What is a Kamias?
Kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi Linn) known in the Philippines as iba, kalamias, pias or kiling-iba, is a plum-like greenish-yellow fruit that is popular as a souring ingredient in vegatable stews and soups.
Kamias is a small tree, growing from 5 to 12 meters in height and the roundish-oblong fruit which grows to about four centimetres long has an acidic or sour taste. The fruit is used to remove clothing stains and for washing the hands. A popular seasoning ingredient, the kamias is also versatile as food since it can be made into sweets, including jam, or pickles.
The fruit is also known in other Asian countries where kamias paste is applied as a hot compress to itches.
In Japan the fruit is turned into a paste to treat mumps, rheumatism, and pimples, and an infusion of the flowers is used for coughs.
The juice of the fruit is also made into a syrup for a cooling drink and there reports of kamias drinks to cure stomach aches and internal haemorrhoids. A conserve of the fruit is used in Java for beriberi, biliousness, and coughs.
Kamias can be incorporated into various dishes:
- Veggie paksiw, with eggplant, radish, okra, and ginger
- Palabok noodles blended with squash sauce and achuete, topped with fried tofu, seaweeds, crushed chips, spring onions and slices of kamias
- Beanuguan (Vegan Dinuguan) — kamias blended with boiled black beans and cooked with radish, chayote, and vinegar (add some sugar and salt to taste)
- Make Kamias curry (put in salted water for 10 minutes, and squeeze the juice out before cooking)
- Monggo dal, cooked with curry patta leaves
Check out this Lutong Bahay Recipes that use Kamias as flavorings:
Sinanglay na Tilapia
Sinanglay na Tilapia – One of the favorite fish dish of Bicolanos is “Sinanglay”, wherein fish is wrapped in pechay or mustard leaves and is simmered in rich coconut milk. Tilapia is perfect for this. Fresh Tilapia is always available in the supermarkets. Learn how to cook this Sinanglay na Tilapia.
Vigan Pipian Manok
Pipian manok is an Ilokano version of chicken porridge that you can usually find in the city of Vigan. It’s basically a Sinigang version of Lugaw. Get the Vigan Pipian Manok recipe here.
Sinigang na Manok
Sinigang na Manok – Sinigang is an authentic Filipino dish. The basic ingredient of sinigang can either be chicken, pork, fish, beef or shrimp with a lot of vegetables. The souring ingredients often used are either tamarind, calamansi, kamias or guava. Here’s the recipe of Sinigang na Manok.
Pinangat na Isda (Pompano)
Pinangat na isda, also called pangat na isda, is a Filipino dish from Southern Luzon consisting of fish and tomatoes stewed in a broth soured with fruits like calamansi, bilimbi, tamarind, or santol. It can also be used to cook shrimp. It is similar to sinigang, but it is not as tart.
Pinangat na isda may also sometimes be referred to as paksiw, a related but different dish which primarily use vinegar to sour the broth. Pinangat na isda is also commonly confused with laing (also called pinangat na laing or pinangat na gabi), a Bicolano dish also known simply as pinangat. But they are different dishes. Here’s how to cook Pinangat na Isda.
Share Your Thoughts
That’s it! What are other uses of Kamias do you know? If you have some ideas on its use, we are grateful to hear them from you, please leave your comments below.
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