This bright-red, stunning-looking, tasty, tangy fruit is a refreshing treat eaten raw or it can be cooked creatively in many ways (especially great as a paste, chutney and sauce).
With very few trees left remaining in the wild of northern New South Wales, this endangered species is worth using to try and protect it. Create a demand! Our favourite place to get these babies from is Rainforest Bounty in the Atherton Tablelands.
The Boonjie Tamarind is related to the common Asian tamarind but is highly aromatic with stunning bright orange flesh. It belongs to the group of plants called Diploglottis and is a rare slender tree. The tangy flesh is delightful as a sharp sauce of chutney.
◎ Common Name: Boonjie Tamarind
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Diploglottis bracteata
◎ Comparison: Rhubarb or under-ripe peaches
◎ Seasonality: All year frozen
◎ Region: Rainforest
◎ Taste Profile: The bright orange juicy flesh makes delicious sauces and jams with a tart and distinctive tangy taste.
◎ Types: Around ten different species exist, part of the Diploglottis genus and the Sapindaceae family. These plants are native to New Guinea and eastern Australia, where they inhabit jungles and the edges of forests in areas with high humidity.
- An amazing flavour profile to add to chutneys and sauces.
- A refreshingly tart and tangy drink.
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
The native tamarind is valued as an indigenous fruit tree because the aril may be eaten raw or added to jams and chutneys. It also is used as the basis for a tangy cool drink.
Western & Modern
This fruit has many uses. It’s used for cooking, health and household purposes. The flesh can be removed when the fruit is ripe and frozen until required for use in the kitchen.
The fruits are very tasty although sour; they can be used to make refreshing drinks and desserts. Native tamarinds are related to the lychee, rambutan and longan of Asia.
Traditional Tamarind varieties play an important role in medicine, and have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The seed extract may also help lower blood sugar, while the pulp extract may help you lose body weight and reverse fatty liver disease.
However for the native Australian Boonjie Tamaraind there are no know medicinal uses associated with this plant.
Boonjie Tamarind is featured in these recipes in Warndu Mai:
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble