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written by Maren Aline Merken on 16. October 2014

Indian Food in Malaysia – forget about forks or knives

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I have been to India a few times - good food always included. Anyway there are a few Indians in beautiful Malaysia which show what the have and spoil their guests with it - with all their senses...

Eistee Indien
Freshly made Indian Ice Tea

As most of you know Asia won my heart when I first visited it in 2007. This continent is so multi-layered and colorful that it is hard to grasp it. I recently been to Malaysia, one of the Asian countries with the highest part of muslims in the Southeast. The kitchen here is a true meltin pot. From Chinese dumplings to tasty lebanese meat and from cold Asian beer to tasty tea and ginger lemonade. Malay food has so many influences that it is hard to define it.

DSC03782Not sure what they put onto our table – but was delicious

But today we’ ll put that aside and focus on the many Indians who live in Malaysia. Indian food is easy to get in Malaysia – especially in cities like Kuala Lumpur or sizzling locations like touristy Penang in the North. In Melaka, right behind the Singaporean border, I found a small place selling Indian food like it has to be: No menu, no knives or forks and of course almost no English knowledge.

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Strange at first to eat with your hands – but then its quite practical

As we sat down at the pretty steril and clean tables the waiter came to our table. But there wasn’t one or two of them: Within a few seconds six waiters surrounded us, all with different items. One of them put down a banana leaf in front of us – which served as a plate. The other ones placed food on it: Rice, raita (Yogurt with vegetables and mint), different curries, Dhal (lentils with sauce), meat and vegetables. If you want to get the real deal – you have to get dirty – because here it is all about eating with your hands. And after a while you get used to it: with your hands the ingredients can easily be mixed together, formed like a ball and  be put in your mouth.

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P India

On the wall we found warning saying “No spitting” which seemed hilarious first – but understandable when the first Chinese and Indian guests sat down next to us and started spitting the rests of their food on table and floor.

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Still the food was delicious – those fine herbs went perfectly together: Vegetables were spiced with curcuma, curry and ginger and the cool raita with its mint in in helped to neutralize some of the very spicy sauces.
The banana leaf made the experience so original and basic: The food was the main point of interest – no need for plates, knives, forks or tissues. Plain good eating!

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