Higher classification Cosmos
Scientific name Cosmos caudatus
|Similar Lemon basil, Galangal, Winged bean, Cosmos, Daisy family|
Ulam raja or cosmos caudatus
Cosmos caudatus is an annual plant in the Cosmos genus, bearing purple, pink, or white ray florets. It is native to Latin America (from Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil to Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico), and the West Indies, though naturalized in tropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Cosmos caudatus is edible and its common names include ulam raja, literally meaning "the King's salad". It was brought by the Spaniards from Latin America, via the Philippines, to the rest of Southeast Asia. Ulam, a Malay word used to describe a preparation that combines food, medicine and beauty is the widely popular Malay herbal salad. As a Malaysian delight, it is served throughout the country from major hotels for tourists to buffet lunches or dinners for the locals.
Ulam Raja is an annual plant growing up 2 m in height. The leaves are soft and pungent while the stem is light green with a purplish hue and succulent. As night falls the leaves fold to close the terminal buds as the plant literally sleeps. The flowers can be found solitary or in a loose clusters and are produced on a single stalk on auxiliary heads.
In Indonesian cuisine and Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for salad.
Urap and pecel, both are type of Indonesian salad. Both are different in dressing, one with cooked grated coconut and spicy peanut sauce