Tuesday, November 3, 2009
ROSE APPLES OR JAMBU AIR AND A SWEET SPICY DIPPING SAUCE
Literally translated from the Malay language the Rose Apple/Water Apple/Wax Apple would be called 'water guava' to differentiate it from the other guava (apple guava) which is called 'stone guava' in Malay.
Although the apple guava are plants of the myrtle family and the rose apple is a genus of flowering plants that also belong to the myrtle family they are however completely different in texture and taste, the former being very firm and solid while the latter tender and almost cottony in texture and are sweet in different ways.
But the one thing that they can both be is....to be eaten with the same dipping sauce.
The rose apple is beautiful. It may be a dark ruby red, it may be a bright blushing pink or when not quite ripe it would be a pinkish green.
It is completely pristine white inside, cottony in texture, tender but firm and usually with a couple of knobs of roundish seeds in middle.
It's usually sweet and moist and at worst it's tasteless and dry. But never sour.
It's shiny. It's beautiful.
I couldn't resist them when I caught sight of these ruby goblets at the Sunday night market recently so I paid 7 ringgit for a kilo. I got 9 of them. I chilled them in the fridge overnight and the next morning I made a dark, tangy and spicy dipping sauce. All the while picturing, impatiently, a sauce-slathered slice entering my face.
Now, if there was a torn and worn rattan chair waiting on a carpet of lush cow grass at the top of a gentle slope in the backyard of an old, sprawling colonial bungalow, where the sun sets in gold in the distance, where I would be able to sit and scrutinize a crawling row of large red ants heading towards a mango tree and be contemplating my next dessert in fruit form, with a cold, wet glass of sweet pineapple juice in one hand and a spicy, dripping sauced jambu air in the other while the hem of my floral skirt ruffles gently in the tropical breeze and all the while comprehending and enjoying the lyrics and melody of Les Champs Elysees playing in my head through my headphone I would say that my life was quite complete.
But alas...... as always....... it was not meant to be and life is usually a little less comforting than one could hope for.
So I'll settle for some slices of jambu air in the pretty bowl next to me and its sauce in another bowl on my left, facing my quite unromantic laptop while the hovering fan above my head spins to cool me down and not understanding a word of the pretty French song from the CD, which hub had just bought me as a present-for-no-reason 10 minutes ago, while I continue to blog about both my fantasies and the divine taste of the slices of jambu air dripping with a luscious sauce that I had just consumed.
So be it. And may tomorrow be another fantaisie.
The sauce is a wee bit tangy, slightly spicy (or more if you like), somewhat salty and with a pinch of sweet all thrown in. You just have to love it. As I do.
4 large red chillies, seeds left in or de-seeded OR some bird chillies for fire
1 garlic clove
3 - 4 T of thick dark soy sauce
1 T of granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Pound the chillies and garlic in a mortar and pestle until quite fine or slightly coarse and then mix in all the other ingredients and mix well.
Serve with slices of jambu air. Divine.