Malaysia is a melting pot of various ethnic and culture. Due to this unique makeup of Malaysia, from the moment you open your eyes, there are enormous finger-licking good cuisines await you to choose. Basically, you name it you have it!
Today, let me introduce you, a must-try mouth-watering cuisine in Malaysia — Banana Leaf Rice!
Banana leaf rice is a traditional South Indian vegetarian cuisine. Since the migration of South Indians to Malaysia in 1900s, banana leaf rice has become a fulfilling meal enjoyed by all Malaysian which can be easily found in the country.
Let’s imagine, you are starving now and in front of you are scoopfuls of steaming hot rice covered with generous curry gravy of your choice, which is served on a broad piece of aromatic banana leaf.
The hot steamed rice itself is already aromatic enough to make you drooling as it fully absorbed the goodness of the thick, spiced curry gravy and the nature fragrant of the banana leaf. You may even choose as many types of gravy as you like to flood your rice!
So tempting, isn’t? Do get ready some tissues to wipe off your saliva while your are reading, just in case 😛
Oh yeah, talking about banana leaf, besides its natural aroma, it is also famous for its antibacterial and biodegradable values hence making it the perfect device for food.
Serving with the aromatic rice are 3 to 4 types of vegetables which normally placed on the top half of the leaf and consist of cucumber pickles, deep-fried bitter gourd, various types of stir fried vegetables such as cabbage, beans, beansprouts, spinach, potatoes and bean curds.
Among all these alluring vegetable platters, I personally love the crispy and perfectly spiced deep-fried bitter gourd the most. Even a friend of mine who hates eating bitter gourd, can’t resist this dish.
Give it a try, you will definitely love it too!
There are various types of sauces or gravy which are freshly made daily and normally unlimited refill which consist of different tastes such as spicy, sour and salty, to tickle your taste buds.
Besides, the diversity of must-have curry gravy, you are definitely going to fall in love with Dhal (chickpea / lentil based gravy), Rasam (tamarind juiced based sauce with spicy and sour taste,), dried chili and sambal as well as the homemade yogurt (called Thairu, meant to tone down the spiciness).
Not to forget Poppadum, the best accompaniment to banana leaf rice! Poppadum is a deep-fried, thin and crispy snacks made from dried lentils and variety of spices. This spiced thin cracker is so addictive that once you had the first bite, you can’t stop eating it and believe me, you are going to order more!
While the traditional features are well-preserved, banana leave rice in Malaysia has been localised to included non-vegetarian sides dishes and variety of meats as well.
Thus, you can order various of delicious side dishes such as mutton curry, chicken curry, fish curry, fried squid, fried chicken, fried fish, sambal prawns, omelettes even curry crabs, to accomplish your dining experience.
One thing I love Indian food is, every dish is perfectly marinated with spices and nicely cooked to maintain its juiciness and freshness, making every bite a satisfying one.
When it comes to an authentic banana leaf rice dining experience, forget your utensil and use only your hand to enjoy the food. This is because, for Indian, eating is sensual activity, thus by using hand, you are able to feel and touch the food which is going to heighten your senses and enhance the taste.
Nonetheless, just bear in mind that never use your left hand when eating banana leaf rice due to sanity reasons.
Once done with the meal, you may express your satisfaction by folding the leaf inwards. However, if you are not happy with the meal, you may of course fold the leaf in the opposite direction…
If you were to ask me why I recommend banana leaf rice among all the local cuisines, perhaps, this is one of the few local cuisines that allow eaters to enjoy all the flavors such as spicy, salty, sour, sweet as well as various textures, in just one platter.
Every accompaniment and condiment has its own character yet they accomplish each other to make every bite of Banana leaf so delighting.
In addition, Banana leaf rice is well representing the uniqueness of Malaysia, despite there are variety ethic, culture and religions in the country, everyone is living harmoniously.
Enjoy your banana leaf rice..Bon appetit:)
#Malaysia #MalaysianFood #bananaleafrice