Sunday, January 16, 2011

Laksa Plant

To grow your own daun kesum is a great way to start a herb garden. Daun kesum is an essential ingredient for making laksa. Without daun kesum, there is no way your laksa can be complete. At some places in Malaysia, daun kesum is refered to as "daun laksa" or laksa leaves. The English name for it is most probably Vietnamese mint but I am not really sure because the real Vietnamese mint is maybe slightly different but still belongs to the same family. Daun kesum is a member of the mint family.
The leaves are elongated, with soft stalk, each segment of the stalk has the potential to grow into another bunch of mint leaves because roots sprout from the stalk itself.
The leaves are green and will turn yellow and then brown when they start withering. The stalks will grow and grow if you let them but usually I trim the tips to let them branch out. 
The herb needs very little maintenance except for enough water to ensure the earth it is planted in is always damp. Oh yes, also plenty of sunlight. You can place the herb pot at the window sill or if you have a balcony, place it there. It grows well in your backyard too.
Fertilizer made of compost is good for the leaves. Old wives have this tip to nourish your herbs: use the bloody water that remained after washing and gutting your fish to spray on the leaves and earth, it is supposed to be full of nutrients for plant. Do this treatment every two weeks or so.
Daun kesum grows very fast. Given good care and enough water, within a week you can already have a bunch filling up your ice-cream tub already. 
Among all the herbs in my garden, vietnamese mint is the easiest to grow. They like lots of water and i feed them seasol or charlie carp once every 3 weeks or less. They grow really well whether under direct sunlight or shade. They hardly have any pest invasion of any kind. Yeah I harvest them by cutting off stems rather than pinch off leaves..They are good is Asian food such as spicy laksa and vietnamese their 'spicy' taste.

If you can find a store that stocks this plant and you would like to get your hands on it, drop me a message below.  I’m in Sydney.

1 comment:

  1. Where can this be bought in sydney? I need it to make otak-otak, thanks.