Malaysian food is spicy, fragrant and colourful

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Malaysian food is spicy, fragrant and colourful

Curry mixtures and spices are the cuisine’s defining features.

By Purva Grover

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Published: Fri 3 Mar 2017, 5:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2017, 7:51 PM

Home to Malays, Chinese, and Indians — Malaysian cuisine is an ode to the traditional dishes and cooking techniques of these countries. In addition, it draws influence from Indonesian, Thai, Portuguese, Dutch, and British cuisines.
Curry mixtures and spices are the cuisine’s defining features. If you have a Malaysian friend, you would be familiar with their love for peanuts, eggs, kaffir lime, and coconut. Of course, they love noodles of all types – fried, egg, flat, rice, and even instant variety options. Think: Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, and Char Kway Teow or Soto (traditional noodles soup). Rice is a staple food with them. Other than Thai rice, they also eat the Indian Basmati rice. Not surprisingly, they enjoy biryani as well. In terms of ingredients, they rely heavily on coriander, cumin, lemongrass, cardamom, star anise, and fenugreek.
Teatime was an important part of a Malaysian routine, especially during its colonial occupation by the British. So, it is not uncommon to find a variety of scones, cakes, cookies, and sweets on their table.
We recommend a meal at Rasa Sayang (043313135), Oud Mehta, to sample Ketayap — Malaysian pancakes stuffed with palm sugar and desiccated coconut. Also, on the menu is Lemak Cili Padi, which is chicken cooked with Bird’s Eye chillis in a rich gravy. Stop by at Tangerine (across two locations in Dubai) to savour Beef Rendang, a meal prepared in coconut curry. Plus, the Malaysian Curry — a tangy preparation in a creamy coconut and tamarind sauce. Choose between beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

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