This fruit is unique to this part of Borneo and is very popular among the Kadazan Dusun, Sabah's largest indigenous group. The preserved bambangan is synonymous with the Kadazan as kimchi is with the Koreans.
Even though the family loves this, I have never tried making it before because it is so easily available ready-made. Anyway,i checked with all my Kadazan friends and those ladies selling the fruits in the market regarding the preparation.
To preserve, the diced mango flesh is mixed with its grated seed and salt.
It sounded simple enough so I decided that's what I wouid submit for this 'Muhibbah'. Here goes...
Three bambangan from the tamu
The peeling and dicing was easy - piece of cake.
The grating of the seed core...now that's another story
Holding what was left of the fruit after having taken off the flesh, I was at a loss....what was I supposed to grate?? There was this thick fibrous layer which wouldn't yield to any grater at all. Washed my hands and got on the phone....aha! sakai! (thats local slang for..duh....)I had to peel off that hard outer layer!
I poked and I cut and I snipped but to no avail... that layer would not budge! Sweating and swearing, what I thought was an easy peasy task turning into a nightmare!!
Finally, took out the chopper and whacked it right through the middle.
See the thick layer wrapping the white seed that I was suppose to grate?? That was a tough nut to crack.
The snowy white seed grated onto the diced mango flesh.
Preserved Bambangan - a Kadazandusun dish
3 big bambangan fruits, peeled and diced
2-3 bambangan seeds, grated
3-4 tablespoon salt
The sourish concoction is delicious eaten with rice and fried fish. It makes a very appetising salad. We often add into fish soups for that tangy taste.
The grated seed can also be dried and used to add sourness and fragrance to dishes such as Hinava, a raw fish pickle.
Not sure whether I will ever attempt this again but I am glad I did it once. At least now I'll appreciate the preserve more wherever I buy it knowing how much effort it takes to crack the nut!!.
Merdeka Open House 2007