Friday, December 7, 2007

Tamarind Fruit Pickle

Tamarind Pickles For Pat's Asiana's Cafe

I have wanted to post a recipe sometimes after drooling over recipes by others especially by Pak Idrus of in passing - malaysian, zaitgha of Day In Day Out and by another by another American girl I cant seem to find. I have tried one of zaitgha's recipe rendang daging cili api with my daughter and the dish turnout to be very well received especially by my most vocal of critics, my wife Fatthiyah who said the recipe doesnt have enough ingredient to make it into a rendang. The most noticeable absence was the curry powder. We did try the recipe without the cury powder but we added the kerisek and daun curry to enhance the flavour to suit our taste. The rendang was really mean due to the abundant use of the potent chili padi to suit my own lust for hot food. Wonder of wonders, this dish was finished in record time when everyone except the small kids turn to like it when we serve it to the family on the morning of Eidil Fitri. It went well when served with the nasi himpit(compressed rice).

When visiting Pat's Asiana's Cafe, I promise her that I will send her some tamarind pickles for her to serve at her new cafe.

The tamarind tree is a large tropical tree with small leaves attached to a profusion of branches. The tree produces seasonal fruits that begins to bear them sometimes in August and all the fruits will have dropped off completely after ripening by the end of November based on the last seasons observation. The fruits are attached at the very end of the branches and thus collection is quite difficult for a tall tree if unripe fruits are to be collected. Unripe fruit can be taken raw if you can bear the very acid taste. It can be pickled and I consider that this is the best way to enjoy it.

Ripe tamarind is used to make tamarind paste. Most paste come from Thailand or India. The main use of tamarind paste is in making cordial drinks which is soothing to the throat. When added to cookings to give it a special taste. My fish head curry will never be complete without it nor is my my canned sardine fish dishes. I used to apply the slightly diluted paste on fresh water fishes to remove the hanyir (fishy) smell as well as to make the flesh of the fish firmer. Tamarind paste is a good natural preservative.

For the pickles, matured but underipe tamarind fruits is needed. Too young a fruit will make the seeds inside to become soft and ejecting it out while eating will be difficult. Collecting the fruits from the tree is often difficult as my sister in law found out. Since she has the fruits growing on her own tree, I guess she had no choice but to pluck them from the tree by using a long pole with a metal hook tied at one end.

I chose the easier way out by buying the fruits from the Pasir Mas market and made the process easier still by buying the deskinned fruits at RM4.00 a kg. A kg of the fruits cost RM2.00. Knowing how difficult it is to peel off the skin, RM4.00 a kg was definitely a good buy. The price shot up to RM5.00 the next day due to better quality fruit size. The one in the picture is the latter. Removing the skin can be made easier by blanching the fruits in hot boiling water.

Fresh tamarind fruit without the skin

For this occassion I used 3 kg of the peeled fruit. (My first trial of 2 kg was finished in slightly more than a day by two persons, me and my wife with me consuming the most of course).

Now for the ingredients:

For 3 kg of tamarind fruits.

1. 6 pieces of gula melaka (cocnut sugar) the size of a CD each. (About half kg)

Gula Melaka (Coconut sugar)

2. 15 dried chilles devoid of its seed and core.

Dried Chillies

3. 15 chilly padi (the hottest kind) reduce the amount or none at all if kids are to consume it.

Chili Padi Pedas

Hey thats about all!

The way to do it(cara membuatnya):

Place the fruits in a suitable sized container which is able to stand boiling hot water. Immerse the fruits in water till all are covered up with the water. Apply a dose of salt (about 2 tablespoonfuls) and stir till all the salt is dissoved let it stand it for 10 minutes. The purpose of the salt is to sterilise the fruits without boiling it. Did you know that salt is a good germkiller beside being a good preservative? A brine solution which is water with dissolved table salt can be used to relieve sore throat by gargling with it. I do it often when my tonsilities make its unrequested appearance. It can also be used as an antidote for chemical poisoning when no other antidote such as coconut water is not available. Atropine is the recconmended antidote but where to get atropine in an emergency? If the guy chose to use unadulterated paraquat is which is a banned weedkiller, forget about it. Even tokasid can't save him what more that he is now holidaying in Egypt. The paraquat will burn his internal tissues in no time. That is why paraquat is banned all over the world, but it was only recently banned in Malaysia.
After 10 minutes decant the brine solution so that most of the salt is removed.

While waiting for the ten minutes to lapse, soak the decored dried chillies in hot water and after awhile it will be softened blend it with some water. Dont forget to add the chilly padi to taste.

