Understanding Malaysian Culture
March 3, 2011
Local breakfast in Kuala Lumpur
March 5, 2011
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Traditional Malay Cuisine

Eating Malaysian in Kuala Lumpur

Travelling around Malaysia and eating the amazing local produce has mad me realize a few important things. One of them is that we foreigners take way too much for granted. The second being that in the restaurants in Australia, what they is local and authentic Malaysian food is fact just simple mix of three different dishes. Nasi Goreng (fried raice), Mee Goreng (fried noodles), Satay (peanut Sauce).

The real Malaysia has a lot more to offer than those three simple dishes which I became a fan of back in the day. We keep forgetting that most of the food here is a fusion between the majority races. I can honestly say that before Malaysia I have never had Nasi Lemak, the sambal paste in it is enough to make any person go gaga. It is a delicious mix of  onion, galrlic. anchovies,  shallots, dried chilli, prawn paste, sugar and salt. The anchovies are fried till golden and the mixture of the rest is pounded together to create a paste. Tamarind is added to the salt and sugar. The spice fragrant is fried with oil giving it the slick finish. This is served with coconut rice thou generally the street hawkers may sell it with just plain rice. An egg, and cucumber is also served on the side.  I have only observed this being made once and tried it many times but it’s something that I would like to add to my armoury when I get back home.

Nasi Lemak

Another old favourite is Roti Chenai,now once again we in the west have been mislead as to what Roti Chenai is exactly. Let’s go back a few months to a Melbourne, I am eating Roti Chenai and am lead to believe that the gravy is Chenai and the Roti is well the bread. Well, have I got news for you. Chenai as some of us may know is a city in India, Roti Cheni is fluffy flat bread if I can explain it as such. With it you get a side dish of Dhal (gravy). I have made the mistake of ordering Roti and no Chenai, causing major confusion in the local Mamak store. It took my friend Mr Ali to explain to the bloke what I actually wanted. Roti Chenai can be made from flour, eggs which is created into a dough, than flattened and spun around like a pizza (you have to watch it being made). Than gee (Clarified Butter) is added to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Roti Chenai

The staple of the local Malay diet seem to be these two for breakfast. In Jalan Alor close to Apple Hotel you will find in the morning a stall on the corner of Jalan Alor and Jalan Changkit Bukit Bintang, they only open for a few hours around 9.30am to around 11am, the cost of the Nasi Lemak is around RM2. Roti Chenai is available in most areas in Jalan Alor, the local Mamak population has this covered and it’s around RM1.50. You will also find some stalls behind Jalan Alor as well and a big Mamak resturant however the Mamak here is a little expensive compared to the normal. A real cheap eat however compared to western stands and no less delicious.