Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
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Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Capital - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Putrajaya : Federal Territory - Malaysia
Selangor : Central Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Terengganu : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kelantan : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Pahang : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Johor / Johore : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Malacca / Melaka : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Negeri Sembilan / The Nine State : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Kedah (Langkawi) : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Penang / Pulau Pinang : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Sabah : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Labuan (Federal Territory) : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
 
 
 

LOCAL CUISINE / DELICACY - Indian Delicacy

| Overview | Tropical Fruits | Vegetarian Delights | Malay Delicacy | Chinese Delicacy |

| Indian Delicacy | Nyonya Delicacy | Portuguese Delicacy | Ethnic Delicacy (Sabah & Sarawak) |

 
 

The Indian culture, customs and cuisine have a strong foothold in Malaysia, ingrained over centuries of trading with the Malay Archipelago. The Indians have shared their robust spices with fellow Malaysians, and therefore enriching many local cuisines.

 

Indian cuisine is generally spicy, flavourful and piquant as spices are the essence of Indian fare. The harmonious blend of cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard, poppy seeds, turmeric, fennel, cloves, saffron and chilli not only enhances the flavour of the food, but also adds character to the dishes.   Traditional Indian food in Malaysia can be broadly classified into two distinct types - North and South Indian. A typical South Indian meal consists of rice, curry, side dishes and yoghurt served on a banana leaf. North Indian favourites include briyani rice, grilled meat and bread varieties such as naan, roti parata and chapathi served with aromatic and spice-laden curries and chutney.

 

Indian breads or rice are also served on a thali, a circular metal tray while the curries or chutneys are served in small metal bowls called katori, placed on top of the thali. Aside from rice, Indian breads such as thosai, idli and poori are easily found, served with delectable accompaniments in the form of sambar and chutney. There are also a number of vegetarian restaurants in Malaysia and most Indian restaurants offer sumptuous vegetarian dishes.   A unique variant of Indian cuisine in Malaysia is Mamak food. Mamak (originating from the word mama or ?uncle? in Tamil) is in essence, Indian Muslims of Malaysian nationality. They are wellknown for their lip-smacking food, characterised by thick, spicy and gravy-laden dishes. Signature Mamak dishes include nasi kandar, mee goreng mamak, rojak mamak and fish head curry.

 

 

Although the northern state of Penang is regarded as the stronghold of authentic Mamak cuisine, these days Mamak restaurants are found throughout Malaysia and have become a firm favourite among city folks. Open round-the-clock, Mamak restaurants provide an open-air, casual dining ambience. Aside from its irresistible taste, affordability is another key factor that gives Mamak food its overwhelming popularity. Mamak food is halal or permissible for Muslims.   One of the best ways to experience Indian culture and sample the cuisine is by making a trip to the Little India enclaves in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang. In Kuala Lumpur for instance, Jalan Masjid India and Brickfields attract shoppers from all over for their wide range of products, including textiles, jewellery, accessories, spices, herbs and religious paraphernalia.

 

Visitors will find a number of Indian and Mamak restaurants, offering delicious meals or snacks such as samosa and vadai. Munchies such as mixed nuts and fritters are other favourites, commonly sold by hawkers. And to wash down, how about a refreshing bowl of cendol?   The Little India precincts are especially packed during festive seasons, when Malaysians come in droves to get the best deals for beautiful textiles, new garments and home decorative items.   One of the main celebrations for the Indian community is Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights. During this time, houses are cleaned, lit with traditional lamps and decorated with the colourful kolam. After the morning prayers at the temple, many Indians hold open houses to receive guests. The festive season is also an excellent time to savour traditional delicacies such as murukku and sweet balls known as laddu.

 
 
 

Indian Breads

 

Unleavened breads are the staple food for most Indians. They are healthy, tasty and come in a great variety from chapati, naan, thosai, roti to appam. These breads are usually eaten with your own selection of spicy curries, rich chutneys or exquisite sauces. Thosai and naan have become firm favourites among Malaysians. Thosai is a crispy cr?e made from a thick batter of rice flour and black gram dhal fermented overnight. Varieties of thosai include masala thosai (thosai with potato filling) and egg thosai. Naan resembles pita bread and can be eaten plain or stuffed with delectable fillings such as vegetable masala, raisins, cheese or keema (a dry meat curry). Indian breads are sold in most Indian and Mamak restaurants across Malaysia.

