Search Food Dictionary
Food Dictionary Ads


open this page in your Mobile / Tablet
QR Code
Food Dictionary Ads
Rambutan is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae. The fruit produced by the tree is also known as rambutan. According to popular belief and the origin of its name, rambutan is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. The earliest record of rambutan trees show that they were cultivated by the Malayan jungle tribes around their temporary settlements, a practice followed to date.

Rambutan trees grow naturally in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, although its precise natural distribution is unknown. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, and mamoncillo. It is native to the Indonesian Archipelago, from where it spread westwards to Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and India; northwards to Vietnam, and the Philippines.


Rambutan fruit is naturally red in color but they sometimes seem like yellow or orange. 'Rambut' is a malay word which means “hair”, hence it got its name because of the Thorn like appearance. The shape of Rambutan fruit is round or oval and it is upto three to six to four cm in dimension. Rambutan is borne in clusters. Its leather like skin has flexible thorns. It has brownish seed with two to three cm in size and is basally scarred. It is soft and crusty.

Even though the raw seeds are poisonous, they may be eaten after cooking. Complete ripe fruits are mostly ugly brown in colour. The Rambutan tree grows upto 10 to 20 m in height. Its alternate leaves are 10 to 30 cm in length and have three to eleven leaflets, each and with an entire margin have a special structure. Small Flowers with leaf petal which are about 2 1/2 to 5 mm in size are in disk-shape and they have bloomed cluster wise.

The rambutan, is an evergreen tree that grows always in height of 10-20m. Looks like furry strawberry from outside and much like a lychee on the inside.


A good rambutan has a firm and juicy flesh. It has a sweat taste, and it is somewhat similar taste of lychee fruit. The tree will actually look like a enlarged Chirstmas tree. A rambutan is best within mid-season somewhere around June-August as they seem to be most sweet, and large.. It is more sweet than sour. When it gets ripened the flesh separates easily from the seed. But when it is not quite ripe, the flesh sticks to the rambutan seed and the taste is a little sour overall, still not a bad taste though.


Rambutan is best eaten fresh. To prepare, cut or tear base of fruit; press out the translucent pulpy flesh. They can be muddled into cocktails, tossed with tropical fruit salads, or simmered with aromatics to make a flavorful simple syrup. Pair with other tropical fruits, fresh mint and cane-based liquors. Rambutan can be substituted in most lychee applications. Rambutan are fragile and keep only a day or two at room temperature.


It is a good source of vitamin C and calcium, rambutan fruit provides fairly a good amount of niacin, iron, protein and fiber. A recent study found out that eating nine to ten fruits and vegetables of rambutan family per day, were effective in lowering blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Rambutan

Vitamin C in Rambutan helps in the absorption of minerals, iron and copper. It also protects the body from getting damaged from free radicals. One of the main compounds of rambutan is Gallic acid. This compound behaves like a free radical scavenger that protects our body from oxidative damage and is particularly helpful to fight cancer.

This fruit contains moderate amounts of copper which is necessary for the creation of white and red blood cells. It also contains manganese which our body needs to produce and activate enzymes. Phosphorus in rambutan helps to remove the waste in kidneys and is essential for the development, repair, and maintenance of tissues and body cells. Rambutan also contains significant amounts of Calcium which works together with phosphorus to fortify the teeth and strengthens bones.

This fruit is a traditional medicine in Malaysia and Indonesia that is being used for hundreds of years. It is used in a number of treatments which includes diabetes, hypertension and various other ailments.

The carbohydrates and protein content of rambutan help to increase energy and prevent bloating. Rambutan is also rich in water which helps to get back the lost energy and quenches thirst.

Phosphorus in rambutan helps to remove the waste in kidneys and is essential for the development, repair, and maintenance of tissues and body cells. Rambutan also contains significant amounts of Calcium which works together with phosphorus to fortify the teeth and strengthens bones.

Rambutan has good fiber content and is low in calories. The fruit keeps us full for a long time due to its high fiber and water content and controls irregular hunger pangs. This also aids in weight reduction.

Rambutan is also good for treating common illnesses like headache, thrush and dysentery. For headache, the leaves are used as a poultice on the temples. This calms the nerves and reduces headache. A decoction of the bark is applied on the tongue to treat thrush. A decoction of roots is used to lower fever.

The other health benefits of Rambutan is in its antiseptic qualities. It helps to fight the body infection which invades our body.

Besides nutritional benefits, rambutan also offers therapeutic functions. Consuming the fruit can help to kill intestinal parasites and helps to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea and fever.

Rambutan makes your skin soft and supple. Its high water content hydrates your skin, thus leaving it soft, smooth and supple. Due to its ability to scavenge free radicals, Rambutan protects your body from oxidative damages. Powerful antioxidants present in Rambutan battles cancer in an effective manner.

Read More at Wikipedia
Recipe using Rambutan see Here.
Post your comment ...
sign in with ...