Illipe Nut

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

illipe nut a name of Tamil origin, is a commercial term for the oily seeds of a diverse collection of E. Indian and SE Asian trees. These trees belong to several genera and an indeterminate number of species; so the name is a vague one and the quality of the ‘illipe butter’ produced from the seeds varies.

However, Madhuca is certainly the most important genus. M. indica, a N. Indian tree, is the well-known mahua tree of Bengal, sometimes called ‘Indian butter tree’. M. longifolia is its counterpart in S. India and Sri Lanka, and the two species are used in similar ways.