Let’s squeeze and Zest up!
Calamansi or Calamondin or Limau Kasturi (in Malay) or 桔子(in Chinese) is a hybrid of lime and orange belonging to the citrus family. Its size is much smaller than lime. Calamansi is best grown in warm weather and is widely found in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
One and a half year ago, at only RM5, I bought this Calamansi tree in a small pot from a nearby garden nursery and planted it in my vegetable garden. It grew healthily in the garden since then. However, it seemed like ages to see it flower and bear fruits. At the beginning of this year, my neighbour helped me to fertilise the plant with fertiliser that was supposed to encourage plants to flower. After this application, the plant still did not flower as much as we anticipated. It only produced a few flowers and I only managed to harvest one fruit at the end. L
I was kind of disappointed but nevertheless I continued watering it and twice a month applied normal poultry manure fertiliser. Finally, a month ago, we were overwhelmed to see it flowered and produced abundant fruits!
Calamansi is one of the most common citrus used in Southeast Asian cuisines. In Malaysia, Calamansi (Limau Kasturi) juice is one of the key ingredients added in Sambal belacan and used in Nyonya Food. Other than using its acidity as a natural preservative additive to food, it is also great for making drinks.
|Calamansi Tree life cycle|
While writing this post I did some research on Calamansi tree. Then only I realised Calamansi tree typically takes 2 years after planting to fruit. This fact, matched exactly with the timing of my tree, which has been nearly 2 years since I planted it. It’s the time for it to flower and fruit.
Calamansi juice, as a drink, makes one of the best thirst-quenchers. It is best to consume during a heat wave. Even though Calamansi juice tastes acidic and sour but when consumed, they are alkalizing to the stomach, which helps in weight loss and detoxification. Similar to its citrus family members, Calamansi is rich in vitamin C too and is great for skin whitening.
Seeing the abundant fruits on the tree, I couldn’t wait to harvest them to make one of my favourite fruit juices which I often order when we dine out. It’s called Calamansi sour plum juice.
Calamansi juice is one of the popular beverages that is easily available in Malaysia eatery shop. It is very soothing to the throat, quench thirst and a great remedy for sore throat. This drink also helps digestion and is known for relieving the symptoms of gout. So, if you happen to get them at your local veggie shop, do give them a squeeze and drink up! It’s a great substitute for lemonade!
|Calamansi Sour Plum Juice 桔子酸梅汁|
Calamansi Sour Plum Juice
Calamansi lime ( Limau Kasturi), 3 pieces
Dried salted Sour Plum， 2 pieces
Sugar， 2 tbsp. (To your liking)
1. Wash lime, halve the lime, remove seeds, squeeze juice out into glass.
2. Use back the limes from step 1, added into blender, add drinking water, water level just to cover lime and start to blend.
(make sure limes properly deseed, else juice will be bitter)
3. Filter juice out from blender; pour into the glass stir with the juice from 1.
4. Dissolve 2 tablespoon sugar, and soak 2 pieces of dried sour plum in 150 cc warm water.
5. Pour juice into glass, add in ice cube mix and stir well.
6. Time to enjoy your refreshing Calamansi Sour Plum Juice !
Do not add ice if you are drinking to cure the sore throat or drive cold away.