Thursday, June 27, 2013

Popular Malaysian foods



The incredible flavors of Malaysian cuisine are world-renowned. Malaysia is home to a vibrant multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society and the county’s rich cuisine which features an amalgamation of cooking styles and tastes aptly represents this great diversity.
A visit to Malaysia should definitely include a sampling of its most popular eats. Given below is a shortlist, to guide you in your culinary adventures in this exciting country.
Nasi Lemak
Usually served as a breakfast meal, Nasi Lemak consists of rice cooked in coconut cream which is then steamed with pandan leaves or lemongrass for enhanced flavor. Nasi Lemak is quite delicious on its own but it is usually served with a whole host of accompaniments like boiled egg, pickled vegetables (acar or achar as we, Indians know it),sambal(a red chili chutney) or even a meat or poultry curry.
Roti Canai
The origins of Roti Canai are firmly rooted in South India. The dish is believed to have been introduced by Southern Indian immigrants, who were brought by the British to work in the rubber plantations in the early 20th century. Roti Canai features a flaky ‘paratha’ or ‘pratta’ which is served with a chicken curry as dipping sauce. Roti Canai is popular as a breakfast dish or a late night snack both in Malaysia and even in neighboring Singapore. Variations of the Roti Canai include the Roti Jala(a lacey roti made with flour, coconut milk and egg) and the Roti Tissue( a wafer thin roti topped with condensed milk and sugar better suited to desert rather than breakfast).
Satay
Satays (grilled skewers of meat) in Malaysia usually feature meats like chicken, beef or lamb. A dish of satays is usually complemented by a peanut dipping sauce, freshly cut onions and cucumbers and steamed rice dumplings (ketupat).
Ikan Bakar
Malaysia’s ubiquitous Ikan Bakar (fish or seafood grilled in banana leaf) makes an appearance at hawker stalls as well as top-notch restaurants.
Laksa
Every region of Malaysia has its own interpretation of Laksa or the spicy, noodle soup which features lashings of coconut milk or tamarind depending on where in Malaysia you consume it.

Popiah
Popiah or fresh spring rolls are associated with the Peranakan populace in Malaysia. Popularly known as the ‘Straits Chinese’, the Peranakan people can trace their origins to the 15th and 16th centuries and the intermarriage of Chinese traders and local Malays. A popiah dish features a fresh spring roll stuffed with finely julienned vegetables, like shredded yam, jicama (bangkoang), carrots and more and anointed with crushed peanuts, chilies and even dried shimps. However, if you are vegetarian you can always ask the popiah-maker to eliminate non-vegetarian ingredients like dried shrimp, since popiahs are almost always made fresh, in front of you.
Nasi Kandar
Nasi
Nasi Kandar is a rice-based dish which consists of steamed or flavored rice served with a variety of curries as accompaniments. These curries usually feature a mixture of meat, fish or vegetables. At Nasi Kandar stalls at hawker centers or food courts you can indicate which curries you want from the many on offer.
Rojak
Popular as a snack or a teatime treat, Rojak which is essentially a fruit and vegetable salad in a thick, tangy sauce exists in various permutations and combinations. Mamak Rojak or India Rojak features boiled potatoes and eggs, dough and prawn fitters, cucumber and bean sprouts which are mixed together with a dark sauce made with peanuts, tamarind, chili, sugar and even shrimp paste.
Cendol and Ais Kacang
Tropical Malaysia is bestowed with year round sultry weather and it is no wonder that popular Malaysian deserts like Cendol and Ais Kacang are effective thirst quenchers as they feature much shaved ice and a variety of other ingredients like noodles, coconut milk, palm sugar (main ingredients of Cendol) and syrups, palm fruit, corn , red beans, grass jelly,(main ingredients of Ais Kacang).
Kuih
Kuih are traditional Malaysian pastries which have their origins in Peranakan culture. These taste bites are fashioned out of ingredients like rice and tapioca flours, yam, palm sugar which are blended with coconut milk, shaved coconut, pandan and other flavorings.





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