malay cusine by ashrafp


									                                          the second part of the marriage
        Malays are the people who         ceremony and in various ceremonies
inhabit the Malayan Peninsula and         of State. Malays have also preserved
some of the nearby islands, including     some of their more ancient beliefs in
the east coast of Sumatra, the coast      spirits of the soil and jungle, often
of Borneo and smaller islands that lie    having recourse to medicine men
between the area. These tribal            called bomohs [shamans] for the
proto-Malays were a seafaring             treatment of ailments.
people. Present day Malays of the
Peninsula and coasts of the Malay         In the northern states of Perlis and
Archipelago are "anthropologically        Kedah, intermarriages with Thais
described as deutero-Malays" and          were commonplace. The east coast
are the descendants of the tribal         state of Kelantan still has traces of
proto-Malays mixed with modern            Javanese culture that date back to
Indian, Thai, Arab and Chinese            the era of the Majapahit Empire of
ancestry. Malay culture itself has        the 14th century. The Sumatran
been strongly influenced by that of       kingdom of Acheh dominated Perak
people     of    neighboring     lands,   for over a century. The Bugis from
including      Siamese,      Javanese,    Indonesia's      Celebes       Islands
Sumatran and Indians. The influence       colonized Selangor and fought for
of Hindu India was historically very      rulers in States along the length of
great, and the Malay people were          the peninsula - from Kedah to Johor.
largely Hinduized before they were        The Minangkabaus from Sumatra had
converted to Islam in the 15th            their own independent chiefdoms in
century. For 2000 years, the traffic      what is today the state of Negri
of traders between the Malayan            Sembilan. This mix of different
Archipelago and India resulted in         ethnic groups form what is the
frequent intermarriages especially        modern Malay and can be clearly
Tamils and Gujeratis. Some Hindu          seen in the lineage of, for example,
rituals survive in Malay culture, as in   Malacca's royalty. Sultan Muhammad
Shah married a Tamil from South            Lemak dishes are typically not hot to
India. Sultan Mansur Shah married a        taste; it is aromatically spiced and
Javanese, a Chinese and a Siamese;         coconut milk is added for a creamy
the Siamese wife bore two future           richness [lemak]. Assam Jawa, or
Sultans of Pahang. It was this             tamarind paste is a key element in
diversity of races, cultures and           many Malay assam dishes for adding
influences that has the given the          a sour or tangy taste; especially for
modern Malay race the rich and             fish and seafood dishes. What is
unique historical heritage it has          tamarind paste? Tamarind paste is
today.                                     the pulp extracted from tamarind
                                           pods commonly used as a souring
This rich historical heritage has          ingredient in Latin America, India,
evidently resulted in it's exotic          Africa and Asia. While the prime
cuisine. In Malay cuisine fresh            taste is sour, the underlying tang is
aromatic herbs and roots are used,         slightly sweet, reminiscent of dried
some familiar, such as lemongrass,         apricots or dried prunes. The pulp or
ginger, garlic, shallots, kaffir limes     paste is commonly sold in the form
and fresh chilies. Both fresh and          of a semi-dry flat block. To use,
dried chilies are used, usually ground     simply pinch a small lump from the
into a sambal or chili paste to add        block and soak it in some warm
hotness to dishes. There are               water. Use your fingers to squish it
however, less commonly known               about in the water to separate the
herbs and roots that are essential in      seeds and fibers; the resulting paste
Malay cooking; such as daun                or tamarind water is used for
kemangi [a type of basil], daun            cooking.
kesum [polygonum, commonly called          Many Malay signature dishes require
laksa leaf], bunga kantan [wild            a key ingredient called Belacan [also
ginger flower buds or torch ginger],       spelt Belachan, Blacan, Blachan],
kunyit    basah     [turmeric     root],   pronounced blah-chan. Tiny baby
lengkuas [galangal] and pandan or          shrimp or brine are allowed to
pandanus [screwpine leave]. Dried          ferment, cured with salt, sun-dried
spices frequently used in Malay            and formed into a small brick or cake.