 
 

Chicken Tandoori

This dish derives its name from the tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven in which it is cooked. It is believed that cooking in a tandoor oven retains the juices and taste of the meat or bread, making it even more succulent. To make this dish, chicken is marinated in yoghurt and luxuriously seasoned with garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper and a host of other spices. It goes great with naan or rice or can be savoured on its own with a mint sauce. Chicken tandoori can be found in many Indian restaurants serving authentic Indian cuisine and Mamak stalls around the country.

 
 

Banana Leaf Rice

A staple South Indian fare, the banana leaf rice features a mound of steaming plain rice with a generous amount of spicy curry and accompanied by an assor tment of delicious side dishes, all served on a banana leaf. Papadum, or crispy lentil crackers, yoghur t and pickles complete the meal. Banana leaf rice is generally a vegetarian fare, but meat-based curries, deep-fried chicken and fish are readily available. It is believed that the steam from the rice releases the banana leaf ?s coating, which helps to ease digestion.

 
 

Briyani Rice

Briyani rice is an ambrosial Mughal dish that tastes as good as it smells. To ensure that every grain of rice is infused with spices, it is first fried with ghee and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, saffron and garlic. Then it is cooked with meat stock and pieces of either chicken, mutton or fish, and sometimes eggs. Although it is delicious just as it is, briyani rice is served with side dishes such as curries or gravies, salads, pickles and papadum. This flavourful cuisine has also made its way into the Malay culture, so much so that nowadays, it is the main menu served during weddings and special occasions.

 
 

Nasi Kandar

Your visit to the Mamak restaurant would not be complete without trying the nasi kandar. This signature Mamak fare originates from Penang. In the olden days, vendors used to balance or kandar steel containers on their shoulders with a wooden bar while they walked around to sell their food. Hence the name, nasi kandar. Nasi kandar is typically plain rice served with a variety of curries and side dishes, anything you fancy. Expect a plateful of rice accompanied by your choice of flavoursome deep-fried chicken, cubed spleen, beef, squid, prawns or fish roe and a mixture of curries and other sauces. Vegetable side dishes such as brinjal, ladies? fingers, bitter gourd or cabbage salad are also available. The dish is made complete with pickles and papadum.

 
 

Murtabak & Roti Canai

 

Roti Canai is a favourite Malaysian breakfast item. This flatbread is composed of fluffy dough made of flour, water, egg and ghee. The art of making roti canai lies in the repeated kneading, folding, oiling, flattening and tossing of the dough before cooking it on an oil-drenched flat skillet. Ideally, the pastry should be crispy on the outside and soft inside.

 

Murtabak is a sample of true Mamak ingenuity. It is basically roti canai, layered and folded with luxuriously spiced minced meat and eggs. Visitors can also try the sardine murtabak. This delicious meal is served with curry as well as pickled onions or cucumber.   Nowadays, murtabak and roti canai can be found anywhere from Mamak restaurants to Malay stalls, night markets and even in the frozen food section in supermarkets.

 
 

Mee Goreng Mamak

 

Mee goreng mamak is a sweet, spicy and savory dish of yellow noodles stir-fried in a thick mix of black soy sauce with eggs, tomatoes, chilli, potatoes, bean curd, and vegetable fritters. Available at all Mamak outlets, it is great at any time of the day, and even if you are still up at three in the morning and feeling a little peckish.

 
 

Cendol

This sweet treat is excellent on hot days. In a bowl of cendol, visitors will find green strands made from flour and pandan-flavoured water, along with red kidney beans, glutinous rice or cream corn, and a mound of shaved ice drenched in a generous amount of coconut milk.   Drizzled with palm sugar syrup, cendol is a simply delicious dessert!

 
 

Teh Tarik

Dubbed the national drink, teh tarik, which literally means ?stretched tea?, is a favourite local pick-me-up. To many Malaysians, nothing beats hanging out with friends at the Mamak?s and talking over a glass of hot, frothy teh tarik. Preparing this special tea is both art and science.   There is a certain skill required to stretch the tea back and forth using two containers without spilling a single drop. It is such an impressive art that annually, teh tarik brewers come together to put their skills to test in various competitions. The stretching of the tea actually helps to mix the ingredients better, thus enhancing its exquisite taste. The method also helps to cool the tea down.

 
 
 

| Overview | Tropical Fruits | Vegetarian Delights | Malay Delicacy | Chinese Delicacy |

| Indian Delicacy | Nyonya Delicacy | Portuguese Delicacy | Ethnic Delicacy (Sabah & Sarawak) |

LOCAL CUISINE / DELICACY