Alor Kecil has turned me into a flosivore aka flower eater (‘flos’: flower + ‘voro’: to swallow). There are soooo many edible flowers. Some are familiar to me, like sesbania (kembang turi), banana flower, papaya flower and brassica flower (bunga sawi) and some are completely new, like madre de cacao (gamal), kapok tree flower and, the one that is beyond my wild guess, tamarind flower.
And I have to say that flowers are not just beautiful and lovely to look at. They are tasty and nutritious as well. How tasty is tasty? Take the hairy pumpkin flowers. Once breaded and fried, the petals will turn into an unforgettable appetizer: the crispness and then the soft texture caressing your tongue and the delicious taste of mild sweetness and savory buttery tastes…. You will be blown away!
And oh, as the newly self-appointed ambassador of the flower-eating community, I want to share this very tasty flowers recipe:
Stir Fried Banana Flowers, Papaya Flowers and Chayote
- Jantung pisang/Banana flowers (only the flowerets)
- Bunga pepaya/Papaya flowers (only the flowerets)
- Labu siam/Chayote
- Bawang merah, bawang putih/Garlics, shallots
- Cabai/chillies (optional)
- Kupas labu siam, potong korek api. Cincang bawang merah dan putih dan cabai. Peel and julienne chayote. Mince garlics, shallots, and chillies.
- Tumis bumbu dengan margarin (atau mentega atau minyak sawit berkelanjutan atau minyak apa pun) sampai harum atau sampai bersin-bersin! Heat margarine (or butter or or sustainable vegetable oil or lard or any fat) and stir fry garlics-shallots-chillis until the fragrance fill your kitchen or until, because of inhaling it, you sneeze twice!
- Masukkan labu siam dan bunga-bunga, aduk rata. Tambahkan air supaya tidak hangus. Put in chayote and the flowerets and stir well. Add some water to avoid burn.
- Bumbui dengan garam, merica, dan, kalau suka, sedikit gula. Season it with salt, pepper, and if you like, a pinch of sugar.
Et voila: steamed black rice, steamed red fish and stir fried banana flowers, papaya flowers, and chayote. Also pictured here: a glass of coconut water from the coconut tree next to Air Dive Alor‘s office.