Butterfly Pea

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

butterfly pea (also called anjan or anchan) is Clitoria ternatea, a leguminous plant described by Charmaine Solomon (1996) as:

A vivid cobalt-blue pea flower native to tropical regions, which yields a blue dye when crushed in water. Used to colour sweets and cakes in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Particularly spectacular are the blue tapioca and rice flour, pork-filled dumplings from Thailand called chor lada, sometimes shaped like flowers.

The Malay name is bunga biru, meaning ‘blue flower’.