Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Diwali in Malaysia...

In Malaysia...
Malaysia as a country is well known for its diversity. Among diverse culture of Malaysia, Diwali is celebrated in Malaysia by people of all races inhabiting there. Far away in another part of the world, even though Diwali Festival is not celebrated with all that pomp and gaiety, for Indians it is still a time to take a trip back the memory lane and enjoy the festival days spent back home in India celebrating the grand occasion. It is time to invite the Malays and Chinese to their houses. Its a public holiday in Malaysia and time to visit and pay homage to the elders. However crackers are banned in Malaysia.
The Hindu community of Malaysia constitutes about 8% of its total population. The community celebrates Diwali festival as a symbol of triumph of good over evil. The Malaysian people call Diwali as Hari Diwali. The south Indian tradition of oil bath precedes all the rituals of Diwali Festival. The Diwali celebration includes visits to temples and prayers at household altars. Diwali is celebrated almost all over the Malaysia except in Sarawak & Federal Territory of Labuan.
Delicacies are:

A meeting of cultures, a wealth of culinary delights... this is Malaysian Cuisine.

Cabbage in Coconut Gravy (Kubis Masak Lemak)

2 red chillies
4 shallots
2 cups water
1 cup shelled prawns
300 gms cabbage
2 cups thick coconut milk from 1 coconut
4 cups thin coconut milk from 1 coconut
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Pound the red chillies and shallots. Place in a pan with thin coconut milk and bring to boil.

Add prawns and sliced cabbage. When the cabbage is tender, addd in the thick coconut milk.
Let the gravy boil once and lift from flame.
Serve hot with rice.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The all time fav and very popular in India

Ingredients for  SATAY:

4 chicken breast fillets, cut into long thin strips

1 tbsp coriander seed and 2 tsp fennel seed (dry-fried and ground well)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 oiece lemongrass (two inches long), shredded

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Ingredients for PEANUT SAUCE

150g peanuts, fried/grilled and blended coarsely

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 shallots finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 or 2 chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 piece shrimp paste (belacan) or 1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp tamarind sauce

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp honey

Prepare the marination. Add ground fennel and coriander to garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt, turmeric, lemon grass, sesame oil and lemon juice in a wok. Heat up, slowly stir over the fire till it boils. Allow the mixture to cool, spread it over the chicken and leave in fridge for 8 hours.

Thread each chicken strip onto bamboo skewers. Arrange on a flat plate.
Prepare the peanut sauce. Fry onion, garlic and chillies in a wok. Add shrimp paste or fish sauce, coconut milk and honey. Simmer briefly. Add the peanuts.
Grill or barbecue the satay. Brush the chicken with a piece of lemon dipped in a mixture of oil and water.

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