Teratai

Monday, April 20, 2009

Teratai is the Malay name for Lotus, an aquatic plant with large leaf and flower. Also known botanically as Nelumbo Nucifera, this plant is usually found in ponds in the wild. Its roots are at the bottom of the pond but the leaves, pods and flowers are on the water surface.

Pictures below were taken by a friend on the outskirts of Miri, a town in Sarawak. The flowers were so pink and big (notice the hand that is holding the flower?).
Lotus plant has many usages. The seeds and roots are widely used in Chinese cooking. Lotus seeds can be eaten raw or when dried, can be cooked to make lotus paste for buns or dessert. Lotus seed tonifies the spleen and kidney, nourishes the heart and some say, can even stop diarrhoea.


The roots are usually used to boil soup. The vegetable fibres in the lotus root helps body organs work well and reduce the cholesterol levels. Here is a simple recipe of lotus root soup that I cook often. It's good for our health!
Even the leaves are dried to make lotus leaf rice, a dish found in most dim sum restaurants. When steamed, it gives an aromatic smell to the rice.

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14 comments

  1. Steph, I really like the 2nd and 3rd photos. Very very nice.

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  2. Great shots Stephanie. I love these beautiful water flowers. The dried seed heads are great in flower arrangments too. :)

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  3. I like lotus seed bun.... and 'lin ngau' soup :)

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  4. hi Stephanie, my vietnamese name (Lien Hong)actually means "lotus rose"..when I came to the U.S. the closest name pronunciation was "Lynn"! Not as exotic huh? That is a BIG lotus! There is a beautiful pond of them at the NY Botanical Garden but not in bloom when I was there last..worth another trip back.

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  5. Okay, between your blog and Prospero's, I'm getting really jealous of all the beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing these - and the background info about the lotus, too. Just goregeous.

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  6. The lotuses in your photos are really big and beautiful! How nice if I could be there too.

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  7. Steph,

    Those lotus flowers are amazing and beautiful. I had know idea how big they become. And all those medicinal uses! How long do they take to mature?

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  8. I meant "no" idea... Sorry, I've been up all night ;-)

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  9. Hi Avis, I am not sure how long it takes to mature. Probably depending on the plant's surrounding condition. Have a good rest!

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  10. What a gorgeous bloom this lotus has. I had no idea that they could be used for so many things. Even as a herb.This makes it even more appealing. Wonderful posting.

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  11. Hi Steph, another place where you can get basil plant is at the PJ Old Town Market. There's an auntie that sells plants. She is located on the ground floor between the wet section and the food stalls. She is also my regular place to hunt for fragrant plants.

    Danny on the 2nd floor of Amcorp Mall is another of my favourite. He has lotsa organic plants too. But he is only there on Sun.

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  12. Beautiful photos. I didn't know you could do anything with lotus besides grow it, but I'm quickly learning in my garden blogging experience, that almost ALL plants have some use or another. Do you know if it's easy to grow lotus??

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  13. They look so gorgeous...Nice blog.

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