Each time we go over to the friends' homes, it's like a botany lesson. Either they would remind us about the plants in the garden or their parents would. At N's, their bilimbi tree (or birambi, if you like) was fruiting, and had plenty to give. Sour sour deliciousness.
Forget the supermarkets, it's tough to even find buah bilimbi in the wet markets. Restaurants rarely offer anything with it. Few seem to still do this now even at home. Some still make chutney with it. Not even sure the internets can teach me how to cook a dish using buah bilimbi. I'd have to rely purely on memories. I suppose slices of bilimbi could replace assam. I'm not a fan of assam. Sambal fish with bilimbi works. So would prawns and some meats. If I'm brave enough, I can pickle it to make sambal beling-beling!!! I love love love sambal beling-beling with fried fish eggs.
N's mother didn't want me to just take photos of the fruits and the tree. She practically dumped the whole basket of buah bilimbi on me. The man conveniently stayed out of earshot because he isn't particularly keen or deft in whipping up nyonya dishes. He just wants to eat them. Like I am any better in the kitchen lor. My grandparents had these bilimbi plants in their gardens and I ate loads of foods cooked with the fruits. But I've never actually cooked any dish with the instructions of the grandmothers, or on my own. Wah lau.