MIRI: It’s now dabai season in Miri, much to the delight of those who love the indigenous seasonal fruit which grows naturally in the wild and can only be found in Borneo Island.
Dabai or canarium odontophyllum currently fetch between RM28 and RM80 per kg here. At the beginning of the harvesting season, the fruits are more expensive because of the law of supply and demand.
However, those who adore the fruits are not deterred by the steep prices at the beginning of the season
The prices also vary according to the quality of the fruits which come mostly from Bekenu, about 45 minutes’ car ride from Miri, and Batu Niah, about one hour’s car ride from the city.
Dabai are in season every May, June and December.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, dabai sellers must follow the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) set up by the local authority in order to prevent any spread of the disease.
Hard and inedible when ripe, dabai, which have glossy black outer skin and yellow flesh, must be soaked in warm water before eating.
I soak my dabai in warm water for about 45 minutes before eating them with soy sauce and chillies.
Some people also like to stir fry dabai paste with white rice.
Regardless of how you prepare the indigenous fruit, dabai attracts fruit enthusiasts with its buttery and tasty taste.