In another pot warm up a litre of water and add the coconut sugar and the blended chillies. Bring it to a boil until all the coconut sugar is dissolved. Remove the coconut sugar casing rings if you are too lazy (like me) to remove it earlier.

Now pour the boiling hot coconut sugar solution in the container full of the tamarind fruits (devoid of the brine solution). Let them cool and stand overnight. If you dont like the lizard to taste it before you do, make sure it is kept covered under the saji (traditional malay food cover which nowadays can be made of plastic) Since no other stronger peservative like Boric acid is used as is found in most pickles nowadays, fungus may develop when it is exposed to the atmosphere or when contaminated utensils like spoons or ladles are used. Keeping them in the fridge will give them a longer shelf life . Dont worry much about fungus developing if you have a big family, it will be consumed in no time. The tasting alone will ensure that not much will be left for those who wants to wait till the next day when the ingredient will penetrate fully into the fruits flesh. The Johoreans call it sudah mesra.
Who says cooking is boring?

The kitchen where the pickles were made.


pat said...

Wah...thanks pak cik zawi for all the trouble.I will post this as soon as possible..By the way,tak pernah la beli buah asam jawa...Kat sarawak ni takde.

Zawi said...

Nanti Pak zawi export ke Sarawak. Sedap di makan. Sily copy and paste kat Asiana's Cafe.

pat said...

hehehe...dah copy and paste..edit sikit le..ambik yg pendek2 je.

Zawi said...

Pandai tul. Sedap tau. Pak Zawi boleh makan sampai sekilo sehari. Sekarang musim dah habis so kena tunggu next year la pulak. Yang dah siap banyak guna chemical preservative saya tak makan.

Mat Salo said...

Bang Zawi.. I can't cook to save my life! But I enjoy eating tho'.. and the rendang daging chili api seems right up my alley. So bila boleh sample Pak? And all the best to Pat, okay?

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Hui...sedap tu. Nak superb lagi kalu pedas melampau(",). Saya ni hantu sikit kalu makanan pedas melampau.Pastu mula la cari air sejuk hahahaha. Water cooler pun jalan!

Good day, n thanks for sharing(",).

Zawi said...

mat salo,
Datang Pasir Mas bila bila boleh masak untuk Mat. Kalau buah asam jawa kena tunggu Oktober tahun depan la.
Belajar la masak. Semua kita dilahirkan tanpa apa apa kebolehan. Bawa anak anak camping dan cuba masak bersama mereka. Jangan terperanjat anak anak Mat boleh ajarkan ayahnya macam mana nak masak sedar untuk survival.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Ummmph...I love good food (then again, who does not?). But I am also like bro Mat Salo, pandai makanaje - leh buat blog baru: lol!

Thanks Pak :)

Zawi said...

Yang ni memang saya buat buat cukup pedas tapi bila dah mesra rasanya OK je.
My wife always complain when I make the 'colek kicap' she cant take it cos its 'pedas habis gheng'. She has to make one for her own.
Saya pun tak tahan juga tapi tak sedap kalau tak pedas. Kita makan colek buah la masa gathering kat rumah nanti. Bawa la sebiji dua nenas Rantau Panjang tu hahahaha. No problem Pak Zawi akan belikan.

Zawi said...

Not many people had the privilege to sample this pickle as I have never seen it outside of Kelantan.
Once you try it you will never have enough of it. I am salivating now....

jaflam said...

Zawi, did you bring some of your pickle to KL? If yes maybe you can bring some when we meet Kak Teh & AG. Trying to arrange bloggers teh tarik session with them and will alert you when its confirmed.

I remember cooking when in College and the last time when my wife "dalam pantang" masak ayam kampung Dara dengan halia, bawang,minyak zaitun & kicap ala Chinese. Masak tujuh hari berturut turut untuk kesihatan dia. Bila dia tak habis kita yang makan.

Zawi said...

We brought some but they were all gone now cos my children love them so much. Find the fruits around here and u just do it yourself. The skin can be easier removed if you dip the in hot water.
I am going to MRT next Tuesday. See you there brother. I tak tau la apa buah tangan nak bawa kasi Kak Ton. What do u suggest for me to bring?
We all should learn to cook. I have to cos I always work away from home. My children loves my mee better than her mum's hehehe. My nasi goreng taste better too.

Zabs said...

