Engkala - Gastro Obscura

Fruits & Vegetables


This creamy, bright pink fruit is known as the "Borneo avocado."

Borneo is a treasure trove for unique produce. If you ever pass through a market in the state of Sarawak, you’ll likely come across a tiny fruit with smooth, bright pink skin, a large green cap, and a flavor that’s a bit like an avocado. This is the engkala.

The engkala is a small fruit that looks more suited for the diet of hobbits, rather than humans. Typically it’s not eaten raw, but soaked in hot water until its pink hue turns white. A careful squeeze to its sides will cause the delicate white center to slide out. This part can be eaten as it is, but a dash of salt is strongly recommended.

The flavor of engkala is often compared to avocado, which is a distant relative, and it even has the nickname “Borneo avocado.” However this fruit would not be a good replacement in a recipe for guacamole. Its taste is much milder and milkier, like eating a big spoonful of sour cream or buttermilk. It is very filling and can be a little too rich for some palates.

For vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, engkala could be an invaluable dairy substitute, providing a healthy alternative in an adorable pink package.

Where to Try It
Written By
Jared Rydelek Jared Rydelek