Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Lunch Delights

Went for lunch on Sunday with the wife and a Malay friend. One of our favorite restaurants is what they call a Mamak stall, meaning that it is run by Indian Muslims. This shop uses a tandoor to prepare some of their food items (barbecued chicken, baked flat bread), thus the items are called ayam tandoori (tandoor chicken) and such. Normally, the waiters use the term roti naan, which combines both the Malay and Indian words for bread, but today my waiter called it tandoori naan, meaning that the flat bread is baked on the inside wall of the tandoor.

Tandoori chicken in Malaysia is usually served with limes (kasturi or nipis lime) and onion slices. Naan comes in different flavours (e.g., plain, cheese, onion, garlic) and one is usually offered a variety of dipping sauces. The typical are mint sauce, dal (lentil paste) and at least one kind of curry.

Although one sees both Malays and Chinese eating at the tandoori restaurant, not all of the colleagues that I have taken there have been keen on the place. I took a couple of female Malay colleagues once, and although they seemingly liked the food, I realised later that they were put off by the group of South Asian men -who frequent the restaurant- staring at us. There are many Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Nepalese labourers in Malaysia these days, and Mamak stalls are focal points for the one day a week that they have free.

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