Kamrakh lonji

Star fruit relish

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    1 cup

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

We still don’t use it much in the West, but star fruit or carambola — just like most ingredients in the cuisines of the subcontinent — has an impressive list of health benefits. It is sweet and sour and looks beautiful. Try this relish with hot chapattis, parathas or rice, and perhaps you’ll start using star fruit a little bit more in salads and even as a garnish.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes


  • 4 star fruit (carambola), about 200 g (7 oz) in total; make sure they are not too ripe
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Chaat masala


Wash the star fruit, cut into small pieces and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Toast, stirring frequently, for 3–5 minutes, or until fragrant, ensuring they don’t burn.

Stir in the turmeric, coriander and fennel and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Now stir in the star fruit, salt and chilli powder, cover the pan and leave to cook for 3–4 minutes over medium heat. Once the star fruit softens, stir in the sugar, garam masala and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water. Let the mixture boil, uncovered, for 7–8 minutes over medium heat.

Once cooled, the relish is ready to eat straight away. It is best eaten on the day, as the star fruit will start to wilt.

However, you could also spoon the hot relish into a hot sterilised jar, seal, refrigerate and use within 10 days.