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Food Aficionado

What To Eat In Malaysia? #FoodiesPick

August 8, 2013

So what to eat in Kuala Lumpur must not be a difficult question. A nation where six meals a day is not orthodox must have galore to offer for your palate. Just imagine eating “Nasi Lemak” for breakfast, jam scones, English sandwiches and peanut butter with cappuccinos for elevenses, foie gras torchon and smoked duck for lunch, yellow stir fried for afternoon noodles, a salmon Teppanyaki for dinner and finally satay for night snack from a regular hawker.

Yes, Malays do eat six meals and trust me, the food that they cook is nothing but delicious! The Malaysian cuisine is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Indonesian and Thai food. They have their own cuisine too. Nasi Lemak is the national dish and the other popular recipes are Cendawan goreng, Asam pedas, Tepung pelita, Otak-otak and Bubur.

So let’s start with the national dish Nasi Lemak. Why should one try this dish? Well, “nasi lemak” means fatty rice. (Oh no, don’t run away health-freak people) The fusion of steamed rice in coconut cream and screw pine leaves is just heavenly divine. If you claim yourself to be a gastronome, you would know what I am talking of. The rice comes out as fragrant rice and is served with dried anchovies, peanut butter, spicy sauce called sambal and pickle. Sometimes beef stewed in coconut milk is also served as accompaniment. I opted for the vegan delight of nasi lemak [pic below]

Getting back to KL food, another delicacy that one must try while there is the Otak-Otak. The name simply means brain-like, though it has nothing to do with the taste or recipe. The food is a must-have for fish freaks. The fish fillet is charred in coal after wrapping it on a banana leaf with herbs, spices and eggs. When the fish is ready to serve, the pink color and the other colors of ingredients mix and match to make it look somewhat like a brain structure. Otak otak is eaten with rice and dips/sauces.

Cendawan Goreng, better known as fried mushrooms are eaten as starters or snacks. This recipe is probably the best form of eating fungus barbeque style or chilli-peppered style. Mushrooms are deep fried and seasoned with pepper or barbeque powder and served hot. They taste somewhat like tempuras and are served with ketch-up.

Asam Pedas mean fish curry made in tamarind. Asam is tamarind and the fish is marinated in it. Other spices like turmeric, chilli powder, ginger and herbs are added to this marinate and the curry is cooked with okra and tomatoes in a special vessel. This is literally a sour and spicy treat to your taste buds.

Bubur Cha-Cha is a Malaysian form of porridge. Eaten as dessert, bubur is sold on many stalls and is easy to find on the streets. Bubur is prepared by adding tapioca pearls, yam and sweet potato in coconut milk. Ideal for people with sweet tooth, bubur also contains colorful jellies making it sweeter.

What else to try in KL?

Hokkien Mee is another delicacy that one must not miss to enjoy. ‘Mee’ is noodles and hokkien means Fujian. Malays have utilized all forms of noodles in the most delicious forms. Hokkien mee is one of them. The noodles are braised in dark fragrant soy sauce and the secret to this recipe is the pork fat. Shrimps, fish balls and pork lard are added to the noodles. The highlight of this recipe is the dark color and the delicious taste of condiments. The hokkien mee is a sumptuous recipe that bursts many tastes in your mouth making the experience delectable.

Next is Satay. We all are aware of this “meat on the stick” delight. It is said to be originated in Indonesia, however KL serves some of the tastiest satays of the world. The meats of chicken, beef and pork are barbequed on skewers and are served with assorted dips and chutneys. These are mostly accompanied with peanut sauce, mint chutney, golden onions, cucumbers and rice cakes. Satay makes a perfect meal for after-dinner meal and is also considered as whole meal. Satay has different names for different countries; they are called shish kebabs in Turkey, patychky in Ukraine, yakitori in Japan and espatada in Portugal.

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Food Aficionado

Sidewalks Of A Metro: A Foodie’s View

May 15, 2012

Being a die-hard foodie, I have tried ‘n’ number of dishes, out of which I decided to write with the best of them. From the top Chinese restaurant to the street side thela (chuck wagon) Mumbai has the best of all Indian cuisines. One thing I observed was that I like eating road side food more than the restaurant food.

When it comes to street food, Mumbai offers you juicy kebabs, hot-n-spicy misal pav, yummy mutton Biryani, Mumbai’s hot favorite Vada pav, appetizing fried rice, mouth-watering dosa and spicy pav bhaji. So all you fellas, get ready to know the tastes of a typical Indian foodie. Well, I was wondering whether to start with the best one or my favorite. They are all so delicious that I got confused and started with whatever came first to my mind.

  • Mutton Biryani at Mohammed Ali Road – As you enter, this lane of pure bliss, the aroma of Mutton Biryani and colorful Kebabs will not only water your mouth but also fill up your nostrils. The famous Masjid lane serves not only chicken but red meat Biryani, lamb brain fry, liver fry and a variety of desserts.

