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bunga telang/clitoria flower/butterfly pea


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Krista G

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 09:16 AM

I've seen photos of blue-tinged Nyonya dumplings, kueh and nasi kerabu. I know that traditionally this shade was acheived by soaking and extracting liquid from bunga telang/clitoria flower/butterfly pea (whatever you want to call it). I imagine just using blue dye is now the norm, as you need tons of flowers and time to go the natural way.

With that said, does anyone know of any bakers/hawkers/cooks etc. in either Singapore or Malaysia who still make blue dye the traditional way? I'm going to be in both of those countries in Aug/Sept and would love to see food actually made with this flower.

I'm a New Yorker, and not Asian in the least (but am obsessed with S.E. Asian food) so forgive any ignorance on regional cooking techniques and ingredients.

#2 Shiewie

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 08:21 PM

Hi Krista G

My gran used to have bunga telang creepers in the garden and the kids would be sent out to pluck it whenever she needed some. Unfortunately neither my gran nor her house is around anymore so can't show you that.

There is a lady in KL who conducts cooking classes and one of the recipes she teaches is Seri Muka, a kueh in which bunga telang dye is sometimes used to stain the glutinous rice. She usually has a schedule of classes on her website but she hasn't updated her class schedule yet. Suggest you contact her - her e-mail address is available on her website - www.rohanijelani.com.

There is a Malaccan nyonya lady who makes and sells kueh from her home in KL - I think she makes pulut tatai and seri muka sometimes - I'll try and ask her whether she uses bunga telang in her kuehs and if she does, whether she's ok with a curious New Yorker seeing her cook. She only makes her kueh on Fridays and Saturdays though, so I may need some time before I can get back to you.

PM me if you'd like to meet up to eat while you're in KL.

#3 Tepee

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 09:44 PM

Krista, do give us the towns you'll be hitting. Although there is a thread on Eateries in Malaysia, the places you're heading may not be covered there.

I'll love to meet up with you too....but I can only do so during weekends and school holidays. Would help if you can give us a schedule.
TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#4 Krista G

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 12:03 PM

Thanks to both of you. I've read most of the Eateries in Malaysia thread and have been planning a course of attack. I'm also on a mission to try and taste as many different laksa varieties as I can (without going to all the regions they are from).

Shiewie, you must be a mind reader--I was just looking at Rohani Jelani's website and thinking I should email her about new classes. I don't want to put you through too much effort, but the Malaccan kueh maker sounds great.

Tepee, I'm only going to be in the two biggies: KL and Penang, four days each (not sure of the exact days off the top of my head). I hope I can squeeze in enough eating research in that time. It would be fun to put a face to the nice person who mails me a "Flavours" magazine every few months.

#5 Tepee

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:05 PM

You're welcome, Krista. Sounds like you're doing your homework well! Keep us updated when your schedule is finalized.
TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#6 yunnermeier

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 11:26 PM

hiya,
my aunts(nyonya) and mum still make kuih kochi, pulut tai tai (the real name is actually pulut teratai)etc with bunga telang. I used to grow them in my garden and had to pick them. Still have a jar-full of dried bunga telang in my house!

I hope you have an excellent time in Malaysia. I love, love Malaysian food (and really, I don't think I'm a biased person!:D )

#7 Rambutan

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 12:03 AM

Used to remember my late mother using bunga telang to make nasi kerabu.

The colour is quite nice and better then using artificial colouring. It also emmits this nice smell when it's still hot.

Sure miss her Nasi Kerabu.

#8 brioche

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 05:30 PM

Hi there, just in case you are still keen, my sister has this bunga telang plant and according to her its very easy to grow..if you want some seedlings, I can get some and post them to you. and re RJelani,, be warned, you might want to throw out your kitchen and becos hers is so out of this world.. its GORGEOUS!! cheers..

#9 Krista G

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:41 AM

Hi there, just in case you are still keen, my sister has this bunga telang plant and according to her its very easy to grow..if you want some seedlings, I can get some and post them to you.


Brioche, thanks for the kind offer, but I'm afraid the poor bunga telang wouldn't fare well in Brooklyn without a proper yard...but I could be wrong since gardening isn't my biggest strength.

#10 Tepee

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 05:10 AM

Brioche, thank you and thank your sister too! The seedlings arrived today. Now, how do I plant them?
TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#11 brioche

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 01:55 AM

Brioche, thank you and thank your sister too! The seedlings arrived today. Now, how do I plant them?

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Glad the postman didn't keep the envelope for himself.. :)
I am a terrible gardener but I think it wld fare well in any sort of soil. My sister planted her by the fence but she said that after a year or two, you have to replant them so keep the pods. BTW, anyone know if I can plant bittegourd and groundnuts on the same plot of land? Someone told me my groundnuts will taste bitter.... my daughters are looking forward to harvesting our first home grown produce...