The Flavors of Malaysia

(Click on the photos to see them in full view)

Kuala Lumpur at Night
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Malaysia is a very colorful, diverse and multicultural country. Malaysia is roughly comprised of 65% Malay and other indigenous tribes, 25% Chinese and 7% Indians. The people are very friendly and warm.

Eid, Diwali and Christmas along with Buddhist holidays are observed there. Their cuisine is also just as colorful – a fusion of spices and ethnic styles. This diverse cultural mix has creates a wonderful Malaysian cuisine. Indian dishes like curry prepared Indian and Chinese style, Chinese noodles made Malay and Indian style, and so on.

Here’s a menu I put together (from starters to dessert) with the most popular Malaysian dishes that will make a “Malaysian Night” at home.

Satay (Imran Virani’s favorite)
Roti Canai

Mee Goreng

Malaysian Chicken Curry
Nasi Lemak

Cendol

Kopi (coffee)

During my last visit to Kuala Lumpur (KL is the capital), Malaysia, I became friends with the Hotel Istana staff (where we were staying) – especially the chefs and cooks. I was able to fool around in their kitchen learn some tricks and tips in Malaysian cooking too.

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With the kitchen staff of Taman Sari Brasserie at the Hotel Istana

I’ll post these recipes in the upcoming days, but if you’re interested in making good and authentic Malaysian food then you should get this recipe book:

Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia by James Oseland.

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It was in the list of the ten “Best Asian Books of 2006” by Time Magazine.

The author lived in the Spice Islands of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore for two decades. He’s American but doesn’t try to change or “westernize” the recipes to suit American taste buds so if you want the real thing then this is a great book for authentic Malaysian cuisine.

Here are a few pictures of our trip to Malaysia (Click on the photos to see them in full view):

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Having an extra helping of Satay for Imran

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We had the entire pool to ourselves

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Birjees, Darin and Safeona -Darin’s babysitter (yeah – I know she’s cute – even I wanted one) at the Istana Lobby.

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“Beauty and the Beast” – Hitting the clubs

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Birjees helping me work on about a dozen different Malaysian desserts after dinner

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Birjees, Darin and me at the magnificent Thean Hou Buddhist Temple situated on top of a hill overlooking the city

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The sleek and stylish Negara Mosque with its 73 ft. minaret. Capacity of 15,000 – it is one of the largest mosques in East Asia.

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Prayer hall at Thean Hou Buddhist Temple – it is a great place to visit

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On the way to Bukit Bintang

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Shopping at Bukit Bintang

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Darin with Thomas at the Taman Sari Brasserie (Hotel Istana)

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Darin and Birjees

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