Salam Zawi,
Wah expert buat pickle pulak. Suka juga makan pickle, tapi yang kurang masam lah. Tapi yang ini saya tak pernah makan ni. Tak pernah fikir pun buah asam jawa ni boleh dibuat pickle. Ilmu baru ni. TQ Zawi.

Puteri said...

Zawi, meliur I tengok asam jawa jerok! Did I phrase that correctly?

Eh, next time can send by poslaju to me or not when I am in Miri? Or bring some when you meet me in KL on my way to Miri! Heheh.

Your kitchen looks VERY nice! Next time take a picture of your 4 star toilet too!

Zawi said...

The making of tamarind pickles is common in Kelantan especially when the fruit is in season. Another favourite pickle is the buah sentul. But more often than not the one sold around is pickled by using artificial sweeteners and strong dose of preservative such as boric acid and so they must be avoided.
In my case the recipe is passed down the lines. My late mum used to make great pickles.
Kalau area you ada buah asam jawa ni boleh la kita buat sedikit untuk try. Hmm sekali rasa, sentiasa mau.

Zawi said...

Tak tau la ada perkataan meliur tak dalam bahasa Melayu Sarawak. Rasanya tak kena je. Kalau Puteri rephrase kini rasanya betul sikit: Meleleeh air liur saya tengok asam jawa jerok! Hey not only you la meliur, I pun meliur setiap kali I tengok pic tu.
To send it to Miri I may have to either add some preservative to keep it from getting mouldy. Why not let me bring some fresh fruits and we do it over yonder in Miri? Just give me a return AirAsia ticket and I will get there in a flash. The best alternative is of course for may to wait for you in tansit at KLIA enroute to Miri. Make sure to come back next year when the fruit is in season in October. Anyway its now available in Pat's Asiana's Cafe. I am not sure at what price though. Feast your eyes on it. Its free that way hehehehe.
Since my toilet wont be ready for sometimes, I will be putting up Pak Idrus 4 star toilet instead. It will be in another posting and definitely dedicated to our gun toting Puteri.

jaflam said...

Zawi, I have arranged for a Bloggers Tea Session with Kak Teh and Awang Goneng as follows .

Date : Sunday 9 Dec 2007
Time : 4.00 PM
Venue : Kinokuniya Bookstore, Coffee Shop @ KLCC

All blogger friends are kindly invited & bring your GUiT copy.

Regards : Jaflam + Kak Teh

Zawi said...

Cool! Will be looking forward to that. Make sure Kunikuniya stock up on GUIT cos some bloggers may want to get their copy there.
Great job man.

zaitgha said...

Hi Pak Zawi, terliur la pulak lucky tak flooded my keyboard nih he he...

most of the guys around me are quite apt in the kitchen especially my late dad and my other half...but my hubby kalau in the kitchen very noisy when he wash the dishes, tu jer

cant wait for my kitchen to be ready...

Zawi said...

I tend to mess up the kitchen and will just put aside all the used utensil which will be cleaned up by my other half or any of the female children.
'Jeruk celagi' has never failed to make people drool over it. The fact that it is never found all year round make it even more appetizing. Try to make the pickle if you can lay your hands on the fruits.
Dont forget the followings for your kitchen.
1. Kitchen hobs and hood, get the better quality ones. Personally I prefer the battery ignited hobs compared to electrically wired from the socket for the socket.
2. Double taps so that you dont have to twist the tap around if you have a double sinks and one tap can be a dedicated water dispenser from the water filter.
3. An exhaust fan to suck away any foul air. Tell the workmen to make a hole suitable for a 10 inch fan. Anything smaller is not good enough.
4. The gas tank must never be in an enclosed cabinet though it may look smart. Any leakage can mean trapped gas and can explode when there is a spark.
5. If u intend to construct a cabinet under the sink(most likely) have the surface tiled as spillage will occur when whenever you clean the dirt trap below the sink. I will be blogging about this later.
Thats al I can think of for now. How about coming to MRT for next Tuesday or Jaflam's tea this coming Sunday at KLCC Kunikuniya? Awang Goneng and Kak Teh will be signing his GUIT there.

kc said...

salam bang zawi!

can it be eaten with hot piping rice? pickle pickle ni sedap makan ngan nasi kan? yummy...!

and thanks also fr the antidote tips. i had recently went thru something similar with my son albeit a non toxic liquid but enough to give me the cold shudder

didn't know that u're a pro in the kitchen (smile!)

Zawi said...

