I’m back from Cameron Highlands, stayed there for 2 nights at Equatorial Hotel in Brinchang. It was so cold… and raining most of the time. There was nothing much to do except to go shopping for veggies, strawberries and hang around at the pasar malam (night market). Here’s me taken this morning in front of the 2 room apartment we stayed.
Anyway, the only interesting thing is our visit to the Agro Technology Park under MARDI (Malaysian Agricultural Research & Dev. Institute). They have a small herbal garden there.
You get to see the various herbs that we use in our everyday cooking (and baking..). I don’t think many of us is familiar with how the actual plant looks like, cause they can only grow in moderate weather such as Cameron Highlands. Like me, I am used to seeing the dried version. MARDI plants quite a selection of herbs here, some I know, and some I’ve never heard of before.
A photo of a rosemary plant :
The close up :
I use dried rosemary recently to sprinkle on my focacia bread. This herb is also perfect to flavour grill meat.
It is supposed to be a close relative to the oregano. The one we use for pizzas and many Italian dishes. Can be used to replace oregano, but it has a sweeter and milder scent.
Basil or ‘selasih’ is famous in Thai cooking, to make pesto, salad or use dried for potpourri. Another popular English herb is dill which is suitable to go with fish, egg dishes or soup. The seeds can be used in bread and to make pickles.
Up next is thyme :
Thyme is commonly use to flavor meat, soups and stews. And works well with tomatoes and eggs.
Not forgetting our ‘ketumbar’, coriander or another name for it, cilantro :
Isn’t it pretty, a coriander with white-purplish flowers. The many uses, as mentioned below.
And these are some of the herbs which I’m not familiar with.
Apparently the plant above has flowers which can be used as natural food colouring.
Here’s a picture of the plant call Stevia. Have you heard of it before ? Stevia is a sugar substitute and is an alternative to artificial sweeteners. Sold mostly in organic food store.
Lemon balm tree :
An ingredient in mosquito repellent, used dried in potpourri and as flavoring in ice-cream.
Well, there are a few more herbs, but not really related to cooking or baking. I wish I have my own herb garden. Wouldn’t it be wonderful ? I hope MARDI would keep up the good work in maintaining this Agro Park. If any of you happen to visit Cameron Highlands, don’t miss this park located at Tanah Rata. A very educational trip indeed.
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