BY RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR
Malaysia, described as the enchanting ‘Slice of Asia’, with its colourful potpourri of races and culture offers profusion of mouth-watering delicacies.
The culinary traditions of Oriental Asia in general and Malays in particular are well known. The traditional Malay food is characterised by searingly spicy and aromatic flavours. Rich coconut milk is also used to give a creamy texture to Malay dishes, while ingredients such as ginger buds, pandan leaves, and cinnamon render an irresistible fragrance to the delights on the table.
The connoisseurs of food would now be able to savour various recipes of Malaysia at the Malaysian Food Festival all set to open at the Wan Hao Restaurant of the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa from November 17 and continue for next 11 days.
The Sous Chef Sushil Kumar at the Resort informed that he and his team of chefs have made all arrangements to present the Malaysian food in its tastiest splendour. “The Malay food will range from starters to soups and main course to rice and noodles, not to forget delicious desserts,” he informed, stating that during the festival period, the restaurant, in addition to the Malay menu, will also offer its Chinese menu.
“We have tried to keep the Malay food as authentic as possible,” Sous Chef stated, maintaining that his kitchen would also customise the food based on individual needs. “We will serve the Malay dishes without spice and/or prawns, if such a request comes from any visitor to the food festival,” he noted, observing that the Malay menu includes vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes.
Malaysia’s cuisine, which reflects the multi-ethnic makeup of its population, and multi-cultural influences from within the country as well as from surrounding regions have rice, and noodles as its main ingredients. Much of influence on Malay food came from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Javanese, and Sumatran cultures.
Starters like Murtabak or Malay styled stuffed bread served with curry sauce and Malaysian satay or a dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce, and the soups including Soto Ayam (chicken clear soup), and Sop Sayur (vegetarian clear soup) is a treat to enjoy. Main courses like Udang Belachan or prawn tossed with spicy shrimp dip and Percik Ikan or grilled fish served with coconut gravy, on the other hand should be tasted to be believed.
The menu further includes rice and noodle dishes such as Nasi Goreng, literally meaning fried rice and Char Kway Toeh or Malay street-styled stir fried flat noodles. Desserts comprise of Bubur Chacha or coconut milk porridge with sweet potato and finally, coconut and chocolate spring roll.