Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daun Misai Kucing / Cat's Whisker Leaves

Indonesia has one of the richest flora and fauna in the world. Its archipelago stretches from Aceh to Jayapura. Traveling between these east and west point is the same as the distance of Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
For food Nasi Padang, Sundanese and the list goes on. Once I have a dish called, “Ayam Tangkap (literal translation – Chicken Caught)” in Aceh. The chicken is fried with curry leaves. It is not only the chicken (presumably free range chicken since it needs catching) that taste good but also the abundance of curry leaves cook together with this dish. The leaves still retains it dark green color and it is a great snack or side dish.
Going from leaves to herbs is logical as the country is blessed with an abundance of fertile land. One can literally plant anything. The oil palm conglomerates are making a beeline to Sumatera, Indonesia as costs of planting goes up in Malaysia. The costs of planting go down by 20 – 40%.
Back to herbs. In South East Asia we have our own “herbal” culture since time immemorial. One of the wonder herbs is “Kumis Kucing (Cat’s Whisker). In Malaysia it is known as “Misai Kucing". I will drink as many cups when in Indonesia. It is good for the kidneys. Dark coloured urine will turn almost colourless after a few cups of cat’s whisker leaves! Believe it or not!
I obtained my stash from Bogor free from a friend. The environment there is crisp and the air cool. The planter has been exporting this particular herb to a company in Germany dealing with homeopathic products for the last 20 years.
His herbs are fresh and the brew comes forth smooth to the tongue. Its vanilla-like aroma always renews my senses. Only when I run out of the Bogor herbs will I turn to the local variety under the brand name Pure Herb. It comes in sachet form and marketed by Diethelm. It costs almost a ringgit per sachet. As with process stuff it has not come close in terms of taste and aroma.
Read more from another of my post here.

No comments: