Banana Leaf Curry – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

Eating Banana Leaf Curry in Malaysia is a unique experience that’s worth the trip!

Picture this: a banana leaf, at least 30cm long, is placed before you, as a placemat would be – but that’s your plate! A server carrying multiple bowls with little spoons will scoop various foods onto the leaf – you will get the lot, unless you refuse the ones you don’t want.

There’s always rice (basmati, but it can be served with biryani rice), a chicken or lamb curry, and various vegetable stews from cabbage to carrots and other vegetables. It is also served with a cup of rasam, a sour soup that acts as a palate cleanser.

Banana leaves are used this way because they’re easy to access, grow quickly and offer a hygienic and simple surface on which to serve a dish – no washing up necessary.

Although the serving of a Banana Leaf Curry is quite a performance, the bigger spectacle is eating it. Using your hands, you work your way around the leaf, grabbing some rice with the accompaniments, and enjoying each mouthful.

Once you have finished the meal, the proper etiquette is to fold the banana leaf towards you, which indicates that you are satisfied; folding it away from you signals your displeasure. You won’t be kicked out of the restaurant, but it is always polite to be aware of and follow cultural customs.

Most banana leaf curry restaurants have vegetarian and vegan options. The most popular area for this experience in Kuala Lumpur is Brickfields, and you will also encounter it in areas of the greater Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), such as Petaling Jaya, and Bangsar.

Shop name:
Maya Bangsar
9, Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
03-2389 5305/ 0193397801

Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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