Last week, my Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor asked me: Are you used to the life here in The Netherlands? Do you miss Malaysia?
I have been living in The Netherlands for almost 20 months. Strangely enough, I told him that I have adapted quite well with the western culture, though the first 3 months were tough. I am an Asian at heart, and at the same time grew up loving western culture, tv shows, and food. The curiosity and adventurous in me just loves experiencing new things. Maybe with my Buddhist practice and multiple food intolerance over the years, I’ve cultivated the habit of letting go, and not clinging on to certain things/food/memories.
Actually the things I miss the most are wearing summer dresses all year round in 30°C weather; Malaysian culture and speaking our rojak Manglish (Malay+English). And of course family and friends. Food wise, I miss the tropical veggies and fruits, but not so much of the recipes. I’m happy that I managed to grow quite a variety of tropical produce (sweet potato leaves, bayam (Chinese amaranth), sawi (Asian mustard green), and turmeric – check my Instagram) on my allotment! I choose to eat local produce, if there’s no kangkung (water spinach), so be it. Just like I can’t eat gluten, dairy and many other food, so be it. Do I miss them? Not really. There’s so many other delicious ingredients to experiment with.
With Malaysia Day coming up, I decided to make a special ‘Malaysia Day Pudding’ with the colours of the Malaysian flag, using Malaysian ingredients. Strawberries, though not as common, are also grown in Malaysia. You can use red dragon fruit instead if you can find it. (Oh how I miss red dragon fruit!). No cooking needed, easily prepared in 10 mins and sweetened with the natural fruit sugar.
Happy Malaysia Day!
- 1 tablespoon Grated coconut.
- 12 Dried Bluepea Butterfly Flower (Bunga telang)
- 125ml (½ cup) Hot/Boiling Water
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (preferably white chia seeds)
- 1 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)
- 125ml (½ cup) Coconut Milk
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Honey (or more to taste)
- 1 cup cubed Mango + more for garnish
- 1 cup halved Strawberries + more for garnish
- Mix hot water with blue pea butterfly flower in a bowl. Cover the bowl and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Pour the water out into another bowl, over a strainer to sieve the flowers.
- Add in chia seeds and honey. Mix well and leave it aside for 10 minutes for the chia seeds to expand.
- Add in chia seeds, coconut milk and honey. Mix well and leave it aside for 10 minutes for the chia seeds to expand.
- Mash the cubed mangoes with a fork. If you’re making a bigger portion, it’s faster to use a food processor.
- Mash the strawberries with a fork. If you’re making a bigger portion, it’s faster to use a food processor.
- To serve, place the different layers into a glass and finish with sprinkle of grated coconut. I prefer to only use a bit of sweetener, added with the natural sweetness from mango and strawberries.