A real pleasure having you visit my site. Now your pretty face will grace my comment page forever.
It is never taken with other food especially rice. It can be served as desert though. We Kelantanese love to eat all the time so in between meals we have such food we call 'colek' made up of acidic fruits like unripe mangoes, jambu batu (guava), jambu air, sentul etc and we dip them in sauce now easily available at most fruit stalls which they call 'pencicah'.
I prefer to make my own by using sugar added with the black soy sauce and shredded chili padi. A nicer one will be made of coconut sugar paste with grounded chilli kering and if you prefer a more 'pedas' one just add 'chili padi'. Be prepared with either very hot drink or very cold water as antidote though.
The antidote are written on the bottle's label of most poisonous stuff but most people dont read them. Mild poisoning of paraquat needs Fuller's Earth but I think any clean clay soil may do except that it may contain harmfull bacteria as well. Paraquat is easily biodegradable upon contact with soil thats how the antidote works. Companies like ICI will mix their product with chemicals that will result in the person accidentally consuming the product to throw up. I can't recall the specific term for that. It is people who take it intentionally to commit suicide is the problem.
Since the common salt is easly available, it should be the first choice before any other better medication is found. There was a sad true story once when a whole family was affected by food poisoning after taking the fish roe. Inspite of being suffering from the same poisoning himself, the father managed to climb a coconut tree to get the juice. Those that did managed to get the drink of coconut water manage to survive while those that did not, succumbed to the poison.
I am glad nothing untoward happened to your child.
Me a pro in the kitchen? Not really. I am just good in certain dishes. With ample practise and after trial and error, anybody can be good.
Thanks for the visit. Have a good day.

zaitgha said...

abt the kitchen tuh, the number 4 i agree whole heartedly....

U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, gosh! Never knew cooking is one of your talents.
Well, I eat to live, not live to eat, so cannot make any comments except hope to get an invitation for dinner from you one of this days.
Happy cooking, Lee.

Zawi said...

Glad that at least you agree completely on one hahahahaha. The rest incomplete agreement I presume? Just kidding there.

Zawi said...

If you are willing to have dinner from my humble cookings and forego the sumptious dinner at the so many well known hotels in Kota Bharu, then I will be too glad to cook for you. Why not you escape the winter and enjoy the summer in Kota Bharu? The worst of weather here will still be better than taht cold winter in sub sero temperatures. As if zero is not cold enough.
I will have this dishes lined up for u and your wife.
Sup tulang.
Masak lemak udang with pineapple,
Kerabu sotong
Sambal mempelam muda.
Fried crabs with vermiclli
Red Garouper head curry.
Steamed kerapu.
Goreng baby kailan with ikan tenggiri masin
All to go with nasi putih.
Drink is either sky juice, tamarind juice or orange juice laced with....whatever you are bringing along.

Anything else that you need sir?

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Pineapple? bley ajer hahaha.
Good day(",)

Zawi said...

Mau belajar masak lemak udang dengan nenas? Boleh, rajin rajin la datang rumah.

Mior Azhar said...

Pak Zawi,
Just in case you are interested (and sorry lari tajuk here but this pickle looks good)

Bloggers Tea Session with Kak Teh and Awang Goneng as follows .

Date : Sunday 9 Dec 2007
Time : 4.00 PM
Venue : Kinokuniya Bookstore, Coffee Shop @ KLCC

Zawi said...

No problem about lari tajuk. Jaff has told me about it earlier. I will be attending because this is a very opportune time to meet other bloggers and get my GUIT signed while I am still in KL. Thanks anyway.

U.Lee said...

Zawi! YOU are horrible! Why you torture me like this? Arhaaa ha ha.
Holy Smoke! The dishes you willing to cook for me, I better wear a slightly looser pair of slacks and my wife too, wear a loose dress not her usual fitting jeans and t-shirt, ha ha. So we can polish off your gourmet cooking.
Oh Gosh! I have always enjoyed Malay food. Used to be invited by my Malay friends in Trengganu and Kuantan as well all over and loved their dishes.
And yes, pineapple masak udang lemak is my favourite too, steamed grouper.....and Zawi, this I will even cancel my date with Salma Hayek if you can cook for me that fish, chincharu? Peel off the skin, stuffed some chillie rempah inside and goreng?
Holy Smoke! I'll even phone Sophia cannot come her place for dinner and drinks, 'going to Zawi's'. Ha ha.
Thank you for your invitation Zawi.
Hey, there's a anonymous lady who found my old stories, 'moonlight and roses' the Net. But she doesn't wish to expose herself, I mean her callsign. Wonder who it is? You think maybe Salmah? Ha ha. Happy cooking, my friend, and don't burn down your beautiful kitchen, huh! Lee.

