Star fruit or Carambola is a key ingredient in a famous Italian fish stew that is enlisted in the 50 most delicious food items in the world. It is used for adding sour taste in the dishes. Scientific name of the fruit is Averrhoa Carambola. In Kerala, the fruit is commonly called ‘Chathurappuli’ or ‘Vairappuli’.
Star fruit can be used as a flavouring agent in food dishes after it is dried and salted. Sri Lanka and Indonesia are the homelands of the fruit. It is also used as traditional medicine in Thailand and Myanmar.
Star fruit tree grows to a height of 3-5 metres. Saplings can be developed by sowing seeds. For producing better saplings, grafting is a good option.
Plant the saplings at a distance of five metres. Dig holes that has one metre of length, width and depth each. Fill the holes with topsoil and compost.
Normally, no fertilisation is needed after new sprouts grow on the plant. But adding 50 kg bio manure at the bottom of the tree once in a year will boost growth.
It will take up to 3-4 years for fruit bearing. Trees tend to blossom after summer and even blooms twice a year sometimes.
The fruit is commonly used in cuisine instead of tamarind. Delicious juice, ice cream, cake and wine can be made of the ripe fruit.
Star fruit is rich in numerous nutrients and antioxidants. The fruit contains Benzophenone which is capable of destroying stomach cancer cells.
Seeds of star fruit are dull yellow in colour and contain less amount of alcoholic content. So, it is used as a health drink in many countries.
Essence of its seed is good for diarrhoea, stomach upsets and removing toxins from food. The seeds of star fruit contain protein, fibre, carbohydrate and saturated and non-saturated fatty acids.
The grafted saplings of the plant grow in bonsai method and can be used as ornamental plant once it bears fruit.