By Apinun Sawetwannakun
If we were to talk about something hot in Thailand, I have no doubt that everyone who has visited the ‘Land of Smiles’ would think about the tropical weather, the burning sun, and warm breezes that occasionally sweep across us. All of these are the signs of summer. At the end of March this year, I had got a chance to visit Chiang Rai and taste some new fruits I’d never tried before. One of these is these is my topic for today, the “cape gooseberry.”
For me the cape gooseberry was not a familiar fruit like guava, watermelon, pineapple, or papaya. At first I guessed it might be one of those soft, juicy fruits like strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry as it has “berry” in its name.
Cape gooseberries actually look like tomatoes, but when they are cut open they are full of small seeds. The fruit turns itself into a yellow-orange colour and gets covered by leaves when it is fully ripe. As to the taste, it is like a mixture of grape and tomato; it is both sour and sweet. For those who have never tried it, the first thing that you will notice is its unique smell which is different from any other fruit.
Small in size but outstanding in flavour, the cape gooseberry has high nutrition values with low calories which makes it great for those on a diet who want a quick snack. It contains nutrients that can help prevent you getting cold, reduce fever, and it is also considered a medication to treat coughs because it has high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants.
The recipe below is a great, spicy little dish that can be prepared well in advance.
Cape gooseberry chilli paste recipe:
- Kaffir lime skin; ½ tsp
- Red chilli; 1 tbsp
- Orange chilli; 1 tbsp
- Green chilli; 1 tbsp
- Smoked crispy fish; 1 tbsp
- Dried shrimp; 1 tsp
- Thai garlic; 5 pieces
- Grilled shrimp; 1-2 pieces
- Cape gooseberry; 1 medium sized
- Shrimp paste; 1 tsp
- Palm sugar
- Kaffir lime juice
- Fish sauce
- Dry fry the red, orange, and green chilli, Thai garlic, and smoked crispy fish together for just a minute or two
- Roughly pestle Kaffir lime skin with salt. Then, add the Thai garlic, chilli and crispy fish mix and pestle until it blends together.
- Add the dried shrimp, and shrimp paste and mix together. When it is mixed well, put cape gooseberry in and pestle again until well mixed
- Season with palm sugar, Kaffir lime juice, and fish sauce
- Once prepared the paste can be spread over shrimp before they are grilled or served alongside rice and fresh vegetable dishes
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