cooking are jintan manis [fennel],         Similar to how anchovy paste is used
jintan putih [cumin] and ketumbar          in Italian cooking, belacan is used
[coriander]; Other dried spices used       much the same way, that is,
are cloves, cardamom, star anise,          sparingly. Not overly 'fishy', a tiny
mustard seeds, fenugreek, cinnamon         amount of belacan adds 'sweetness'
and nutmeg. Both fresh and dried           to meats and intensity to fish &
ingredients are frequently used            seafood. It adds a 'kick' to vegetable
together, usually ground into a            dishes, such as the famed Malaysian
rempah ['spice paste]. The rempah          dish Kangkong Belacan. Belacan is
is then sautéed in oil to bring out it's   also the basis of a well-loved Malay
flavorful    aroma      and     toasted    condiment - Sambal Belacan. It's
goodness. Santan [coconut milk] is         made by first roasting a small lump
the basis of Malay lemak dishes.           of belacan, which is then pounded
with fresh chilies and lime juice is      ikan tenggiri [wolf herring] and ikan
added. This appetizing condiment is       tongkol, also called ikan kayu [tuna],
almost always present in any typical      are seasoned very simply with salt,
Malay meal. Belacan also makes a          pepper, a sprinkling of turmeric
flavorful base for sauces and gravy,      powder and quickly deep fried. Often
adding depth and an intriguing taste      the fish is stuffed with sambal
that you can't quite decipher. When       belacan before frying or grilling.
uncooked, the pressed cake has a          Grilling or barbequing is another
powerful scent like "stinky cheese".      favorite way of cooking fish; fish is
But don't be put off; it mellows out      typically kept whole, seasoned,
and harmonizes in the cooking             wrapped in banana leaves and grilled
leaving     behind    an   understated    over hot charcoals. Many local Malay
richness that simply cannot be            hawker stalls specialize in Ikan
reproduced. Best described as all         Panggang [Grilled fish] or Ikan
'natural' flavor enhancer, belacan is     Bakar [Barbecued Fish].
what gives many of the foods from
Southeast      Asia      -    Malaysia,   Depending on the main basic
Singapore,      Thailand,    Indonesia,   'flavoring' ingredient; Malay dishes
Vietnam - that authentic flavor and       can be more or less, distinguished
zest!                                     into several 'styles' of cooking:
As in most countries of Southeast         Masak Lemak [coconut], Masak
Asia, rice is staple. It is served for    Pedas [sambal, hot chilies], Masak
lunch, dinner and often breakfast.        Assam [tamarind], Masak Merah
Originally    eaten    as   a   hearty    [tomato sauce], Masak Hitam [dark-
breakfast Nasi Lemak is a meal of         sweet soy sauce] and Masak Assam
rice cooked in santan [coconut milk]      Pedas [tamarind & sambal, hot
served with a side of Sambal Ikan         chilies]. These basic styles of
Bilis [dried anchovies cooked in a        cooking can be applied to a variety
sambal], cucumber slices, hard            of food, from meats, poultry and
boiled egg and peanuts, and               vegetables to all kinds of seafood
traditionally packaged in a fresh         and fish. Popular dishes are Ayam
banana leaf. Most meals are eaten         Masak Merah; chicken cooked in a
with fingers and utensils are kept to     spicy tomato sauce, goes great with
a minimum. All dishes are served at       nasi tomato [tomato rice]. Udang
the same time, usually accompanied        Masak Pedas; prawns cooked in a
by a refreshing drink such as air         hot chili sauce, Ikan Masak Assam
sirap [rose syrup] or air limau [lime     Pedas; fish cooked with tamarind and
juice]. Seafood such as shrimp or         sambal or hot chilies and Nangka
rather prawn [which is the general        Masak     Lemak;     young   jackfruit
term commonly used in Malaysia for        cooked in coconut milk. There are
all types/sizes of this crustacean],      innumerable        renowned       and
squid and fish in particular, are         distinguished Malay dishes; many of
popular in Malay cuisine. Fish caught     which can only be had at home. The
from local waters such as ikan            best way to experience typical Malay
kembong [chubb or Indian mackerel],       food is to be invited for makan
[meaning 'to eat', in Malay] in a         sauced dishes, and delicious deep-
Malay home. There are also regional       fried foods. Some of the popular
dishes which are specialties of           dishes are Sambal Udang or Sambal
different parts of the country. One of    Sotong; prawns or squid in a spicy
the most celebrated Malaysian dish        chili belacan sauce. Ayam Panggang;
worldwide is Beef Rendang; a must-        grilled chicken Malay-style, Otak
have for celebrations and special         Otak [fish mousse]; a mildly spiced
occasions! Soup is not necessarily        coconut milk fish mousse steamed or
prevalent in Malay cuisine; however       grilled in banana leaves. Other
there is a soup or stew that is           popular dishes are Sambal Tahu
particularly popular Sup Kambing          Goreng; deep-fried tofu topped with
[mutton soup], made of mutton             sambal sauce, Daging Masak Kicap;
bones, shanks or ribs slow simmered       beef cooked in a dark-sweet soy
with aromatic herbs and spices. Pork      sauce and Ayam Kampung Masak
however is forbidden in Malay             Lemak Cili Padi; free-range [village]
cooking as it is against religious        chicken cooked in santan [coconut
beliefs to consume pork. Another          milk] and cili padi [Thai bird chilies].
