Dabai is one of the most famous and valuable indigenous fruit in Sarawak, which market price can reach up to RM90/kg. Despite that it is commonly called as ‘Sarawak olive’ due to its resemblance to olive however, it is not botanically related to the olive family. Dabai tree or scientifically Canarium odontophyllum is a fruit bearing tree of the genus Canarium in the family Burseraceae. The tree grows up to a height of 30 to 40 meters and each tree can bear up to 300kg fruits. The edible dabai fruits is oblong 3-4 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The fruit outer skin is glossy black colour while the flesh is yellow with an elongated seed.
Fresh dabai fruit is very delicate and highly perishable. It can be stored frozen for a few months and maintain its freshness. Fresh or frozen dabai fruit can be prepared by soaking it with hot water for 5 minutes and eaten with sugar, salt or soy sauce upon serving. In Sarawak, the fruit has become an added ingredient in sauces and fried rice recipes. You can order nasi goreng dabai (dabai fried rice) at local eateries in Sarawak. Besides eaten in its original form, the fruit can be made into pickles, paste and can also be dried and milled into powder form for use in foods and drinks. Under commercialization the fruit can be incorporated in pizzas, desserts, juices and even mayonnaise.
Dabai fatty acid contents are similar to that of palm oil with the main compositions consisting of palmitic acid (42%), linoleic acid (35%) and linolenic acid (11%). The fruit oil also has anti-hypercholesterol and antioxidant activities. The high nutritional value of dabai, coupled with high contents of fatty acids suggest that the fruit is highly suitable to be promoted for wider use, specifically as a source of healthy oil and other nutraceuticals.
You can buy fresh, frozen and processed dabai products at TIMOGAH (www.timogah.com) and get them delivered to your home or office.