BRUNEI-MUARA – From papaya blossoms to hummingbird flowers, Siti Zaleha Hj Kaprawi’s latest cookbook combines her passion for cooking and nature, sharing recipes that incorporate flowers and fruits.

Launched at the Wasan paddy fields on Thursday, the book, “Flowers and Fruits in Cooking”, features 80 recipes.

“These elements [flowers and fruits] are particularly chosen due to my love for nature. I also wanted to create a book that focused on specific components; something different from the usual cookbooks.”

Siti Zaleha (L) explaining about the “Flowers & Fruits in Cooking” book to deputy permanent secretary at MPRT Hj Halidi. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/ The Scoop

Most of the recipes in the book are curated by more than 20 professional chefs, home cooks and individuals in the region — including local chefs from Alter Ego, Radisson Hotel, Brunei Hotel and Royal Brunei Catering.

“I reached out to them, who are personal friends, to create these recipes. Some have also shared existing ones such as the recipe for Laksa.”

The local chef and entrepreneur shared that while cooking up the idea to write the book, the first thing that came to mind was the flowers her mother used in cooking.

These include papaya blossoms, hummingbird flowers, torch ginger, lily flowers and banana blossoms — which can be seen throughout the book.

The “Flowers & Fruits in Cooking” book contains 80 recipes from more than 20 professionals, home cooks and individuals. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/ The Scoop

Siti Zaleha also shared one of her recipes in the book, a fruity dessert, the passion fruit banana tart.

“It took two years to complete with help from Dr Sharim Karim. Now that it’s finally out, I feel relieved. I feel excited to share these great recipes with others.”

She hopes the book will inspire readers to cook healthy, particularly younger cooks.

“Children who are growing need more nutritional food,” said the author.

She recommends families to serve food which is presented and plated nicely.

“Plating is actually crucial, it provides a first impression and will be enjoyed more. If the food [looks] attractive, especially for children, it will be more exciting and make them eager to eat.”

Priced at $50 each, a total of 300 books were printed and are available for sale at Nolly Book and Best Eastern.

Siti Zaleha said 15 percent of the sales will be donated to Bantu Services to help underprivileged children.

The launching was officiated by Hj Halidi Hj Mohd Salleh, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.

The event was sponsored by Syarikat Pakatan Mekar Hijau Sdn Bhd (SPMH).