I spent a few days in Malaysia visiting family last summer and on our last day we stopped for a snack at some food stalls before heading back to Bangkok. Like I mentioned in my Melaka post, the Chinese and Portuguese have left their mark on Malaysian food but what about the Indians? The Indian food that we see in Malaysia today is influenced by the Tamil Muslims that migrated from South India way back when. To exposed me to yet another facade to Malaysian cuisine, my uncles took me to a mini outdoor food court that specializes in Muslim Indian foods also known as a Mamak stall.
Roti Canai is popular in Southeast Asia and I’ve always enjoyed watching the spinning, tossing and slamming that sellers perform which is a successful tactic used to attract attention to their stalls. The simple dough is made with ghee, flour, water and eggs but the best part is what goes inside. Some popular options are eggs, condensed milk, bananas or just plain butter and sugar. The flour is tossed and given a good ol’ bashin’ and then folded into a square package. Lastly, the Roti is fried in a hot pan with ghee or oil and the outside browns while the layers puff up while it cooks.
We ordered one egg Roti and one banana and sugar Roti. As expected it was buttery and crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. A creamy Dhal curry was also served as a condiment to the Roti and before we knew it, we had eaten all of it and it was time for tea.
Teh Tarik which literally means pulled tea is made of black tea, condensed milk and evaporated milk but the excitement lies in the making of it. Showy Teh Tarik masters go to great lengths to show their tea pulling skills by pouring tea from cup to cup from stretched arms. Some even dance while pouring the tea and always succesfsfully do so without spilling! The motive behind this is to cool the drink and to thoroughly mix the condensed milk. Trust me, it tastes better after appreciating the efforts gone to make this drink.
I was ready to leave after my cup of tea but a tall cone-like crispy dough arrived at our table and one of my uncles proudly presented the “Roti Tissue.” This hat looking snack was fun to share because we could all tear and pick from the crispy, lighly buttered and sugared dough. This wrapped up a food filled trip to Malaysia. Next on my to-go list is Penang!