Malaysian food #1 "Roti Canai"

1/07/2005 10:49:00 AM

We have just returned from a month in Malaysia, eating our way through. Here is the first in a series of posts about the food we ate.

Malaysian food predominantly a mix of Malay (i.e. Malaysian Muslim), Chinese and Indian food, although, of course, there are other influences (e.g. British colonialism etc).

But the most important thing (for me, anyway) about eating in Malaysia is not necessarily what you eat, but how you eat. People eat 4-5 times a day. There's breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and supper... and that's not including snacks and little treats (of which there are many). There are always food shops open. Even at 3am in the morning, you will be able to find a curry shop, or a little kopitiam (coffee shop) in which to have a drink. All social events revolve around food, and when you meet a friend, the common greeting is "Have you eaten yet?". Sharing food itself can be a social event, and in the case of the older relatives especially, sharing food is sharing love and friendship. And it's cheap! So so cheap!

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at about 10pm (that's 1am Australian time), and after dumping our bags at our cousin's house, went straight to a local (southern) Indian shop for Roti Canai! That's flaky Indian bread, cooked on a hot griddle, served with curry for dipping and eaten with the hands. The best roti is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and definitely cooked all the way through!

Mee & my Roti - first night in Kuala Lumpur

What a great way to start our trip!

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