blue flower - bunga talang for food colouring
Flowers are not only pretty to be seen but also can be eaten. Maybe some of us will pooh..pooh n ewekkk..when I said that. No way I can eat flowers! Im not a caterpillar or locust (belalang) mind u...But our ancestors were herbivorous before they know how to use tools to hunt meat.
They say if u eat a rose petal a day u can be sweet, beautiful n glowing like a rose! So the next time u want to eat one please choose a white rose cos they say white rose is better than the other colours....
Well I havnt tasted a rose petal or a hibiscus (yaks!) before but difinitely I have tasted papaya flowers , banana flowers (jantung pisang), bunga dedap (very deep red colour), sawi flowers n of cos cauliflower my favourite...hehehe. Mind you back in my kampung when I was small, my grandma used to have all ulam2 (local herbs) and those flowers that I mentioned as part of our daily meals. Since then I have become an ulam eater all my life as my grandma used to say u must eat all those for your awet muda so that you can look young n dont age much! I can vouch for that cos people say I look much much younger than my age..hahaha (angkat bakul sikit!). Well anyway nowadays a lot of research have been done on the ulam2 n other herbs esp in Malaysia n they are found to have medicinal value for all sorts of ailment. No wonder our grandmas used to plant them around the house or gather them from the jungle nearby.
Usually the flowers or buds are made into kerabu, our local salad n they are very delicious indeed. When I stayed at a cousin's house in Sabak Bernam, the main road there was lined with pokok bunga dedap with lots of red flowers in season. My grandma made us picked the buds n flowers to cook! I was surprised bunga dedap can be made into kerabu n it was so yummy too! Then of cos there's kerabu bunga betik (papaya flowers) n jantung pisang (banana flowers)... Besides kerabu, banana flowers can just cut them into quarters lengthwise n boil or steam them to eat with sambal belacan. Bunga betik can be a bit bitter but when u boil them u can just throw in a few young leaves of guava (jambu batu) to lessen the bitterness. For me I like it bitter just like bitter gourd (periya) . But now I have come across recipes for ixora n melur (jasmine) as kerabu too! You can never run out of materials to make kerabu or salad now. Just pick them from your own flower garden! And of cos another flower which is edible is bunga talang. It is used as food colouring esp in making nasi kerabu n kueh nyonya which give the colour blue instead of using a food dye. So there..dont say you have not eaten a flower before!