Our small research detachment in the head of the expedition, researcher (me) and the charter-consultant and observer (for us) named Visvanan, moved along Malaysia. And every new staff, a new city and rural settlement discovered us a variety of this country and its people. The town of Ipoh, nice by publicly accessible chinese chickenies, Penang Island, famous for Indian Muslim cuisine, everywhere Malay kebabs and fish curry. I cite exactly these details, because food is what people feed on everyday life, and treats submitted to honorary guests on holidays – was far from the last subject of our interests.
Of course, in a country where the population is homogeneous, it is similar everywhere – with all the differences – and his food. But in Malaysia, where a mixture of peoples and races to match riot of tropical nature, our task is complicated. That is – you can explore the organoleptic (in a simple way: to taste), a selection of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines all, and if lucky, and uncomplicated, but obviously nutritious foods forest people: Dayak, Semanggi, hay (in Malay, by the way , they’re called "Orang-utan" — "forest people", and there is nothing offensive, Malays, in the end, for European linguistic errors are not the answer). But we took a different question: Is there any Malaysian cuisine? It – Malaysian, not Malay, Chinese and Indian individually.
The driver Consultant Viswanathan listened to our aspirations and as planned (as part of the approved plan of the Ministry of Tourism) our route, we could deal with the culinary sophistication, not looking up from the main tasks and how to combine them with lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. I can not keep silent about the fact that the expedition leader, adept Chinese food, mostly indulged in her study, leaving the Malay and Indian to me.
So we stopped in a small village in the state of Selangor, where most Malays.
On a busy roadside market from under huge sun umbrellas smoke poured. Venerable age uncle in a white apron slowly dispersed the white clubs round straw fan-shaped leaf, and lemon grass broom clutched in the other hand, sprinkled with oil fragrance exudes a delicious pudding, and it hissed on the coals in a long iron grill. On a wooden plate, wire tied to the umbrella, then — "satay ayam" — traditional for Malaysian and Indonesian food – kebab Chicken on small bamboo sticks. In a large round bowl on a table next to the barbecue shalashika it was piled prepared for roasting meat on shampurchikah. From time to time it a ride scooters hawkers. Boneless chicken pieces before threading into rods of a powdered bamboo pickle mixture coriander seed, turmeric roots and dried turmeric with salt, sugar and crushed peanuts.
Smiling, satay seller motioned try portion of the thus obtained "Ayama", that is, in Malay – chicken. I looked at the head of the expedition. With interest sniffed the aroma, it is a supportive gesture allowed me to get to work, and he moved through the ranks further in search of the Chinese inn. Far to go he did not have.
Put on the table a couple of bronze coins, get a few shpazhek satay, but not on the plate, but on the square the cut banana tree leaf. By pialushku dishes are served with a brownish paste – sweet and sour from roasted peanuts sauce. Before you begin, look, as do the surrounding, also decided to eat. Taking the hand skewer should dip it in the sauce, and then just send in your mouth. Hot ayamy pulp with an unusually sweet flavor melts in your mouth, feel the unique flavor of steamed bamboo heat. The sweetness of the meat required by the exigencies, it seems to me at this moment, but nothing acute to satay was not found. Uncomplicated garnish served only a few circles of fresh cucumber and very fresh cubes of cooked-on steamed rice.
Having finished with the meal, I decided to still compensate for the lack of visual and made his way down the bazaar between low trade trays with piles of peppers, hitherto unseen by me herbs, vegetables, fruit pods, banana, carambola, durians and dissected half watermelons with a completely yellow flesh. And now – under the awning from the sun I can see rows of a dozen or two trays, which are spread all kinds of authentic Malaysian cuisine. It is Malaysian for so called incongruous, seemingly diversity, where the intertwined several cultures – Malay, Indian, Chinese and European.
Tray hostess handed me a plastic plate with a couple of cooked rice, and then I’ve been doing my selection. Approaching each of the dishes, I impose spoons over the rice all that I want. And at random, because there was no other opportunity to see such numerous selection of Malaysian dishes. Then trying – just what I lacked in Satei and peanut sauce. Mouth burned so that the tropical heat began to seem cool. No wonder they say that burning peppers helps the southern peoples to carry. In Malaysia, he got from India among other a set of spices, such as ginger and fragrant cardamom. Each dish that I scored on a plate with rice, drowned in sauces – red, golden yellow, brown-green. One of the evits was Pineapple, stewed in coconut milk with spicy curry. Doubt did not cause the presence on a shrimp plate, right in the shell cooked in red acid sauce. Little squid carcasses with tentacles, chicken pieces, but in contrast to Satei richly seasoned burning curry, stewed fish with pepper pods "Dame finchikov", Eggplants in the oily mixture. All this and much more called "Nauch" — "All that is served to rice". For with all the abundance and diversity, the basis of food – rice, and the bow only gives it the taste. Satisfied with just a couple of dollars, and then local – ringgitis, I began to leisurely consider any edible all sorts sold in the bazaar.