famous Malay classic is the 'meat-        The all-time everyday favorites and
on-a-stick' Satay. Chicken, beef or       quick-fix's are Nasi Goreng [fried
mutton satays are cooked over hot         rice] and Mee Goreng [fried noodles]
charcoals and served with fresh           cooked     Malay     style.    Another
cucumber, onion and a spicy peanut        everyday favorite is a delicious,
dipping sauce. The spicy peanut           satisfying noodle dish called Laksa;
dipping sauce is what makes satay         fresh rice noodles, garnished with
special, and great for dipping ketupat,   fresh cucumbers, onions, lettuce and
a Malay rice cake.                        served in a savory and tangy fish
                                          soup or gravy.
Many Malay restaurants and stalls
serve what is called Nasi Padang;         Nasi Kerabu or Nasi Ulam, is a
the name originated from Padang, a        regional specialty from the state of
district in West Sumatra. It is not one   Kelantan on the east coast of
particular dish but rather a meal of      Malaysia. Traditionally, the rice is
rice served with any number of meat,      tinted bright blue from petals of
fish, poultry and vegetable dishes.       flowers called bunga telang [clitoria
The rice can be plain [nasi kosong]       in English]. For a family size serving
or lightly flavored such as nasi          of rice, hundreds of these petals
kunyit [turmeric rice]; rice spiced       have to be sun-dried and boiled in
with turmeric, or nasi minyak [ghee       water. There are several varieties of
rice]; rice cooked with ghee              local herbs; daun kentut, daun kudu,
[clarified butter]. A wide array of       cekur, seven types of daun larak and
dishes are available for you to           kucing seduduk, which is used to tint
choose to eat with your choice of         the rice in different colors; red,
rice; from highly spiced and tongue-      black or blue. The most used variety
burning     hot   dishes,    to   mild,   for Nasi Kerabu is the 'blue color'
aromatically    spiced    stews     and   variety of petals. This naturally
tinted 'blue rice' is served with Ulam.   endless; many are unique creations
Ulam is combination of fresh              made by home chefs, not found
aromatic herbs; local mint, basil,        anywhere in the culinary circle of
lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves,           the dessert world!
turmeric leaves and raw vegetables;
bean sprouts, long green beans,
shallots, cucumber, are combined
together     with     strong   flavored
ingredients such as salted fish, dried
prawns, fish crackers, kerisik [fried
grated coconut] and other savory
                                                            : Coconut-flavored
                                          Rice Meal - is rice cooked in
                                          coconut milk made aromatic with
One of the most unique Malay
                                          pandan leaves [screwpine leaves]. It
culinary creation is Roti Jala ['net'
                                          is typically served with Sambal Ikan
bread] which is a sort of crepe or
                                          Bilis - fried dried anchovies cooked
thin pancake. It is made from a
                                          in a dry sambal sauce, and garnished
crepe-like batter of plain flour, eggs,
                                          with cucumber slices, hard boiled
butter and coconut milk with a dash
                                          egg      and      roasted    peanuts.
of turmeric for coloring. A special
                                          Traditionally packaged in a banana
mould or cup with small holes is
                                          leaf, it is usually eaten as hearty
used to make a 'lacy' crepe, cooked
                                          breakfast fare.
briefly over a hot greased griddle.
Roti Jala is an ideal accompaniment
to dishes with lots of rich curry
                                                         BBQ Sticks - This
sauces or gravy, and is usually
                                          famous meat-on-a-stick appears on
served during special occasions.
