My mother-in-law sent me a whole lot of produce from her garden. Besides the star fruit there were two bunches of bananas, bay- leaves, fragrant lemons, a small pumpkin, corn and bamboo shoot. The last came cut into thin fine slices, wrapped in a kind of leaf that is commonly used for wrapping food in north-eastern states. I've always been fascinated by this fruit and the tree. Originally from Sri Lanka and the Malaccas, this tree has been cultivated in many south-east Asian countries for hundreds of years. Mature trees reach a height of 25 to 30 ft with several branches. The blooms are mauve with purple tinge and the fruit grows in clusters. When it comes to bearing fruit the only word which comes to mind is, prolific. At my ma-in-law's there are hundreds of fruit during the season and they look so pretty hanging like green and yellow little lanterns. Green or yellow, depending on its maturity. This is the sour variety and is good for pickling. There are two kinds; the other is the sweet variety. Even the sour ones turn sweetish when they ripen. ripe fruit turn yellow with light brown splotches on them.
There are many medicinal properties attributed to this fruit. Several sites list the benefits, but ever since I was a child I've heard about the juice of the star-fruit curing jaundice. Maybe not on its own but with other prescriptions of alternative medicine.
Also known as carambola this fruit is now found/grown in all sub- tropical and tropical regions of the world. This picture shows stars in the making ( of the pickle!) A full day in the hot sun and they're ready to be spiced up! Freshly cut, mixed with turmeric and salt. Out they go to soak up the sun! After being sunned I've added these spices.... Whole ones that went into the hot oil--- Fenugreek, mustard, bits of dry chillies, caraway seeds, cumin seeds bay-leaves and asafoetida.
Roasted and ground into submission------ Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, fennel.
Soaked in vinegar and ground-------- Dry chillies and about ten cloves of garlic. The last ingredient enhances the taste and the flavour! The pickled stars!! A few more days of sunning and voila, the pickle will be ready for the eatin'!
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau