Cosmos is a herbaceous plant. In Malaysia, we name it “Ulam Raja”. The “Ulam Raja” shoots is an example of an “Ulam” that is usually taken raw. “Ulam Raja” when literally translated means the King's salad. The scientific name for the plant is Cosmos. There are about 20 to 26 species in the family worldwide. I understand that it can be easily found in Mexico, United States (Arizona and Florida), Central America, South America, Paraguay, Malaysia and Thailand. However experts in “Ulam” claims that Cosmos Caudatus or “Ulam Raja asli” also called “Ulam Raja tulin” taste better than the hybrids of Cosmos Sulphureus which the local calls “Ulam Raja kuning”. In Malaysia, there are many types of “Ulam Raja”. The two main types that are popular have pink or white flowers. A more common hybrid of “Ulam Raja” are the yellow flowered varieties or Cosmos Sulphureus. The shoots of these yellow varieties too can be eaten as “Ulam”. The photograph above shows the Cosmos Caudatus or “Ulam Raja kuning” planted in my backyard. The edible young shoots are used for “Ulam” and usually taken with “sambal belachan” - a dip made from a mixture of pounded chilli, raw onions, shrimp paste (belachan) and lime juice.