Zawi said...

How I love to torture you. And if I could get you holed up in the kitchen gobbling up the good spread of food, then I will have Salma Hayek to myself. Then there is no flamboyant Lee to attract all the ladies with his dance prowess to show off and attract attention all to himself.
How about some ayam percik? That cincaru filled with the chilly stuff is easy to prepare. You will have alot of em.
You mean anonymous Z found your Moonlight and Roses? Saw you mention Z in your reply to her deleted comment. Pray tell us who Z is. Is she Zeta Jones? My god all the beautiful ladies are after you. Lucky you.

Rita Ho said...

Hi Zawi ... I have not tasted this pickle but it sounds yummy! This is the first time I see a picture of the tamarind fruit, have only seen it as a paste. Do you have a picture of it with the skin?

Your kitchen looks so clean and neat. :)

zaitgha said...

Pak Zawi,

not that i dont agree with the others that you mentioned just that for the no.4 if i dont do that i would put the whole household in danger, and for the the hob and hood, i prefer the normal 2 stove and the kitchen is airy and bright i dont need the hood and the exhaust fan. as for the sink and the double taps, the contractor has done that even i didnt tell him to...

Zawi said...

Sorry for the late respond. Spent the whole day yesterday at the PC fair with Akmal and later joined the bloggers at Coffee Club for the signing of GUIT by Awang Goneng who just came back from London.
You will like the sweet, sour and spicy hot pickles. Nobody that I know dont like it.
Will find a picture of them and add to this post just give me time to find it.
I hope your feet is getting better.

Zawi said...

We had fun chatting with Awang Goneng and Kak Teh yesterday. How I wish you were there too. Maybe nobody told you about it.
Anyway I think you know what is best for your kitchen as you have beed using it for so long and you know what has been lacking and has in your mind what is a dream kitchen for you. For a lady of the house the kitchen is her domain and the best will be installed as far as the budget allows. I am lucky cos things are cheaper there compared to elsewhere as far as workmanship is concerned.
Thanks for appreciating whatever the 2 sen worth of opinons that I gave you. My wife wanted to put the tank out of sight too but I opposed it and overuled it for the sake of safety. Used to have a safety valve installed on top of the tank but broke it when it was dropped and cant find a replacement yet. I think it is something that really work.

pB said...

masyaallah ...

menitik air liur tengok cho'lek asae jawo tu ...

Zawi said...

Semua yang pernah kena colek ni mesti akan teringat. Saya pun sentiasa meleleh air lior bila terkenangkan 3 kg yang kemudian saya cuma dapat makan sikit je. InsyaAllah kalau ada rezeki dan masih ada buah tu saya akan buat lagi dan tolong makan untuk pb. Kenapa tak datang jumpa Awang Goneng semalam di Kunikuniya?Terima kasihlah kerna mengunjung.

NaNa said...

Pak Zawi,

I remember arwah my grandmother used to make jeruk asam jawa. After she passed away... if we feel like having the jeruk..have to buy kat Pasar bulat tu. But, of course, nothing is as good as homemade ones.

Thanks for the recipe Pak. insyaallah I will try it.. provided that I can get my supply of tamarind.

Zawi said...

Don't eat too much of those found in the market or any jeruk at all. The content of the preservative is too high for our health. Wait for my future blogs and you will be surprised on the content of Boric acid in our food. The Star of day before yesterday I think did publish a good article on this.
It is so easy to make. just make your own.
Melelih pula air lior Pak zawi bila tengok gambar jerok celagi tu.

Helwa said...

Assalamu'alaikum...Oh my...this reminds me so much of my kampung. There used to be a huge old tamarind tree by the paddy-field and when I was a child, whenever the family balik kampung, I'd play under the tree collecting the fallen, fat and ripe tamarind pods, I remember having much fun cracking open the dried pods and eating the sourish flesh...well, that was a long, long time ago and the tamarind tree and the sawah are gone now. I didn't realize that the pods can be pickled though :)...must be delicious...

Pak Zawi said...

Tamarind trees are still in abundance in Malaysia and I believe there are a few in your old kampung too. The one that you mentioned may not be there.
Yes the pickle is very delicious. Ask those who have tried it and you can immediately sense the longing for the pickles.
Nowadays there is a variety that are sweet upon ripening. Thailand export loads of such sweet tamarinds to Malaysia. Me? I prefer the pickles anytime but only if they are homemade. Those that are sold at the pasar are pickled with sweeteners. Don't ever touch them.