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 - Baba Nyonya

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

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

 
 

The fusion of cultures in Malaysia has led to the bir th of a unique race. The Baba and Nyonya community, generally known as Peranakan or Straits Chinese, assimilate the Malay way of life especially in terms of speech, dressing and cooking, while preser ving the ancestral Chinese traditions. The colourful culture and customs of the Baba and Nyonya also has traces of Dutch, Por tuguese, British, Indian and Indonesian influences.

 

Over 600 years ago, Parameswara, the founder of Melaka, developed a close alliance with the Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho. When the Admiral visited Melaka, he encouraged his people to stay and marry the locals, resulting in the first generation of Peranakan people. The assimilation of cultures continued when the Chinese Princess, Hang Li Po was betrothed to Sultan Mansur Shah (the Fourth Sultan of Melaka) in 1459 AD as a tribute to the good diplomatic relations between Melaka and China. She brought with her an entourage who later settled in Bukit China (now the largest traditional Chinese cemetery outside of China). Over time, they mingled with and married the locals.   The Peranakan men are called Baba, while the ladies are known as Nyonya. Although the Peranakan people have adopted many Malay customs, their Chinese names, traditions and religious beliefs are preserved.

 

Celebrations include Lunar New Year, Moon Cake Festival and ancestry worship, although some customs are more prevalent among the older generation. They also have developed their own unique dialect called Baba Malay, which is similar to Malay but has a nuance of Hokkien.   The attire of Nyonya ladies is known as kebaya ? an elegant, figure-hugging blouse matched with a sarong. Although kebaya is traditionally worn by Malay ladies, the Nyonya version has distinct characteristics. They feature intricate embroidery which displays floral or mythical animal designs such as phoenix and dragons. These beautiful hand-made blouses are regarded as art pieces and are coveted for their elegance and feminine allure.   Nyonya cuisine, also called Lauk Embok Embok is one of a kind. This luxuriously flavoured fare is a marriage of Chinese cooking style with Malay ingredients and condiments. The cooking method utilises a variety of spices, coconut milk, tamarind and belacan. The Nyonya ladies are fiercely proud of their culinary heritage.

 

Therefore, each dish is painstakingly prepared to perfection. There are distinct differences between the Penang and Melaka Nyonya cuisines. The former is influenced by Thai cooking, which results in tangy and more piquant dishes, while the latter is largely inspired by Malay and Indonesian styles of cooking.   This makes the food taste sweeter, richer and spicier. Nyonya kuih or cakes, the best and most colourful among the kuih varieties, are also popular Malaysian desserts. Peranakan crockery is as unique as the culture. Authentic ceramic bowls, Chine blue porcelains, ivory chopsticks and the multi-tiered Tiffin carriers (known as ?mangkuk tengkat?) are highly-priced antiques and are usually kept within the family as valuable heirlooms. For a better understanding of the people and culture, do visit the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum in Melaka where visitors can see plenty of historical and cultural items such as the unique Baba and Nyonya furniture, ceramic ware, clothes, jewellery and utensils.

 

To sample some authentic Nyonya cuisine, visit the various specialty restaurants that line up the Peranakan neighborhoods such as Gurney Drive in Penang and Jonker Street in Melaka. Nyonya cuisine is also available in Kuala Lumpur.

 
 
  Curry Chicken Capitan

A distinct Nyonya fare, this spicy curry makes a great accompaniment to rice, roti jala (Malay lacy pancake) or pulut kunyit (glutinous rice cooked with turmeric). Just as any Nyonya main dish, curry kapitan is cooked with copious amounts of ingredients and spices, particularly tamarind. As the story goes, this dish got its name when a Dutch sea captain asked one of his Indonesian crew what is for dinner and the answer was ?Curry, Kapitan?.

 
  Ayam Pongteh

Ayam pongteh refers to chicken cooked with preserved soy bean paste, dark soy sauce, palm sugar and potatoes. The blend of ingredients gives it a combination of sweet and savoury taste.   It is said that ayam pongteh tastes even better after being kept in the fridge for a day or two, as the chicken chunks become infused with the flavours of the gravy.

 
  Assam Curry Garoupa

This is a dish that epitomises a typical Nyonya fare. From tangy to spicy, sweet to sour, this dish delights the taste buds with bursts of different flavours. A variety of ingredients are used to make the assam curry gravy.   Among them are tangy tamarind juice, which enhances the taste of the fish. Other ingredients include shallots, garlic, galangal, candlenut, lemongrass, torch ginger, polygonum (laksa leaf), chilli, turmeric powder, belacan powder, chicken stock and sugar.   Assam curry garoupa is best savoured with a steaming plate of rice.

 
  Enche Kabin

 

Sometimes also spelled as inche kabin, this is a popular Penang Nyonya fare of Hainanese influence. It is deep-fried chicken marinated in spices and coconut milk. Back in the British colonial days, this fluffy, flavourful deep-fried chicken was served as a popular cocktail snack at par ties and get-togethers. Today, the tender and juicy fried chicken is a favourite among all, especially children. It is excellent as a side dish for rice.

 
  Nyonya Kuih

 

The word kuih refers to an assortment of cakes, snacks or dumplings. Mention kuih and chances are that Nyonya kuih would come to mind. Eaten as a dessert or snack, Nyonya kuih is especially popular for its variety of colours, shapes and delicious taste. It is usually very sweet and starchy and made from ingredients such as glutinous rice flour, tapioca, yam, sweet potato, green pea flour, coconut, palm sugar and pandanus leaves.   There is a wide array to choose from, but the favourites include kuih angkoo (an orange-coloured dumpling containing sweet nut paste), kuih keria (sweet potato doughnut glazed with sugar), onde-onde (little pandanus-flavoured balls containing melted palm sugar) and kuih lapis (layered steamed cake). Nyonya kuih is easily available at eateries and even from peddlers.

 
  Assam Curry Garoupa

A delicious and colourful dessert, this sweet porridge is made of sweet potato and yam cubes, cooked with thick coconut milk, sugar, pandanus leaves and sago pearls.   It is one of Malaysia?s most popular desserts. It can be eaten warm or cold, depending on personal preference.

 
 
 

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

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

LOCAL CUISINE / DELICACY