News From : DagangHalal.com (09 Jul 2010)
GEORGE TOWN: Wanting to share the Dumpling Festival joy with her Malay friends, businesswoman Tan Ai Lee is making halal dumplings by using ground chicken meat instead of pork.
Tan also “colours up” the dumpling by adding natural blue dye obtained from the bunga telang to the glutinous rice.
She calls them “blue dumplings”.
The bunga telang or clitoria flowers are blue blossoms from a creeper plant.
Tan said the dye was often used to make nyonya kuih, which is where she got the idea from.
“I figured out it would be beautiful to have the colour with my dumplings as well,” she said at her house in Air Itam yesterday.
“Besides chicken meat and rice, the other ingredients are peanuts, winter melon, mushrooms, coriander powder, chestnuts, cekur powder (a kind of ginger), dried shrimps and garlic.”
Tan said the flowers had to be boiled after they were washed.
“The boiled water, which is blue in colour, will be used to soak the glutinous rice for four hours. The blue glutinous rice is then mixed with the white glutinous rice to give the dumpling a clearer blue,” she said, adding that she was making about 200 dumplings for her friends and others.
Tan, 50, said she usually needs 20 to 30 petals of bunga telang for 1kg of glutinous rice.
Celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, the festival which falls today is held in honour of scholar-poet Qu Yuan, who took his own life by jumping into the Mi Luo River.
Legend has it that Qu was greatly saddened when the king refused to listen to his advice, which resulted in a war.
Fearing that fish would eat his body, Qu’s friends and supporters made dumplings and threw them into the river so that the fish would seek out the dumplings instead of Qu’s body.
— The Star