Glossary B

The food glossary +++ 'Bat and Balls', 'Batwan / Batuan', 'Balakwit'

Beef Masala refers to a popular dish from Kerala, India made from slices of beef cooked with onions and other spices such as black mustard seeds, Masala powder and curry leaves .

Beef Masala is usually one of the dishes cooked during special occassions and during Sundays.

In Allepey, Kerala, India, a kilo fresh beef is cheaper than a kilo of fresh chicken, so on Sundays when almost all members of the family are present, the housewives cook Beef Masala. 

Pictures below are different versions of Beef Masala cooked by various housewives in Kerala, south of India.

The 2 pictures above is Beef Masala served with slices of fresh tomatoes, onions and Muluku chilis and fresh curry leaves

Below is the picture of the Beef Masala I tasted in one of the Homestays in Munnar which I have eaten with rice. I wanted to show the curry leaf which made Masala dishes and all other South Indian dishes very delicious.


Beef Cutlet is one of the foods from Kerala, India which is made from finely chopped or ground beef, with mashed potatoes and spices, then rolled into flour and egg, then deep fried.

Cutlet made from meat and fish is Kerala's version of Croquetes. 


Beef Cutlet from Kerala, India
Deep-fried Beef Cutlet from Kerala, India.

Below is the raw version of Beef Cutlets rolled into flour, visible are chopped onions and chopped green chilies, the 2 ingredients used in Kerala to make Cutelts be it meat or fish.


Raw Beef Cutlets before Deep-Frying in Coconut Oil, used in Kerala, India for cooking their dishes
Raw Beef Cutlets before Deep-Frying in Coconut Oil, used in Kerala, India for cooking their dishes

Picture below is my family friend from Allepey, Kerala, India preparing and cutting her raw beef to make Beef Cutlets

 Gracy preparing the beef to make Beef Cutlets

Gracy preparing the beef to make Beef Cutlets


Burfi is an Indian version of cheese cake that is considered a dessert in India. Burfi is actually not made from cheese but made of milk and spices, particularly cardamom until it reached its right consistency and turned like a soft cheese cake.

Below are version of Burfi sold in one of the sweet shops in Allepey, Kerala, India





These slices of Burfi is sold from this small sweet shop in Allepey, Kerala, India. The store might be small, but their Burfi has a big big delicious taste


Bonda is made from lentils and a typical food from Kerala, India. They are deep-fried and often served with savory dips and curry.

Bondas also known as Vadas  are round deep fried savory snack made in different varieties usually from lentils, potatoes etc. eaten with a chutney. Aloo Bonda or Urulaikizhangu Bonda (Potato Fritters ) is a classic/traditonal  tea/ coffee time snack in India.

Pictures of Bonda sold in Chaya Kada (teashop) in Allepey, Kerala, India is made from lentils and spices and served with Beef curry or other savory curries which might be available during the day. 









Batwan refers to a green sour fruit which is used as a souring agent for making Sinigang dishes (sour soup) in the Philippines in placed of tomatoes, Calamansi, Kamias and Tamarind (Sampaloc)

Batwan which is also called Batuan, Batuan or Batuwan or  Garcinia Binucao is indigenous to the Philippines and possibly Vietnam, and it is a relative of Mangosteen.Its fruit is somewhat round in shape, around 4 centimeters in diameter, greenish in color which turned yellowish when mature. They have a firm outer covering and contain a very sour pulp and several seeds. It has a sour taste but not acidic to the stomach. The Batwan tree thrives in parts of Bohol and Leyte as well but it isn’t used much in those cuisines. 

The use of  Batwan fruit is one of the distinct features of Ilonggo cuisine, especially for cooking "Sinigang", Philippines sour soup or stew.

Batuan or Batwan is also known as Binukau or Binukaw in Tagalog (from where its scientific name was derived), and Balakut in Ilocano. Batwan is called in various names in other parts of the country:

 Ballok (Benguet); Balikot (Ilocos Norte); Bangkok (Zambales); Bilukao (Rizal, Bataan, Batangas, Camarines); Binukao (Laguna, Bataan, Batangas, Camarines); Buragris (Camarines); Kamangsi (Tayabas); Kandis (Palawan); Kamurai; Kulilem (Cagayan); Haras (Capiz) and Maninila (Albay).

The use of Batwan is dying out in most part of the Philippines and it might not even known in other parts of the country, except Negros and nearby areas that use it a lot in preparing some of their dishes. 

Negros Region of the country, particularly Bacolod use Batwan as souring agents in cooking various dishes, such as Paksiw na Isda (fish cooked in vvinegar, Kansi (jackfruit with mung beans and coconut cream), Pinamalhan (a dry style Paksiw na Isda) and Tinolang Isda (fish with sour soup). Batwan is also use in cooking the classic dish named KBL (Kadios, Baboy and Langka) from Iloilo. In Negros, the people basically use Batwan to any dish that requires a souring agent instead of Tamarind (usualy souring agent in Luzon Island).

 It is said that Batwan only grows in Panay or Negros, other people say that it is also abundant in other parts of the country, but perhaps not used as souring agent.  Batwan is a huge tree with lost of fruits  when it is in season. and it is  the only souring agent that the people knows in Panay and Negros Provinces/Islands. However, It is said to be used also in other Provinces, such as Leyte, Bohol, Masbate.

Below is a not so well-photographed picture of Batwan which was luckily shared by a friend from Iloilo to my brother who likes to experiment on other local products to make his Sinigang.



Personal Note: Based on my experience, Batwan is not so well-known in  Luzon Islands of the Philippines, where Kamatis (Tomatoes), Kamias, Calamansi and Sampaloc are used as souring agent in making Sinigang. Batwan is mostly used in the Visayas Island of the country, particularly in Iloilo (Negros Provinces). I came to know about Batwan because my first husband's family came from Iloilo and they used to have a cook who also came from the Province and used Batwan when cooking dishes like KBL,  Tinolang Isda and Sinigang 

Bihod is a Filipino or Ilonggo word which means fish roe

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