                                          menus from New York                to
Desserts are often served after a
                                          Amsterdam. The secret of tender,
meal or an an afternoon snack; many
                                          succulent satay is, of course, in the
are home-made although most are
                                          rich, spicy-sweet marinade. The
easily available from local hawker
                                          marinated meat; chicken or beef, are
stalls and restaurants especially
                                          skewered onto bamboo sticks and
during Ramadan, the religious fasting
                                          grilled over hot charcoals. Some
period. Malay desserts are quite
                                          satay stalls also serve venison and
exceptional, using ingredients such
                                          rabbit satay. A fresh salad of
as Santan [coconut milk], fresh
                                          cucumbers & onions are served
grated coconut, palm sugar and a
                                          together with a spicy-sweet peanut
unique plant leave called pandan or
                                          sauce for dipping. Ketupat, a Malay
pandanus [screwpine]. This locally
                                          rice cake similar to Lontong, is also
grown plant leave is used often in
                                          an accompaniment to satay, great for
dessert making. It lends essence
                                          dipping in satay sauce. Dee'lish!!
rather than a taste, much like the
ubiquitous vanilla bean. During the
Malay New Year [Hari Raya or Eid],                            : Malay Spiced
the variety of cakes and dessert are      Coconut Beef - This hot, dry spiced
dish of tenderly simmered meat
offers the typical Malaysian taste of               : Noodles in Tangy Fish
coconut, balanced with robust, tangy     Soup - Thick rice noodles are
spices. Rendang is a must-have on        served in a tangy fish soup/gravy.
special occasions such as weddings,      Not at all fishy, the soupy gravy is
ideally served with nasi kunyit          made with mackerel and lots of
[turmeric rice]. During Ramadan &        aromatic herbs. Fresh garnishing of
Eid, the Malay New Year, Rendang is      shredded       cucumber,       lettuce,
sure to take center stage on             pineapple, onion and fragrant mint
bountiful tables of feast in homes       leaves finishes the dish. In general
everywhere. During this festive          the term Laksa refers to Malay style
season, a special rice cake called       laksa, sometimes called Malay Laksa.
Lemang is made to eat with Rendang.      There are slight variations in
Lemang is made from glutinous rice       different parts of the country. The
and santan [coconut milk], carefully     key ingredient is tamarind, used as a
packed into bamboo poles lined with      souring agent, giving it a tart tangy
banana leaves and cooked in the          taste. This version of laksa from the
traditionally way over low open fires.   'hawker food capital' - Penang, is
                                         especially famous and well known as
                                         Penang Laksa or Penang Assam
                      : Spicy Prawns     Laksa.
- whole prawns or shrimp are
cooked in a classic Malay sauce; a
spicy robust sauce made with chilies,                     : Indonesian style
shallots, garlic, stewed tomatoes,       Noodles - is a popular Malay noodle
tamarind paste and belacan [also         dish influenced by the Indonesian
spelt belachan or blacan], a dried       island of Java. The soupy gravy is
shrimp paste paste. Sambal Udang is      made from fresh prawns and ladled
the perfect accompaniment to the         over yellow egg noodles [chow
country's un-official national dish -    mein]. Slices of potato, tofu [soy
Nasi Lemak.                              bean cake], egg, vegetables and
                                         shrimp garnishes the dish.

                            : Red-
Cooked Chicken - is similar to the                       : 'Net' Bread or Crepe
Italian   famous     dish  Chicken       - is a net-like or lacy type of crepe
Cacciatore except for it spicy           made from a flour batter. A special
hotness. Pieces of chicken are first     cup or mould with small holes, is
pan-fried to a golden brown then         used to form a lacy crepe cooked on
slowly simmered in a spicy tomato        a hot griddle. Roti Jala, an alternative
sauce. This popular Malay dish is        to rice, is an ideal accompaniment to
especially scrumptious with nasi         curries such as Malaysian Chicken
tomato [tomato rice].                    Curry,      Mutton Kurma, Chicken
                                         Kapitan, Lamb Cashew Korma [also
                                         spelt Korma].
                                          belacan; serve with steamed rice and
                                          you've got yourself a meal!
                  : BBQ Fish - or
Ikan Panggang is a general term
meaning grilled or barbecued fish. A                       : Malay Fish Mousse
popular local fish for grilling is Ikan   - fresh fish fillets are blended with
Kembong [chubb mackerel, also             light spices, coconut milk, kaffir lime
called Indian mackerel]. The fish,        leaves and other aromatic herbs, into
kept whole is marinated in spices,        a sort of fish mousse. The fish
coconut milk, and sometimes stuffed       mousse is wrapped in banana leaves
with sambal, then wrapped in fresh        and steamed or grilled. It makes an
banana leaves and grilled over hot        exotic appetizer or cocktail party
charcoals.                                bite!

