This is the pulor fruit which you can get easily in the rural parts of Sarawak or buy in a native market.
Often eaten when it is still young and very easy to slice it is a good food when there is nothing much else to be had. In fact it can be considered by many as a delicacy as it is only once a year kind of fruit for the Ibans in Limbang division in particular.
There are of course many ways of cooking it. The best is still by boiling without any oil. Throw in freshly cut pieces of the fruit (one fruit is enough for the whole family of six)into hot boiling water. Blanch for a while and then throw away the hot water. Now cook ikan bilis with some chillies and some salt and pepper untilthe water is boiling hot. Throw in the pieces of blanched pulor and cook until water is only a third of its original amount left. The gentle tasting fresh fruit is nice with hot fresh newly harvested rice. You can cook it Malay style with santan. You can curry it too. And you can add it to chicken and make a thick curry.
When visiting a longhouse one can be really well fed. The gracious Iban host is like a Kurd host "who believes that a guest will bring ten blessings. He will eat one and leave nine behind." Usually he will make sure that his family will cook good food for his visitors. If it is a large group of people coming to visit the longhouse the whole community will bring and share their food with the visitors. This is kind of hospitality is really incredible to some foreigners.
Here is an example of a simple longhouse breakfast. An early morning meal consisting of this dish and rice will give you the energy to go far up the ulu by river. In the longhouse before one goes to the farm or hunting or just having a leisurely trip to see the old place one can just start the morning by plucking a pulor from the tree growing nearby for breakfast. That would be the exact idea for some of us ..and the pulor is free and the cooking is easy. Free and easy..one cannot have a better deal.
A fairly good trip one can make is to the once pristine Lanau Pantu of Ulu Limbang. Much of its beauty is all gone but you can still see some bits and pieces of the old Limbang river valley and some of the recognisable abandoned longhouse temuda. If you are accompanied by a few of your friends and relatives they would tell you their beloved stories of how one durian tree gave more than 10 years of good fruits and another dabai tree gave fruits to several generations of his family.
When men and nature are part of the circle of life God's presence is felt.
Pluck a young pulor from the tree for breakfast.
slice the top off and see the "latex" flowing out.
Trim the green skin off the fruit. You see a beautiful lacy and open cut design.
Cut the fruit longitudinally.
Make smaller slices.
First blanch and then boil again.
Serve small bowls of the pulor soup with freshly cooked rice.
This breakfast is good enough to help you through several hours. And for lunch who knows you can catch a fish (in the old days it would definitely be semah or some prawns when the water was good and no timber man had set foot on the river bend).
Many years ago my children were lucky to be part of a pleasure trip that ended up with a big catch of a wild boar....the dog and gun had a share too of the game by longhouse terms and conditions. (More about this later) this is how lucky one can be with nature that is still in its original state.
But for now free fruits like pulor will just be adequate.
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