

The leaves, tendrils and other leafy parts are used as vegetable greens lightly steamed or raw.

Did you know?

 Because of its length, it is used to make the traditional didgeridoo in Australia.

This one looks quite creepy I think and I was quite expecting to see a snake so I go along quite gingerly watching where I tread.

snake gourd 1

The snake gourd has a naturally occurring waxy white surface so rub some salt on the surface before cooking or using it to remove the waxy white surface.

Not a vegetable that I cook with very much but I do make raita which is lovely and cooling as an accompaniment to hot, spicy curries.

Snake Gourd Riata.

  • 2 cups of natural yoghurt.
  • 2 small snake gourds diced.
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 10-15 shallots finely chopped.
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal powder/paste
  • A handful of coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some oil on a medium flame and fry the mustard seeds and urad dal for 20 seconds.

Add green chillies and chopped shallots saute for 2 minutes, add diced snake gourd cook for 1-2 minutes and add grated coconut and mix well.

Remove from the heat allow to cool slightly, stir in yoghurt and add salt to taste.

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Garnish with coriander and serve.

The snake gourds strange names and appearance have often caused it to be overlooked for its health benefits. It is proven to be very effective at improving the strength of the body’s immune system, reducing fevers and treating diabetes. Currently, there is ongoing medical research into other health benefits of the Snake Gourd.

Update on my garden and new seedlings…

Having discovered a new Marketplace here which has lots of rare and beautiful fruits and vegetables some of which are seeds and some are plants(seedlings) I am in my element.

My Thai Purple Melon arrived and is happily repotted… smaller than I thought but hopefully, it will grow and thrive… my seeds for the beautiful rainbow treasure chilli arrived the other day…and I have potted them in eggshells…I am eagerly awaiting to see them pop their little heads above ground…

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you have enjoyed it…If you have used or seen this snake gourd and cook with it please share in the comments as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xx

Fruity Friday’s…Thai Purple Melon Peppin ( Pepino)Tree…

Pepinos ( Peppin) are commonly referred to as Pepino melons, melon pears or Pepino dulce – Spanish for “sweet cucumber” – a colourful array of names far less concerned with scientific accuracy and more with flavour.

I am excited as I should be receiving my Purple Melon Pepinos Tree tomorrow…

The purple ones are quite rare here and known as backyard fruit… They are oval fruits with an elongated shape that tapers to a point…my first thoughts when I saw these were that they were Thai eggplants and although their name suggests they belong to the melon family they in fact are no relation and belong to the nightshade family like tomatoes and eggplants.

The purple one is a rarity outside of the Cameroon Highlands…They are larger than the yellow variety with smooth, thin skin and dark purple striations…

Fully ripe the flesh is dark yellow to light orange the fruit is sweet and juicy with a melon-like texture…it has small edible seeds in the centre of the fruit…The fruit pares well with basil, ginger, mint, salt and white wine.

In Indonesia, it is known as the “Melodic fruit” whose nickname is “Tourist Fruit”… Typically eaten raw and chilled, smoothies or pureed and used in beverages.

The Spanish call the fruit ” Pepino Dulce” which means sweet cucumber…

Rich in antioxidants the fruit is high in fibre …low calorie …rich in vitamin A…a rich source of calcium …

I can’t wait to try this fruit…make salsa or a seared Perorino melon salad with glass noodles…

My long pepper plant now has a few baby peppers which are turning yellow so I am guessing it will be very soon when I can taste one…

My next fruit on order is a Rainbow treasure Chilli Plant.(pictured below)..it is beautiful to look at…

So very pretty

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you have enjoyed it…If you have used or seen this purple melon please share in the comments as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday…Thai Long Pepper ..#Dee Bplee Pepper.

Welcome to Fruity Friday I am so excited my Long Pepper plant arrived yesterday…I am still waiting to locate my other finds this month but nearly there…They are the Clove Basil, Finger Limes and the Chocolate Fruit…just waiting for them to be ready or back in stock.

The Thai long Pepper which here is called Dee Bplee Pepper…is eaten fresh as well as dried it has a unique fragrance whose official name is Piper Chaba…

These peppers grow on vines throughout SE Asia and belong to the same family as whole peppercorns and betel leaves.

Betel Leaves I eat with my favourite snack…Miang Kham

I love this tamarind sauce with my favourite snack...Miang Kham…although I have made it at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and brought to market…
miang-kham-1188212_1920
I just love snacks here as many are just so healthy..fresh ginger, garlic, lime, shallots, nuts and wrapped in a Betel leaf after drizzling with tamarind sauce…definitely a favourite…
But I digress…
Back to Long Peppers…

Going from green to bright orange when ripe they then turn brown in the dried form…fresh they are pounded into various Thai chilli pastes and dipping sauces. Used in soups like you would use a bay leaf, they mute the strong flavours of fish. In the dried form, you will find this in northern style larb, 

I can’t wait until my plant has enough of these long chilli peppers and make a Thai larb for comparison as from what I have read the taste is different… in the Kanchanaburi area of Thailand which is known for spicy chilli paste, they are also often pounded up into its famous chilli paste … Fresh or dried they can be used in pickles…so many recipes for me to try…

I am excited to get enough to pick and use in my cooking… my plant has one large one and 5 tiny babies…They are green as you can see at the moment but hopefully will soon be a nice bright orange…as in this image…

I have of course been researching recipes although there seems to be more on the fact they are used for traditional medicines than recipes…

I have however come across a tapenade recipe that purees the green catkins because that’s just what they look like …don’t they? with fresh lime juice and olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt…It sounds delicious and I am eagerly awaiting for mine to bear more fruits… I have never (yet) seen the fresh ones for sale here although they are available dried online.

Medicinally they have been used here for many years by traditional medicine practitioners as a remedy for sore throats, to relieve gas and helps stop diarrhoea. They do seem to be quite rare I have not them on the local markets(yet) although I am now keeping my eyes peeled they do seem to be very popular around SE Asia and used a lot in traditional medicines.

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you have enjoyed it…If you have used or seen this long pepper please share in the comments as you know I love to chat…Love Carol xx