Moringa Curry and Terengganu Duku


Yesterday mum cooked us a very delicious moringa curry (refer to ‘Moringa Oleifera – A Miracle Tree’). I really enjoyed the soft and tasty moringa that I eat nothing else but the moringa curry and rice! Wish that I can share them with other moringa lovers.

After enjoying the delicious and spicy curry, we had some really sweet duku brought from Terengganu by Pak Cik Hisham (refer to ‘Lakse Kuoh Masok’). Terengganu folks are really proud of their duku and my dear nenek would always try her best to make sure that we have enough supply of Trengganu duku every duku season.

This exotic fruit tastes best when plucked after it had ripe. Anyway since ripe duku can only last for a few days;  only the unripe duku are sent to KL while the ripe fruit are sold locally in Terengganu. So to get the real sweet and tasty duku one has to buy them in Terengganu especially the duku that comes from the orchards in Pulau Manis and Telemong.

Anyway, eating duku can be quite tricky for young kids because it’s tiny seeds are really bitter when bitten.So mum has to take out the seeds before my little brother Ahmad Ali can enjoy them. As duku can only last for a few days, I guess I better eat them before they turn bad and can’t be eaten anymore.

Mangosteen


Wow! The fruit season is back! I just love this time of the year when I can enjoy all kinds of fruits; some of which are not available through out the year. And what an awesome sight it is to see fruits of different shapes and colours being sold all around Kuala Lumpur – mangosteen, durian, rambutan, duku, dokong … just name it!

I really love the mangosteen! Although its name is MANGOsteen, it has no relation to mango. This exotic fruit is also known as ‘The Queen of Tropical Fruits’. It was believed that mangosteen was originated from the Sunda Island and the Moluccas and later on was brought to Thailand and Burma before being planted in other parts of the world.

The exocarp (the outermost layer of the fruit) of juvenile mangosteen first appear very pale green or almost white before its colour changes to a darker shade of green and upon ripening the colour changes to reddish purple and finally to dark purple. One can tell precisely the number of segments of the white edible endocarp (the part that wraps the seed) inside the mangosteen even before opening the fruit. At the bottom end of the fruit, there is a type of flower shaped scar which number of petals is similar to the number of segments (of the white flesh) inside the mangosteen.

The white flesh of mangosteen is very tasty and can be described as sweet, tasty and citrusy with peach flavour and texture. Mangosteen is not only tasty but is also full of vitamins and minerals. Mangosteen is very rich in anti-oxidant which can lower the risk of human diseases. It is also rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, potassium, iron and calcium. Test tube studies proved that mangosteen contains xonthones (anti-cancer effects), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic. The rind of mangosteen can help to stop diarrhea, bladder infections, gonorrhea, skin rashes and cooling effects.

This exotic fruit is very expensive when available outside its tropics. Nowadays we can have mangosteen juice, mangosteen jam, frozen mangosteen and canned mangosteen apart from the fresh fruit. I’ve never heard of  mangosteen juice until Sept 2006 when we saw a huge billboard advertising the juice in Kalamazoo. And when mum pointed at the billboard I was speechless… What? Mangosteen juice? In America?

Anyway I just realised that I’ve never tried mangosteen picking… Mum said that atuk has some mangosteen trees in his orchard but I’ve never been there yet. May be one day I should make a visit to the orchard and try mangosteen picking.