Blue rice with butterfly-pea flower

How do you know you’re getting all the nutrient that your body needs? Eat different color fruits and vegetables that reflect the color of the rainbow.

That’s because different color results from different plant chemicals that is beneficial for our body.

butterflypea flower

A sustainable way to incorporate blue into your diet
Unfortunately, in Malaysia, blue and purple vegetables are rare and expensive e.g purple cabbage and blueberries.

What’s a feasible way to incorporate blue plant pigment into your diet then? Rice dyed with butterfly-pea or blue-pea flower.

In Malay, the flower is known as bunga telang. It’s commonly used to colour Kelantanese nasi kerabu and Nyonya kuih ketan/pulut tai tai.


Though they are not common or available at the supermarket, they are easily grown. Like herbs, they can be sun-dried and keep them for a long time.

Blue rice with butterfly pea flower

Health benefits for butterfly pea flower
The flower has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to help enhance memory, reduce stress and depression. These are shown to be true in animal tests. Recently, studies shows that it contains peptides that are potentially anti-cancer agents. (source: wikipedia)

Blue rice with butterfly pea flower

> butterfly pea flower
> rice
> water



1. Dip in water Pour dried flowers in a glass of water.
3. Extract colour Wth your hands in the water, extract colour into the water by squeezing the flowers. In a while, the water should turn dark blue.
3. Squeeze and remove Squeeze the water out of the flower and discard them.
4. Pour water into rice cooker and cook (Water to brown rice ratio is 2 : 3). If it’s not enough, simply add more water.
Blue rice with butterfly pea flower

Do you eat any blue or purple pigment food?   

Image credit: Bisou Rose and Amruf.

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19 Responses to “Blue rice with butterfly-pea flower”

  1. onncheng
    June 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi dear,

    Where to buy butterfly-pea or blue-pea flower?


  2. Sara
    June 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    It’s probably not available in the market. We got it from our family garden. The photo of the butterfly-pea on this page is by a friend of ours. She planted it in her garden

  3. Zaida
    September 5, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Hi! In cooking 1 kilo of rice how many flowers (sun-dried) will I need to use to extract colour enough for that kilo of rice?

  4. Sara
    September 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Zaida. Honestly, we don’t normallly measure it. But we believe a good ratio will be one handful to one cup of rice. Let us know how it turns out yeah? :)

  5. Stefan
    January 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Onncheng, you can buy the dried flowers in our BlueChai shop.

  6. Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers
    January 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Sara, we have the buterfly pea flowers for sale in our shop in case your readers are interested in cooking blue rice themselves.

  7. Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers
    January 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Our Shop is called BlueChai and is located at

  8. Sara
    January 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm #


  9. Malin
    April 16, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    How do u sell this herb? By the grams or by tea bags (how many to a packet?)? And how much does it cost? I may be interested to buy.

  10. Sim
    June 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Are you interested with raw dried butterfly blue pea flowed. We have ~ 5 boxed of homemade dried flowed and now is looking for buyer.

  11. Manuela
    July 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    I just got my Bluechai order today and made some blue rice right away! Thanks for the recipe Sara, I can definitely recommend this and the flowers I got from Bluechai are so yummy as a tea too :)

  12. jas
    February 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Do you sell in penang


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