Vinaya shows the value-added products from Bilimbi
Bilimbi which is scientifically named as ‘Averrhoa bilimbi’ is loved for its tangy sour taste. Though bilimbi tree is native to Moluccas Island in Indonesia, it is commonly found in Kerala. It is also called cucumber tree or tree sorrel. The tree is an evergreen plant which yields plenty of fruits during any season.
Thrissur Ollukkara native Vinaya has taken a different path of career by providing training to make value-added products from bilimbi fruits. In Kerala, bilimbi is also called ‘Irumban Puli’ or ‘Ilumbi Puli’.
Vinaya has developed wine, jam, pickles and sour tasting curries that has long shelf life in addition to ready-to-use products. She has been giving training in making value added products from jackfruit, bamboo shoots, nutmeg peel, plantain stem, robusta banana, black gram, carambola, passion fruit and other fruits for the past four years.
Vinaya has trained about 10,000 persons and helped nearly 45 entrepreneurs. She is of the opinion that housewives and farmers can earn additional income only through making value added products.
Common uses of bilimbi
- Bilimbi is used in curries as an alternative for tamarind.
- It can be added in fish curry instead of raw mango.
- Pickles, juice, soup, wine and squash can be made out of its fruits.
- Bilimbi is used to remove stains from clothes.
- Fruits can be dried and kept for off seasons.
Medicinal uses of bilimbi
- Consuming bilimbi juice reduces cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Syrup made of bilimbi helps cure fever and cough.
- Bilimbi pulp can be used to treat wounds, inflammation and mumps.
- Leaves of bilimbi can be used for treating skin diseases.