Sunday August 3, 2008
Top Malaysian treats
Cutting down on tea/coffee breaks is virtually impossible with the array of tempting snacks we have. One of the favourite pastimes of Malaysians is eating snacks and if you feel like having some local delicious for your teatime then head out and buy some of these food and enjoy them with your family and friends.
1. Pulut Panggang
Filled with a delectable coconut and dried prawn filling, this cylindrical snack is further grilled to ensure the glutinous rice is smoky and slightly charred.
2. Curry Puff
A good filling is no doubt, the most important part of this snack. A good one would be filled with potato and meat or in recent times, sweet potato, which is cheaper, has become an alternative.
3. Egg Tart
There are two versions, the smooth egg tart that is always sold by Nyonya cake sellers or the Portugese version, which is baked with a slightly crisp top in a puff pastry shell.
4. Seri Muka
The queen of Nyonya kuih, the seri muka, which has a bottom layer of glutinous rice and the top, a concoction of eggs, rice flour and pandanus juice, it is served cool and easily digestable.
5. Kuih Lapis
This is definitely a hot Nyonya favourite as many, be they children or adults, just love to peel the cake layer by layer and eat it as slowly as possible, alternating between the red and white layers.
6. Cucur Udang/Prawn Fritters
Crunchy and flavourful, it is one of the main ingredients for rojak and pasembor and one of the fast moving snacks that is simply eaten with diluted chilli sauce when bought at stalls for evening tea.
7. Vadai/ Dhall Patties
Savoury and filled with onion and chillies and roughly mashed lentils, they are best eaten when freshly fried and sizzling from the pan.
This round morsels of fine bread, filled with interesting fillings from savouries of meat and chicken to sweet ones like kaya, custard, red bean and lotus paste, is welcomed at any time of the day as a snack.
9. Putu Piring
Made of steamed rice flour, palm sugar and rounded off with freshly grated coconut, this cake is further steamed after being shaped into round saucers and can be addictive, even after you feel full.
10. Goreng Pisang
There is nothing like it in the world. First you feel the crunch as you bite into it, then the juicy sweetness and a little sourish taste as you bite in deeper. The goreng pisang is undoubtedly a national favourite.
Although I would agree with most of the selection, I would still like to list down my own personal favourites as follows :
Whether in wet, fried or sauced form, this is one treat that I strongly feel all Malaysians would agree should be included in the list as every ethnic component has their own version of this anytime treat. My personal favourite is the sauced version where a fried popiah is dipped in a sweet and spicy sauce coating and left to dry afterwhich it is sprinkled wit sesame seeds. It takes great skill to ensure that the popiah itself remains crispy after being coated with the spicy sauce.
b. Tepung Pelita
The favoured name in my homestate is Limas, this sweet boat of layered pandan flavoured glutinous rice swimming in sugar syrup and topped with a coconut milk sauce is a favourite breaking fast treat whereby you can find stall only selling this treat at the Ramadhan Bazaars.
This chinese cruellers that is known as yau char kwai in chinese and just plain chakoi in Malay is a true Malaysian bread enjoyed by all Malaysian, and unlike its other Malaysian brethren the Roti Chanai is a compact and portable food that can be eaten anywhere. Although it may have originated elsewhere, Malaysians has taken to this food of 2 pieces of dough stuck together and fried greatly and it can be seen being dipped into many types of sauuces, broth, or even with fruits rojak but the best can be eaten on its own as the flavour is so yummy by itself.
D. Putu Mayam
Over here putu mayam or string hoppers in general are eaten more as a sweet treat with shave cocunut and palm sugar rather than as complete meal with curries and such. I personally prefer it this way as I cannot seem to get full when it is eaten as a meal. Though usually sold cold by travelling food vendors, there are places where you can get them freshly steamed and these are the best way to eat them if you are are able to do so.
E. Kacang Putih
Coming from THE Kacang Putih City in Malaysia, I consider Kacang Putih as an anytime treat, something to keep at hand when you do not have time to make your own treats or patronise the kueh stalls. You can recognise an Ipohite if you find their bag of Kacang Putih is a mixed with the various type of kacang in what is internationally known as the Bombay mix although I prefer to call it the Ipoh mix. This mix with a myriad of flavours is an excellent accompaniment to your cuppa, especially when you are reading a book or watching the idiot box since the mix are usually dry, you do not get messy fingers when indulging.
Well these five are the list left-outs that immediately comes to my mind although there are many others that I can think off later. Maybe I will write about them another time eh?