Reflecting on our relationship with nature through the lenses of food and art, ImagiNasi featured an exhibition, food sharing and tasting sessions, a forum, nature-art workshops, and foraging activities.

(Click to explore)


at Rumah No. 2

What can you forage from the city's wilderness? What can you cook out of them?
We explored the surroundings of Rumah No. 2 in Section 16, Petaling Jaya as our foraging ground to create a dish (nasi ulam) and do the most Malaysian thing possible, MAKAN.
Three courses — starter, main course, special of the day 


Guided walk of Ubi's Biodiversity Indigenous Garden

What's along and in the longkang?

Wildflowers in the Malaysian city strive in odd places. Ah, the perks of being a wildflower. You'd be surprised to know there are some edible plants living around your house, including the longkang.   

Spot the difference between these two images. Can't tell? Neither can I. 

Image source: Mashable

(sniff sniff) "mmm pegaga"

These refreshing belimbing pasir (lavender sorrel) have a citrusy taste to the tongue

"Coral vine does not have much taste to it but it is used as garnish or to make your plate look pretty"

Main course

Foraging and food preparation

forage (English) = ramu (Bahasa Malaysia)
foraging = meramu 

What do you think RAMUAN means?
(continue scrolling for the answer)

Foraging at Ubi's Biodiveristy Indigenous Garden

Foraging for some kaduk growing on a slope by a lorong in Seksyen 16, Petaling Jaya 

Sirih cina is a type of pepper that grows wild in the neighbourhood.
Boleh makan tak tumbuhan ini? Boleh lah!

Clean before chaos. Life is chaotic. So is nature and the kitchen. 

"Can you pass me the onion?"

"Let me help you to slice the kaduk" 

"Eh pisau mana pisau?"

There is an artform to slicing raw local vegetables, the ramuan to make our own nasi ulam. Ramuan refers to ingredients.

We foraged, time for food!

Telah kita meramu, masa untuk menjamu!

Special of the day

The 3Ms — membawang, memakan, meraih!

What kind of nasi ulam is this? Kedah? Nyonya? To be honest, we are not sure.

In these workshop sessions, we found value in the art of foraging and exploring the edible plants in our backyard. Many plants like kaduk and even kesum grow wild but are overlooked as weeds that need to be cleared out. As true Malaysians, we thought, why let it go to waste when we can get these ingredients for free?

In the spirit of discovery, look who discovered us!

On the subject on food security and more, Ben & Syu chatted with Sharaad Kuttan on Let's Talk. 

Birds of a feather flock together

We were not the only ones busy eating. A white-throated kingfisher decided to join the foraging session. No registration required.

First serving on 21 May 2022

Second serving on 4 June 2022

Well, there will always be some leftovers. Beleaf it or not, we harvested banana and macaranga leaves to tapau our meal. 

Learn from Syu all about nature-art and her folding foliages art project [HERE]

Makan fest

at the Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden

Brace yourself, it's a fest here. Happy reading!


Click to see the winners of the 'Boleh Makan Tak?' ('Can this be eaten?') competition:


30-minute live kitchen/cooking events where participants/the audience watched four guest chefs cook and then ate the presented dish(es).

Indigenous food
by Lisa Koyok

Plant mixology
by Eats, Shoots & Roots

Nasi ulam
by Prof. Shahrim

Ulam pesto
by Umar Azizi

Flavours of Kuala Langat

Lisa Koyok, a Temuan Orang Asli shared dishes made by the indigenous community in her kampung in Kuala Langat with us.

Experience making ubi sangai using rotan and winnowing technique.

Lauk pucuk ubi

Fruit of pokok kulim or bawang hutan, Scorodocarpus borneensis

Lisa Koyok explaining the various dishes such as paeh ikan, ayam masak buah kulim, ayam masak daun semomok, and two different flavours of ubi sangai

Hands-on experience to hand grind coarse ubi to fine textures. The rotan is used to grate larger pieces of ubi into fine ones, whereas the tampi technique is to sieve between remaining big and small pieces of ubi. Remaining large ones are removed to further be grated into smaller ones once again.

"Kira macam nasi bagi kami orang asli"

Kak Lisa shares to participants that this is a daily meal for Orang Asli, like how we eat rice (as a staple food) on a daily basis. The process takes a whole day! They will spend a day or two to make this sangai, which could last 1-2 weeks. 

