Sunday, December 2, 2007

Malaysia Vegetables FDC

Malaysia FDC
Name: Rare Vegetables
Issue date: 2007 November 26th

A wide rage of rare vegetables species can be found in Malaysia. It has been estimated that about 120 species of rare vegetables or ulam that are being planted in the home gardens or still growing wild. Some of the rare vegetables are known as ulam based on the way it is being consumed such as pegaga, ulam raja or beluntas.

Rare vegetables are categorized as ulam when the fresh orboiled shoots or young fruits are eaten with sambal or budu. Ulam is the favourite appetizer in Malay cuisine. Other rare vegetables are fried or cooked with coconut milk, or made into rojak or other dishes.

Design: (from right to left)
50sen: Terung asam (Solanum ferox)
The tree is small, reaching a height of 0.5-1.0m tall. The whole plant parts are covered with fine hair. Leaves are sub-opposite in arrangement and the shape is oval with triangular lobes. The upper leaf surface is covered with thorns along the veins. The flowers sprout in racemes with short stalks. Flower petals are white and powdery. The fruits are oval in shape, 2-3 cm wide and also covered with fine hair. The fruit is initially green and turns yellow when it is ripe. Its sour taste makes it suitable to be used as a sour flavouring for dishes.

50sen: Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
The herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows to 5m tall. Leaves 4-12cm wide, with 3-7 deep lobes are alternately arranged. The flowers are yellow in colour. The fruit is green, oblong, 17-23cm long, with a distinct warty surface. Young fruits possess white seeds and piths turning red upon ripening. Fruits taste bitter but the bitter taste can be reduced by soaking the fruits in salt water before cooking. The flesh is juicy and crunchy in texture. The young fruit is normally eaten as ulam. Bitter melons have been used in various Asian medicines for a long time as it is believed to possess anti-malarial properties and can control diabetes and cure skin diseases.

50sen: Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior)
The plant can reach 5m in height. The flower is pink in colour on a long stalk, about 90cm in length, arising from its rhizome in the ground. Torch ginger flower, also known as Kantan flower is popular because it is widely used as flavouring in many dishes especially in laksa and asam pedas. In addition to that, the flower has high antioxidant properties. The fruit and leaf also posses their own unique medicinal values.

2007 Malaysia Rare Vegetables FDC
2007 Malaysia Rare Vegetables Minisheet FDC

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