January 15, 2012

Selasih (Thai Basil Seeds)

Most Sibu youths are familiar with air bandung a very sweet cordial made from Rose Syrup and Evaporated Milk. We can order this drink in almost every coffee shop. It is during the Ramadan month that the air bandung is mixed with the thai basil seeds. And this perhaps is not for every one especially the older Chinese who think that the Thai basil seeds may be too cooling.

In fact according to some herbalists Thai basil seeds help to relieve stress and improve low immunity. And may be the older generations of our Malay friends in the kampongs know about this a long long time ago!!

I am also told that selasih seeds (Thai Basil Seeds) can be seasonal so they are not easily available throughout the year. In Miri most of us grow our own Thai basil because the leaves are good in salads. But we have never tried to harvest the seeds for our own use. May be we should.

Recently I visited some supermarkets in Northern Sarawak and Brunei and found that China and Thailand have already started to export bottled soft drinks with selasih!!

Many people used to say that the selasih in the air bandung looked like tadpoles!! That's from our childhood and youth...but today most of us like to order this drink whenever it is available in a menu in coffee shops.

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Pudding made with Thai basil seeds. We can make our own puddings using agar agar and selasih seeds. It is refreshing and very healthy!! The Thais usually make this dessert with lots of coconut milk too. Sometimes water chestnuts are added.

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