Taste and tell

Having fun with flavours of plant extracts with a tasting game by Eats, Shoots & Roots.

Bottles turned to hide the labels. Let the guessing game begin!

Sweet, salty, citrusy, rosy, bitter, sour, refreshing, or confused?

Fragrant textures on the tongue

We makan-ed this freshly cooked nasi ulam buffet style. The lauk of choice to eat this rice with is a rendang tempeh. Yes, tempeh! How rare is it to come across a vegan rendang. Such a healthy and unique dish! 

Prof. Shahrim demonstrated the making of a full-bodied nasi ulam consisting of a union of kantan, kerisik, daun limau and much more. 

Something old,
Something new,
Unified on a pinggan,
Just for you!

Umar & Afiqa served us a delectable plate of spaghetti ulam pesto accompanied by his iconic mouth-watering beef brisket.

A mad scientist in his laboratory makes a bunch of crazy experiments. That is Umar but it's him as an experimental chef with his kitchen equipments instead. Umar never fails to surprise us with amazing twists of a dish!

Check out Umar's submission for 'Boleh Makan Tak?' — his easy ulam pesto recipe!

Exploring food: past, present & future

An interactive forum discussing food that has been with us from the past, what is current, and what it potentially holds for the future. 

Dr. Taina from Ulam School talked about food in Brazil and how we need to think of food as a right and not just as a product

Raw Chef Yin gave us a primer on the raw vegan diet and how food is closely related to health.

Sam from Ento Malaysia introduced entomophagy (eating insects) as a more environmentally friendly manner of producing protein

The forum ended with some tasteful delights handmade by the mothers of Chow Kit. An assortment of food wrapped in leaves as tasting platter such as buras and lemper accompanied by apam panggang.

Getting creative with nature-art workshops

No skills also nevermind lah!

Leaf no prints behind by Cikgu Huda

Sepinggan Cyanotype by Studio Sunprint 

Eh, kenapa pakcik ni panjat pokok kelapa? Meramu untuk apa?

Meramu untuk anyam ketupat nasi lah

En. Sapno Tukijo & wife came all the way from Penang Island to share their annual tradition with their family during hari raya Aidilfitri of weaving ketupat nasi.  

One weave for all

Planting knowledge with guided tour at the Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden

Greeted with a mesmerising bloom of the mata lembu (Firmiana malayana) tree from heavens above

Guided walk to show what edible plants can be foraged around our neighbourhoods. 

Led by Dr. Thary Gazi Goh, entomologist and urban forager of the ImagiNasi season.

Celebrating friends

There are four primates in this pic

Swit Marie shaking us some drinks to quench the thirst for knowledge

Same same but different! ImagiNasi brings food experts in different fields — Raw Chef Yin, Dr Tania, and Prof Shahrim — together

Sembang sambil menganyam

Makan sambil menyembang

Art making full of joy and laughter! 

The legendary bamboo chairs at Rimba Ilmu's glass lobby turned into our mini kedai

The fearless Fitrah adding some crunchy insects onto her nasi ulam plate

UM alumni, Sofwan and wife spent the whole day with us. Eh, wait a minute. Apa ni Sofwan dalam banyak-banyak makanan, ayam goreng KFC juga dimakan. Cehh!

Sepinggan nasi ulam bersama lauk tempeh rendang dan serangga!

We love the title lah!

Seems like the inseparable duo, Balqis & Fara giving some strong judging aunties vibe

Amazing stories are always shared over same makan time

"Just open the gate's hen-dle"
Participants Dee and Zikri reporting to the gatekeeper at Rumah No. 2

"Liked your foraged choice of ulam? I hen-picked it myself" 

Volunteers for the day, Jian You (left) and Dayana (middle) posing for the camera while Syu (right) struggles to peel a banana

Lepas makan, cuci pinggan

Dayana (rightmost) serving us a tuan pengarah melawat tapak look. 10/10. 

Meriahnya, macam hari raya!

Thary and his bush

Sharaad, Thary, Syu and Ben

A linocut gift from Cikgu Huda. Terima kasih!

We would like to thank all those who supported us to make this event a success! 

Orang hebat di belakang tabir

Forum speakers



For support in publicity and documentation, we are grateful to

ImagiNasi was conceptualised, designed and brought to life by
Syuhada Sapno and Benjamin Ong