Cuisines

 Penang Nyonya Cuisine 

Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine  is a combination of Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend.

Peranakans are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word “nyonya” a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part “madame” and part “auntie”), has come to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans.

Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. This gives rise to Peranakan interpretations of Malay/Indonesian food that is similarly tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. In other instances, the Peranakans have adopted Malay cuisine as part of their taste palate, such as assam fish and beef rendang.

There are regional variations in Nonya cooking. Dishes from the island of Penang in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia possess Thai influences, such as more liberal use of tamarind and other sour ingredients. Dishes from Singapore and Malacca show a greater Indonesian influence, such as the use of coconut milk. A classic example is laksa (a spicy noodle soup), which comes in two variants: the sour asam laksa from Penang and the coconut milk-based laksa lemak from Singapore and the southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia.

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Malay Cuisine

Malay cuisine is the cuisine which consists of Malay people of various countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Mindanao and Southern Thailand. Different Malay regions are all known for their unique or signature dishes

The main characteristic in traditional Malay cuisine is undoubtedly the generous use of spices. The coconut milk is also important in giving the Malay dishes their rich, creamy character. The other foundation is belacan (shrimp paste), which is used as a base for sambal, a rich sauce or condiment made from belacan, chili peppers, onions and garlic. Malay cooking also makes plentiful use of lemongrass and galangal.

Nearly every Malay meal is served with rice, the staple food in many other East Asian cultures. Nasi lemak, rice cooked in rich coconut milk probably is the most popular dish ubiquitous in Malay town and villages. Nasi lemak is considered as Malaysia’s national dish and is one of our sought after class in the school.

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Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions.

Staple foods of Indian cuisine include rice, whole-wheat flour and a variety of lentils. Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil and some recipes calls for Butter-based ghee,(clarified butter).Spices and flavorings in Indian cuisine such as chilli pepper, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, garam masala are widely used in the cooking.

Malaysian Indian cuisine, or the cooking of the ethnic Indian communities in Malaysia consists of adaptations of authentic dishes from India, as well as original creations inspired by the diverse food culture of Malaysia. Because the vast majority of Malaysia’s Indian community are of South Indian descent, and are mostly ethnic Tamils who are descendants of immigrants from a historical region which consists of the modern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, much of Malaysian Indian cuisine is predominantly South Indian inspired in character and taste.

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