Malaysia Country Guide



Indian Cuisine

Indians in Malaysia have had a disproportionately large impact on the country's culinary scene with the mamak (Indian Muslim) stalls and restaurants having acquired in every Malaysian city and town. Authentic Indian food in Malaysia includes typical South Indian specialties such as dosai, idli, sambhar, uttapam as well as some north Indian meals like naan bread, korma, and tandoori chicken. In addition, however, a number of Indian dishes have been "Malaysianized" and adopted by the entire population.

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Norther Indian restaurant

Northern Indian restaurant in Petaling Jaya

Fish Head Curry
Fish head curry is, true to the name, a gigantic curried fish head cooked whole until it's ready to fall apart. The head itself is not eaten, as there's plenty of meat to be found inside and all around. Note that there are two distinct styles, the fiery Indian and the milder Chinese kind (the latter is sometimes served as a broth for vermicelli noodles).

Fried Noodles
'Mamak-style' mee goreng (fried noodles) is a ubiquitous dish found at mamak stalls and restaurants, a dish loved by many Malaysians.

Briyani Rice
Nasi briyani (briyani rice) is assembled by layering the flavorful rice with tender pieces of spiced-cooked lamb, mutton or chicken. At nasi kandar restaurants, it refers to rice that is cooked without the meat, and is merely a choice of rice to eat with your selection of curries and side dishes.

Roti Chanai
Roti chanai is the Malaysian adaptation of the South Indian parotta, flat bread tossed in the air like pizza and then grilled. The bread is dipped in dhal or curry as gravy. Variations include include roti telur (with egg) and murtabak (stuffed with chicken, mutton or fish) and roti tisu (made very thin like tissue paper and laced with caramelized sugar).

Putu Mayam
Putu mayam is composed of vermicelli-like rice noodles usually mixed with shredded coconut and a dash of caramilized sugar.
Roti chanai

The popular roti chanai

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