Nasi Kandar – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

“Nasi kandar” means “carried rice.” This combination meal originated in Penang, created by Indian Muslim traders who moved to the region in the early 19th century. The traders would carry (kandar) food on wooden poles to sell in the streets.

The cuisine of nasi kandar reflects its cultural background, integrating elements of Malaysian and Indian cooking styles. The main ingredients are steamed white rice and a variety of meat, fish or vegetable curries. A typical plate also includes accompaniments like pickles, fried eggs, fried anchovies, and sambal, a chilli-based condiment.

It is found in the northern Malaysian states of Penang, Kedah and Perak, and has become popular throughout the country over time. There are many restaurants specialising in this dish, and some cities have entire streets dedicated to serving up plates of nasi kandar.

What sets nasi kandar apart from other dishes is its customisable nature. Diners can choose from an array of toppings to create their own flavour combinations, and there are plenty of vegetarian options. Prices vary depending on how much food you order, meaning you can enjoy a meal without breaking the bank!

When dining at a traditional Nasi Kandar restaurant or stall, begin by selecting your preferred rice (white or brown) then add the desired curries or accompaniments – and remember that less is more! Once your plate has been filled you can sit and enjoy your meal. Don’t forget to pair it with some refreshing sugarcane juice for an authentic experience.

If you’re passing through Penang, be sure to give this regional specialty a try.

Shop name:
Nasi Kandar Imigresen
8, Lorong Pasar,
George Town, 10200, Penang Island

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

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