Monday, February 1, 2016

Butterfly Pea Agar-Agar


Butterfly Pea Flowers (clitoria ternatea) aka Blue Pea Flowers have long been used in South East Asian cuisine. The flowers are widely utilised as a colouring agent for rice in Nasi Kerabu and Pulut Tai Tai (a glutinous rice cake) in Malaysia. It is fried in batter in Thai and Burmese cooking. The petals are also eaten raw in salads.

I decided to go with a beautiful agar-agar jelly for these freshly picked flowers.

Pretty Butterfly Pea Agar-Agar

These lovelies are really easy to make. The basics - use two packets of agar-agar powder (one brown, one clear). Cook according to packet instructions. Colour one using blue pea flowers. Cook the brown one with coconut milk. Voila! Present with fresh edible butterfly pea flowers.

Butterfly pea flowers are mildly sweet; I ate only the petals, pinching away the greens at the bottom.

Fifteen of these flowers gave me a light shade of blue - I was worried that it wouldn't stand out, but it did! The colour became more obvious after it firmed on top of the brown agar-agar. I was so pleased with the results. It was a pretty combination.

Here's the detailed recipe.

Butterfly Pea Agar-Agar


Brown Colour Portion
Ingredients:
- 10g brown agar-agar powder
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 3 cups water

How-to:
1) Mix agar-agar powder with brown sugar.
2) Add water into a deep pan.
3) Stir the mixed agar-agar mixture and coconut milk in, and switch the heat on.
4) Keep stirring until it comes to a low boil and don't stop stirring until the mixture is well combined (sugar dissolved). Then, switch the heat off.
5) Let it cool a little before pouring the agar-agar liquids into moulds, at half full each.
I used silicone cup moulds for some. It was very easy for me to remove the agar-agar here. The balance was poured into a square tin.
6) Then, leave aside to let it set whist you work on the next batch. (I left it to chill in the fridge as it wasn't steaming hot anymore.)

Blue Colour Portion

Ingredients:
- 10g plain/clear agar-agar powder
- ¾ cup fine white sugar
- 15 fresh butterfly pea flowers
- 4 cups water (follow packet instructions)

How-to:
1) Mix agar-agar powder with sugar.
2) Add water into a deep pan.
3) Stir in the mixed agar-agar mixture. Place the fresh flowers into the pan. Switch the heat on.
4) Keep stirring until it comes to a low boil and use your spatula to press on the flowers to extract the blue. Don't stop stirring until the mixture is well combined (sugar dissolved). Then, switch the heat off.


Finally, take the brown coconut agar-agar out from the fridge. It should have settled into a jelly-like texture by now. Optional: Use a fork and gently poke some holes on top, or grate the set agar-agar a little. This is to help the second layer stick to the first layer. 

Pour the butterfly pea colour portion over the brown one, thereby filling the mould. Chill until firm!

Top: Boiling the brown agar-agar powder with coconut milk and brown sugar
Middle: Boiling the clear agar-agar powder with sugar and butterfly pea flowers
Bottom: Leaving the agar-agar to set into a jelly-like texture

Butterfly Pea Agar-Agar

Butterfly Pea Agar-Agar Halved

Enjoy! My family gave it a big thumbs up!


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This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up - Feb 2016 which is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Sweet Home-Chefs.
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18 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon,

    A big thumb up to Feb 2016, your pretty and cool blue pea flower jelly and counting down to CNY!

    I used to grow blue pea flowers in Melbourne but they died very quickly after summer and so I gave up... So sad :(

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zoe! You're a gem of a friend.xx

      Sorry to hear about your plant. Gardening brings both pleasure and pain!;D

      Delete
  2. I've seen people use this flower in asian recipes but I haven't got the chance to try it yet. This is such a pretty looking dessert!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jasline. Even though these flowers are commonly used here, they are still hard to find!

      Delete
  3. So pretty! I must find out if I can grow those flowers in Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have my fingers crossed for you, Trishie! ;)

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  4. Those blue pea flowers are so pretty..totally love the dreamy blue colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, the colour was the first thing that made me fall in love with it.

      Delete
  5. Hi Sharon,
    Thumbs up from me too ! Lovely pea flower agar agar :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen! Glad you like it :D

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  6. This a so cute...I love the blue color of it. Awesome dessert Sharon!
    Enjoy your week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juliana. Have a great week too! ^.^

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  7. awesome
    I would like to try some

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks so lovely! Although I know (through blogging) that these flowers are edible, I haven't tried them in recipes as yet. I'll grow the plant again so that I can actually start using the blooms. I can always come here for the recipe.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kanak. I love that we can add colour to food naturally with these flowers. The blue is really stunning. :D

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  9. The color blue is very inviting to eat. I love that dessert after eating plenty of rice! Yummmy! It's even very nice to look at! Good job Sharon!

    ReplyDelete

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