Here is the flower that gives Nasi Kerabu the pretty shade of blue. Commonly known as bunga telang, it is called butterfly pea or clitoria flower in English. Before artificial coloring becomes widely available, Malays and Peranakan use the bunga telang as a natural blue dye for cakes, kuehs and dumplings. In modern times, the bunga telang is rarely seen or used outside of the domestic kitchen as extracting the color is time consuming and many flowers are required just to dye a small quantity of food. I certainly did not know that we have two of the creeper plant in the garden until a Malay friend of the Mother pointed it out to us. The garden being the Father's playground, we are usually ignorant of what he has planted in there.
I have started collecting the butterfly pea flowers for drying. When I have enough flowers, I will try my hands on making some kuehs and use the petals to color them a deep indigo.