Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blue Pea Flower and Nyonya Cakes

When we did the walkabout at OUG market last month, one of the plans that Teepee had was to take Krista to a Nyonya cakes (kuih in Malay) factory to see how they were made. Unfortunately we spent too much time at the market so we missed seeing them making the kuih but we did get to buy lots of nyonya kuih.

Krista was fascinated with the blue pea flower that is also known as bunga telang or clitoria flower. This little blue flower that grows from a creeper plant is used as a natural dye for making nyonya kuihs such as the pulut tai tai and nasi kerabu, a Kelantanese specialty where the rice is tinged with the blue dye. I found a little creeper plant growing around my neighbourhood so I managed to get a lovely picture of the flower.

The lady at the nyonya kuih factory advised us that to make her kuih commercially, she uses the bunga telang extensively. Her crop of dried bunga telang (seen in all it's glory below) are from farmers who specially cultivate these plants in their farms for her.

The pulut tai tai which is made from steamed glutinous rice soaked with coconut milk is tinged indigo with the blue dye from the flower. The dye is extracted from the dried flowers by pounding them up. You eat the pulut tai tai with the kaya, a kind of coconut egg jam that is seen in the little bowl on top.

Other kuihs we bought from the lady was onde onde which are little balls of sweet potato dough tinged with pandan leaves to give it a green colour that have a piece of gula melaka inside it. It is tossed in freshly grated coconut. You can also make it from pumpkin and rice flour.

There was also red and green ang koo kuih which is filled with mung beans paste and kuih ketayap/kuih dadar which is pandan flavoured pancakes stuffed with palm sugar flavoured grated coconut.

More selection of cakes with some
kuih koci in the middle and my absolute favourite, the pulut inti. Sometimes the pulut inti may be coloured blue with the pea flower but nowadays I rarely see that as it is usually just plain white glutinous rice.


5xmom.com said...

Boo! I am so hungry! I want that plate of kueh. I haven't seen much of bunga telang lately. My neighbour grandma used to ask me to pluck them for her last time. It was my ritual to do it every morning.

eat stuff said...

Thatlooks fantastic Boo!! So jealous!!!!!

I still can't get over theenglish common name for that flower though....

Jxon said...

Wow...that look great!!
Btw, where was the stall and the factory in OUG?? I stay in OUG....hvnt noticed there are such factory!!
How could I miss out!

Reid said...

Hi boo_licious,

Too bad I didn't have any bunga telang, otherwise, I might have tried to make pulut tai tai to eat with my kaya.

BTW...my favorite kueh is pulut inti too! Mmmm. I just love the coconut cooked in gula melaka on top of the rice. I just make myself hungry for it. *sigh*

Babe_KL said...

i dun really fancy kuih cos will make me feel very jelak but those onde-onde looked so huge and fluffy.

reid, you can actually make pulut tai tai without the dye.

wendy said...

Those cakes look fabulous. I am going to learn so much stuff from your blog!!

boo_licious said...

5xmom - hey, Penang should have loads of kuih, just pop out and get some.

Clare - yes it's a mighty strange name for a flower, probably becoz it looks like it?!

jxon - not too sure where exactly it is but it's aroma nyonya cakes.

reid - great minds think alike as pulut inti has been my fav since I was a kid! I love the coconut bit on top too.

babe - some are not too jelak like the pulut inti.

wendy - welcome to the blog, stick around as there will be lots more entries.

MizD said...

Absolutely fascinating! We've got beach peas here and the flowers range from blue to purple. I know the pods are edible so now I'm curious if the flowers are too because I'd sure love to try something that tints rice like that!

Cat said...

such fascinating looking food, i cant even begin to imagine what it all would taste like. looks yummy though :)

aroma nyonya kueh said...

Thank you boo_licious for your support. Those kueh are from our AROMANYONYA KUEH collection!
For more pictures you are welcome to visit :

Poverina said...

Dear boo_licious,

May I credit you for this lovely info at



Suman Mishra Jewelry said...

Hi Boo,

Your food looks amazing! It's a actually so beautiful and colorful and yummy looking. I didn't know the blue pea flower was used in cooking or was edible... I was googling it because I have grown it in my balcony garden. It's a beautiful flower. I just knew that it was a close relative of the common pea. I read another comment here that says the pods of this plant are edible. Wow! Nature is so bountiful. And we can learn so much from each other. Thank god for the web. I am adding you to my favourites - I love your blog and it's a great chance to learn about Malaysian cooking. Thank you.


Unknown said...

Nice writtings on your blog..
i'm fascinated with the Blue Pea Flower and Nyonya Cakes.
btw who is the lady that did the kuihs? can you tell me the location? i'm interested to get the bunga telang flower from her farmer..


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Mas Christ said...

Kami menyediakan berbagai macam kebutuhan anda mengenai kembang Teleng /Bunga Teleng
1. Bibit benih (Biji) yang dikemas dan berisi : 100 biji, 200 biji dan 500 biji atau lebih banyak lagi sesuai dengan permintaan/kebutuhan anda.
2. Bunga Teleng kondisi segar (baru dipetik dari pohon) dalam kemasan berisi 75 bunga, 100 bunga, dan 200 bunga, atau lebih banyak lagi sesuai dengan permintaan/kebutuhan anda.
3. Bunga Teleng yang sudah dikeringkan dalam kemasan, berisi 200 bunga kering, 400 bunga kering, dan 500 bunga kering, atau lebih banyak lagi sesuai permintaan/kebutuhan anda.
4. Bibit pohon kembang teleng yang belum berbunga, usia pohon antara 2 - 3 bulan dengan ketinggian 15 cm- 30 cm
5. Pohon Kembang Teleng yang sudah berbunga dan bunga bisa langsung anda petik sendiri.
Silahkan bagi yang berminat dan ingin segera memiliki, hubungi kami melalui telepon/SMS ke nomor :
BB :
KC Nursery


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