My personal favorite here is the Mutton Biryani. This food is made in tonnes of oil, butter, and spices. So health conscious foodies, please Excuse! The more you eat the more you would want it. The Biryani has the right amount of mutton pieces and ribs cooked tenderly.  The Biryani is so well cooked that when you take the first morsel, you don’t understand what tastes so good? Is it the spices, the red meat or the flavored rice?  The aroma of this place wafts through the air to make it more ambrosial. This place also attracts a crowd for its very well known desserts – cold Phirnis and sweet Malpuas are the favorites. This place is simply awesome.

  • Vada Pao at Mithibai College and NM College – if you are in Mumbai and don’t know what is a Vada Pav; people will be pretty taken aback. It’s like the national dish of Mumbai. A ball of cooked mashed potatoes is deeply fried in the batter is called a Vada. A bun or Indian muffin is buttered and layered with green chutney and red garlic chutney. The Vada is placed inside the muffin and served hot.The cheapest of all, Vada pav scores 10/10 at Mithibai College. This place majorly attracts the collegians. They prefer having Vada pav mostly with a cutting “Chai” (tea) sold at next stall. The vada is not much spicy but the chutneys that come along with the pav are real hot. By the time you understand the taste of Vada pav, it’s finished, so you got to order 2 for yourself and it’s worth the treat.
  • Misal Pav at Khao Galli (Treat Street) Colaba – This is my favorite street food as it brings the best of Maharashtrian food, and being a Maharashtrian I enjoy eating here. From simply cooked Poha(flattened rice), upma, pav bhaji to spicy hot misal pav and Vada pav, this place is always crowded with the office-goers and shoppers from Colaba Causeway.Misal Pav is what I prefer eating here. It is considered to be a healthy food as it is made of moth beans. A layer of “farsan” (salty appetizers) is put over the cooked moth beans and is garnished with coriander leaves & lemon. There are red and green chutneys mixed in it. You eat it with a buttered Pav (bun). This dish is also amongst one of the spicy ones.

    Well, you might wonder most of the snacks in India are eaten with Pav. Yes, it is. The taste of Misal pav is zesty. I relished the taste of this dish since childhood and even today I can’t resist the aroma that fills up my senses. The “Poha” is also worth trying, a dish that is cooked on every Sunday in a Maharashtrian house.

  • Mysore masala dosa at Andheri Station – If you are someone who loves eating south Indian food, this is the place to be. Just outside the Andheri Station, there are 2 stalls that serve hot south Indian delicacies. I prefer the old favorite – cheese Mysore masala dosa. They take quick orders and serve your food right on time when you are done enough seeing the others eat while you are waiting.The Mysore masala dosa is superbly cooked on a giant Tawa (roti pan). Spreading the dosa (crepe) batter in circular motions as fast as possible is one thing you would love watching. All the ingredients are quickly added with cheese on top. The chutneys that accompany the tantalizing Mysore masala dosa are pretty pungent. Once this is served to you, you can’t just start eating it as it is way too hot. But the time you put it in your mouth, you can’t just stop having it. It simply melts in your mouth.

    The other dishes to try out here are masala dosa and Uthappam. This place is always crowded. But the waiting time is almost nil compared to the worth of this dish.

 

  • Pav-Bhaji at Amar juice center Juhu – Fairly simple in its way Amar Juice center is located in a prime area. College goers and shoppers are the people who crowd this place in the daytime. While at night, this place is packed with party animals, late-niters, and the crazy midnight food lovers. This place is open till 0100 hrs on weekdays and until wee hours on weekends. Coming to the Menu, Amar juice center scores highest on its piquant “Pav-Bhaji” (Pav = bun & Bhaji = vegetables gravy).The pav is buttered more than ever and the red colored bhaji looks scrumptious. It is accompanied with brown chutney made of garlic and tomatoes to give this dish a right amount of tang. The tender pav eaten with this delectably cooked bhaji is something you can’t stop asking for more. And you can’t afford to eat this delicacy without chopped onions on top and just

a bit of lemon juice. There are few tables to sit on the pavement but most people prefer to eat in their cars.

The prices are pretty reasonable. Also as the name suggests, juices here are also worth trying. The sweet lime juice and the pineapple juice are the most popular ones. Grilled sandwiches and pizzas are also good try-outs.

Well, there are lots more but I would wrap up here now. Next time you are in Mumbai, try out this dishes and have a delicious day ahead.

You should also try Maska Pav in any Iranian Restaurant in south Mumbai, Chinese food at Hearsch Bakery Bandra, Kebabs at Jai Jawan stall Bandra Linking road, Vada Pav at Churchgate, Baida Pav at Andheri Station. (Good Luck for the Indian Gastronomic Experience).

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