                          :    BBQ                             : Mutton Soup -
Stingray or Skate Wings - A popular       mutton bones, shanks or ribs are
method of cooking stingray or skate       slow simmered with aromatic herbs
wings is by barbequing. The wings         and spices. Garnished with fried
are marinated in spices then              shallots and fresh cilantro, it is a
wrapped in banana leaves and grilled      hearty meal served with steamed
over hot charcoals. A spicy sambal        rice.   This    flavorful   soup     -
sauce with fresh shallots is served       surprisingly   earthy,    satisfyingly
with it.                                  meaty, elegant and subtle - will
                                          forever change the way you view
                                          soup. Oxtails are perfect in this
                       : Spicy Squid      recipe to make Sup Ekor, also called
- fresh squid [calamari] are cooked       Sup Buntut [Oxtail Soup].
in a classic Malay sauce; a spicy
robust sauce made with chilies,
shallots, garlic, stewed tomatoes,                               :     Coconut
tamarind paste and belacan [also          Vegetable Stew -       Sayur Lodeh
spelt belachan or blacan], a dried        means a variety of vegetables in
shrimp paste. Sambal Sotong is also       coconut gravy. Vegetables such as
a popular accompaniment to the            cabbage, carrots, green beans and
country's un-official national dish -     cauliflower, are stewed in a lightly
Nasi Lemak.                               spiced coconut broth. For a complete
                                          and hearty meal, the vegetable stew
                                          is served with a Malay rice cake
                   : 'Chili-ed' Eggs      called nasi impit more familiarly
- an 'egg-cellent' recipe for those       known     as   Lontong.    A   great
days when all you've left in the          vegetarian dish!
fridge are eggs.. Hard-boil those
eggs, 'chili' them up with sambal,
kick it up a notch with a touch of                         : Indian Pastry
                                          Pancake - Indian in origin, this rich
and flaky pastry pancake has now
come to be known as a favorite                            : Coconut Poppers -
Malaysian 'appetizer' in Malaysian       small round balls made from
eateries all over the globe. Roti        glutinous rice flour with pandan
Canai [also called Roti Prata] is        [screwpine] leaves essence, filled
served with a side of curry for          with palm sugar and rolled in fresh
dipping, usually a Malaysian Chicken     grated coconut. A delight to eat as it
Curry.                                   pops in your mouth with a sweet
                                         sensation of oozing palm syrup!

: or Kari Ayam in Malay, is a typical                      : Steamed Coconut
chicken curry cooked in almost all       Pudding - this 2 layered pudding
Malaysian homes. This basic recipe       made of rice flour, sago flour and
uses a Made in Malaysia Meat Curry       coconut milk is cooked by steaming.
Powder. It has just the right blend of   Pandan [screwpine] leaves lends
spices for an authentic 'Malaysian-      essence and the green color to one
tasting' curry! Some ingredients may     layer. A white coconut layer goes on
vary - Malay homes might add serai       top. A not too sweet and light
[lemongrass], lengkuas [galangal],       dessert!
kunyit [fresh turmeric root] or
assam jawa [tamarind].
                                                        : Glutinous Rice with
                                         Coconut Topping - a kind of 'dry'
                                : is a   rice pudding made from glutinous
typical fish curry cooked in almost      rice & coconut milk. It is cooked by
all Malaysian homes. This basic          steaming. The dessert rice is topped
recipe uses a Made in Malaysia Fish      with fresh grated coconut sweetened
Curry Powder. It has just the right      with palm sugar. It is traditionally
blend of spices for an authentic         wrapped in banana leaves folded into
'Malaysian-tasting' fish curry! Some     a pyramid shape.
ingredients vary - Malay homes
might cook with lengkuas [galangal],
assam gelugor [tamarind skins], cili                          :   Black    Rice
padi [Thai Bird chilies], serai          Pudding - a rice pudding made from
[lemongrass], assam jawa [tamarind]      black glutinous rice sweetened with
and belacan [also spelt belachan or      brown palm sugar. A surrey of
blacan] a dried shrimp paste.            creamy coconut milk is swirled over
                                         the rice pudding before it is served.

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