Human Flower Project

Cooking

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Eat More Bunga Telang


Malaysian specialty turns blue, thanks to flower petals.


A favorite dish in Malaysia’s eastern region of Kelantan is Nasi Kerabu, flavored and generally jazzed up with smashed petals of bunga telang flowers. The only thing I can ever recall eating that came close to this color was a sugary ice-pop that you pinched and slid up a plastic tube.

According to a Malaysian food site:

“Traditionally, the rice is tinted bright blue from petals of flowers called bunga telang [clitoria in English]. Hundreds of these petals have to be sun-dried, boiled in water, to cook one pot of rice. There are several varieties of herbs, unfamiliar in English - daun kentut ,daun kudu ,cekur , seven types of daun larak and kucing seduduk - lending different colors to the rice. The most used variety for Nasi Kerabu is the blue color variety of petals. This naturally tinted ‘blue rice’ is served with Ulam - a salad of fresh, raw vegetables - bean sprouts, long green beans, shallots, cucumber; combined with fried salted fish, fish crackers, fried grated coconut and other savory garnishing.”

Most of the receipes I found for Nasi Kerabu skipped the laborious petal drying, short-cutting with blue dye (sounds like that old frozen ice-pop). But here’s a tea cake recipe that uses bunga telang, a dessert called Pulut Tai Tai, which has NOT been tested in our Utility Research Kitchen.

image

Pulut Tai Tai (it’s the blue one)

Would somebody out there let us know what bunga telang actually tastes like?



Posted by Julie on 10/17 at 11:04 AM
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