Commonly known as Zong Zi 粽子, rice dumplings are a festive food during the Dragon Boat Festival 端午节. Although rice dumplings originated from China, many overseas Chinese have adapted their country local taste into their version of rice dumpling. Nyonya rice dumpling (Nyonya Chang 娘惹粽子) is a version created by the Peranakan community, whose cooking blends both traditional Chinese and localised Malay elements. Traditionally, nyonya-style rice dumplings have a touch of blue in them. This natural blue tint is extracted from the blue pea flowers (butterfly pea flowers or bunga telang).
It is both sweet and savoury at the same time, as candied winter melon is added into the filling together with the meat. The addition of pandan leaves and coriander powder makes these nyonya rice dumplings so wonderfully fragrant. Comparing with the traditional chinese rice dumpling, these nyonya rice dumplings are considerably faster and so much easier to make. Truly, nothing beats homemade dumplings, be it nyonya-style or traditional style during the Dragon Boat Festival.