Garcinia atro­viridis (asam gel­u­gor)

The Star Malaysia - - FOOD -

THERE does not seem to be an English name for this fruit, which is com­monly used in South East Asian cook­ing.

The fruit is na­tive to Penin­su­lar Malaysia and is used mainly in cur­ries, soups and stews as a sour­ing agent.

It is cul­ti­vated mostly in the north­ern states of the coun­try for culi­nary and medic­i­nal use.

The peren­nial Garcinia tree is also found in the south­ern re­gion of Thai­land.

The asam gel­u­gor tree is a mem­ber of the Garcinia fam­ily and is a close cousin to the sweet-sour man­gos­teen and kokam ( Garcinia indica), an ever­green tree na­tive to In­dia.

Kokam is a sour­ing agent that is milder than ta­marind.

The small round asam gel­u­gor fruit is also known as asam keping (with ref­er­ence to the dry fruit slices) while in Thai­land, it is called madan.

Of­ten found as dry slices, the fruit, recog­nis­able from its flat round sur­face with ruf­fled edges and sharp dis­tinct taste, is ex­tremely sour and is not eaten fresh.

Theripe fruits are bright or­angeyel­low, which are then sliced and dried, re­sult­ing in thin shriv­elled dark rimmed earthy-hued slices.

The fruit is said to be rich in an­tiox­i­dants and there is good news for those seek­ing to shed some pounds as re­searchers at the For­est Re­search In­sti­tute Malaysia say that asam gel­u­gor helps con­vert fat to en­ergy.


Sour­ing agent: The dried asam gel­u­gor or asam keping helps add punch and flavour to soups, cur­ries and stews.

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