Slashams stood bundles of giant pods, flat, dark green, with distinctly capped grains of beans. Later in one restaurant I tried these slightly binding pods: there they were cut into small pieces, and there were other piles of fresh vegetables nearby. Before sending to the mouth, they are dipping again in curry. (We are all saying "curry", And the types of curry do not consider, and all their names.)
Very much sold at the bazaar "Lemon grass" — Ostoid plant, the bottom of which is slightly thickened. This grass is indispensable in Malay cuisine. It is used in most dishes due to a rich citrus aroma. It persists in vegetable oil when crushed lemon grass thrown into frying pan. Even more lemon taste of young, green still lemons. But even mint and greens of fresh kinse add to dishes. Unique fragrance give food fresh ginger roots, large as potatoes. Going and oblong pink ginger flowers, Turmeric roots, painting dishes in bright yellow. Each of the additives makes a strong fragile smell, and together – it becomes new and even stronger. And very pleasant. Whatever you are fed, by learning this powerful fragrance, you will feel the lung, and then where as a stronger feeling of hunger.
They say that dinner is late – harmful to health. It seems that the Chinese population of Malaysia does not think so. After the stores are closed, eats the flow of transport on the roads, the streets are empty – until midnight, and even later, light bulbs of Chinese restaurants and eateries filled to refusing visitors. Some points of the Chinese catering specialize in soups-noodle, others – on seafood: in huge aquariums, neglected lunguhists, crabs and shrimps, between the mustache, are watching lobasted fishes, also doomed to stealing people. Other snack bars are distinguishable on the Metallic frame of smoked in Pekinsky duck carcass.
But exotic Langustov, Beijing ducks and everything I said above, fades in front of a glorious vegetarian restaurant "Zsechulin" In the city of Georgetown on the picturesque island Penang. We kindly invited to the Honorary Consul of Russia in Penang Mr. TEO SEN. He ordered several dishes. Armed with chopsticks for food, cling them a piece, with sight, chicken. Bounce like meat, wondered. In brown sauce on another dish – flat mugs in the skin; I send in the mouth: a gentle fish fragrance. So, the local exotic is that animal products are not used for the preparation of these dishes. That is why the restaurant often conceals Chinese Buddhist monks in their rude gray coats. Mr. Consul Tao explains that extruded cottage cheese from soybeans, mushrooms, spices are used for the preparation of vegetarian dishes. However, not all spices are suitable. For example, onions and garlic are completely excluded: they are considered that they are able to excite desires, unworthy monastic titles. But in honor of fresh ginger.
Much of Chinese and Malay culinary crops closely intertwined, and, sprinkling in one whole, got the name of the kitchen "Nionya". (This word is called descendants from the highly mixed marriages between the Chinese and Malayans.) There is an uncontrollable diversity of noodles, marinades and all seafood, which in immense quantities give southern seas.
When we talk about the Indian contribution to the Malaysian cuisine, it should be remembered that India is a whole world where the cuisine of northern Indians and southern, Muslims and Hindus does not go to each other. Indians generally adherents of vegetarian food. This is especially true of Tamils, and their most among Indians Malaysia. Talk to Tamil about something very tasty, and he, shaking his head and paying from pleasure, says: "Murtabak".
We descended the longest cool staircase from the cave Hindu temple of Batu in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur. The temple is dedicated to God Subrachmanham, whom Tamila is called Murugan and consider their. The footage of the cliff-temple is fed up by the hit might of Tamil restaurants and tea (tea with milk, more precisely) – to reinforce the forces of pilgrims before the difficult lifting and after heavy descent.
Tamil cook in an open-air restaurant "Rani" deftly ripened the ball from a weathered night of the test, and then began to stretch the resulting cake "Roth", Sleeping her circular hands about the smooth surface of a metal table covered with palm oil. In a matter of seconds, the dough was turned into the finest pancake, which was immediately smeared with a raw egg, twisted into the tube and sent to the pan. Layered, roasted from two sides the dough has a stuffing from meat and onions. V "Rani" "Murtabak" put on a banana leaf, decorated like a painter palette with paints, set of sharp rainbow-colored pasty sauces. The palette enriched the taste of dishes with burning acute. Only there is necessary to hand. Oh, how nice to drink Murtbak cool milk straight from coconut! Here he is, paradise on Earth: at the foot of the Church of Batu.
With all the developmental diversity, national cuisines of different peoples in Malaysia combines one – rice, coming all. Giving energy to a person for active activity in the conditions of tropical climate, rice, or "Nasi", in Malayski, indispensable. And in sweets too – in combination with coconut milk. Rice is life, everything else is only her decoration.