By: RaY KinZoKu

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Monday, 6-Mar-2006 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark

The Day When The Rice Turned Blue

I have no idea when and why the Kelantanese,
creatively started to tint their Nasi Kerabu blue.

But, long before articial food colourings were made available on the store's shelves,
the Kelantanese would apply the bluish tone to the special herbal rice dish,
with a natural dye extracted from a purplish blue flower belongs to the Pea family,
known formally in Malay as Bunga Telang.
I learned that this skill is also mastered by others outside Kelantan especially among the Peranakan Chinese ( Nyonya ) for their cakes and sweets, but the Kelantanese probably had gone too far by "experimenting" with the rice !

With artificial food colouring readily available nowadays, the use of Bunga Telang has turned optional.
A street hawker or a restaurant operator would simply resort to artificial ones as a cheaper and fast alternative but in the kampung, the Bunga Telang is still preferred for family feast. I wonder, can you really tell the difference between the naturally dyed Nasi Kerabu from the artificially tinted ones ?

So, do you have your own "Bunga Nasi Kerabu" experience ?

* Formally known as Bunga Telang / Butterfly Pea / Clitoria ternatea, I wonder what they call it in Kelantanese .. emmm..

Kelantanese blue tinted Nasi Kerabu with Salted Duck Egg, Fish Cracker, sliced Roasted Beef, sliced mixed aromatic herbs, fish flakes with roasted grated coconut, dashed with anchovy sauce based gravy ( this one is packed for takeaway )

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