Nothing so Sweet as Sour

>> Saturday 12 April 2008

Souree sour

You may have heard me mention Sour before when I've written about snacking with goodies such as the cassava balls, egg balls, phulourie, channa etc. Bee asked me a couple of weeks ago what is a Sour. Well, a Sour is a cooked chutney we make in Guyana and it is served as a condiment. Tamarind, green mango and most famously, souree (bilimbi) is used to make a Sour. And that's what this week's column is all about.


There's nothing quite like souree in a sour. I had not seen or eaten this fruit for many years; so you can imagine my pure, unadulterated joy at discovering it here in Barbados and at the home of one of my fellow country-men! Go read the column and share in my excitement and the ways in which we use souree.

Souree achar

Some of you may be very familiar with souree as it is said to grow wildly in Kerala and other parts of Asia.


I am submitting this picture as my entry to CLICK, the monthly photography event hosted by Jugalbandi. The theme this month is Au Naturel.

Sliced souree

Tamarind is in season and the trees all across Barbados are laden. Bliss! I made a tamarind relish from this book and absolutely love it.

Tamarind Relish2

Here's the recipe.

Tamarind Relish
Use this relish as a dipping sauce on raw or cooked veggies. It can be served in place of the regular chutney that usually accompanies a curry. You can stir it into a seafood curry to give that sour flavour.

Yield: 1 cup

2 tbsp oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp coarse sea salt
8 fluid ounces thick tamarind water (this is made my steeping the tamarind in hot water and then rubbing it to remove the flesh from the seeds. Strain and discard seeds)

  1. Heat oil in a wok or saucepan
  2. Add shallots and fry for 2 minutes
  3. Add ginger, chilli & garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes
  4. Stir in sugar, coriander & salt. Continue stirring on low heat until the mixture becomes sticky
  5. Add tamarind water and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary
  7. Simmer, stirring, until the relish has become quite thick
  8. Leave relish to cool completely, then transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until needed.
Many of you, I am sure have been following the news and feeling the pains of the continuing high cost of food. Drop by Forgive Me My Nonsense... and share your thoughts on the subject.

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