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5 Indian dishes doing rounds in Malaysia with a twist!

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Malaysia: Roti canai, nasi kandar, Maggi goreng, pasembur and putu mayam are some of the many items that you’ll find at a ‘Mamak’ restaurant in Malaysia, cuisines that have their ‘base’ in India.

The contribution of the Indian community to Malaysian cuisine is enormous. Indian cuisine has had a strong influence on traditional Malay cuisine resulting in the popularity of curries in Malaysia. Indian restaurants are well received by Malaysians from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. They have become an important fixture in everyday Malaysian life and are the venue of choice for watching live televised football matches.

Mamak restaurants and stalls refer to eateries owned and staffed by Indian Muslims. The word ‘Mamak’ is sometimes erroneously used to describe any Indian restaurant.

Unlike Indian cuisine in the United Kingdom and other Western countries which tend to focus on North Indian cuisine, Indian cuisine in Malaysia is largely based on South Indian cuisine as the Malaysian Indian diaspora is overwhelmingly Tamil, although some northern dishes such as tandoori chicken and naan bread are common. Southern breakfast delicacies such as idli, vadai and dosa (spelt in Malaysia as ‘thosai‘) are common.

Here are a few Indian dishes unique to Malaysia…

Roti canai

canai

Traditionally, roti canai is served with dhal (lentil curry) or any type of curry, such as mutton or chicken curry. However, the versatility of roti canai as the staple lends itself to many variations, either savoury or sweet, with a variety of toppings and fillings, which includes eggs, banana, sardines and onion. In Thailand, it is usually served sweet – typical fillings include condensed milk, peanut butter, jam and Nutella, without the curry.

Nasi kandar

Image source: wordpress.com
Image source: wordpress.com

It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavoured and served with a variety of curries and side dishes. The word nasi kandar, came about from a time when nasi hawkers or vendors would balance a kandar pole on their shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals. The name has remained and today the word nasi kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or ‘Malaysian Mamak’ restaurants and Indian-Muslim stall meals. Nasi kandar is sold exclusively in Indian Muslim restaurants and the recipes are closely guarded secrets.

Maggi Goreng

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Image source: wordpress.com

Maggi Goreng is a style of cooking instant noodles, in particular, the Maggi product range, which is common in Malaysia. It is commonly served at Mamak food stalls in Malaysia. The traditional way of cooking Maggi noodles is to boil them in hot water and then to add a sachet of flavouring included with the noodles to the water to create stock. However,Maggi Goreng is cooked by stir-frying them with vegetables and eggs. Sometimes, other ingredients such as tofu, sambal (spicy chilli relish), dark soy, and sometimes meat are added. A slice of lime is usually placed at the side of the plate as a garnish. Users also can add an additional flavour such as curry powder or any readily made paste to enhance the flavour.

Pasembur (Mamak rojak)

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Image source: wordpress.com

Pasembur is a Malaysian salad consisting of cucumber (shredded), potatoes, bean curd, turnip, bean sprouts, prawn fritters, spicy fried crab, fried octopus or other seafood and served with a sweet and spicy nut sauce. The term pasembur is peculiar to Northern Peninsular Malaysia. It is especially associated with Penang where pasembur can be had along Gurney Drive. In other parts of Malaysia, the term Mamak rojak is commonly used.

Putu Mayam

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Image source: wordpress.com

The appam is a favourite breakfast dish in Tamil homes. Idiyappam is known as putu mayam in Malay and usually sold by mobile motorcycle vendors. The process for making putu mayam (also known as string hoppers in English) consists of mixing rice flour or idiyappam flour with water and/or coconut milk and pressing the dough through a sieve to make vermicelli-like noodles. These are steamed, usually with the addition of juice from the aromatic pandan leaf (screwpine) as flavouring. The noodles are served with grated coconut and jaggery, or, preferably, gur (date palm sugar). In some areas, gula melaka(coconut palm sugar) is the favourite sweetener.

(The article was originally published in indiaatlargeblog.wordpress.com)

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Find out The Must-Try Dishes In Israel

The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian

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Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian. Wikimedia Commons

If your travel itinerary is based on your taste buds, then Israel is your dream destination. The country is home to a wide variety of cafés, which offer range of cuisines from Arabic, European to Asian.

This food is blessed by the Mediterranean sun and topped off with garnishes of crisp fruits, nuts and vegetables. The fresh dairy products and meats are a great reason to feast upon.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Falafel is a vey famous Israeli dish. Wikimedia Commons

IANS Life picks out some must-try dishes in Israel :-

Challah – A Jewish ceremonial bread, braided and brushed with egg white and baked to perfection

Sabich – Pita pockets stuffed to the brim with crispy fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, creamy hummus and tahini, along with salad and pickles. The sandwich is an absolute favourite among locals and a top pick street food, when you’re in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Bagel – Unlike typical bagels, this one is elongated, soft, slightly sweet and similar to regular bread. Vendors sell freshly baked Jerusalem Bagels all over the streets of the Old City, usually accompanied with some za’atar

Bourekas – Similar to the Indian samosa, potato, cheese or spinach stuffed triangles of filo-dough, topped with toasted sesame seeds. Head to Leon and Sons in Jaffa for a taste of this flaky treat.

Israel, Food, Cuisine, Travel, Must try
Early-Morning Scene in Mahane Yehuda Market – Jerusalem – Israel. Wikimedia Commons

Khachapuri – This traditional Georgian dish in Mahane Yehuda Market is made with eggs and cheese is combined in an eye shaped dough. Dip the outer crust in the rich and oozing centre of egg and cheese.

Rugelach – Made with chocolate, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts or fruits. Head to Marzipan Bakery in Jerusalem to dig into this oozing chocolate filled delight.

Sambusak – Mashed chickpeas, onions and spices wrapped in a triangular dough pocket. For an Indian style sambusak, visit Tandoor in Tel Aviv.

Shakshuka – Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers and is often spiced with cumin and topped off with freshly cut herbs. Head to Dr. Shakshuka and swipe your bread across the pan to pick up the runny egg drenched sauce.

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Halva – Israel is known for its incredible variety of halvas made with sesame.

Ash Tanur – A sourdough flatbread, made without yeast and sugar and best eaten with some fresh local herbs and spices.

Fresh juices – From the juicy pomegranates to citrusy oranges, Israel prides itself on serving fresh and flavourful juices. Tamara is one of the many popular juice stands in Tel Aviv. (IANS)