Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Malaysian Food Fest (Melaka)

Malaysian Food Fest starts with Melaka and I’ll be hosting it.
What’s that? Read more about it here.
Without further ado, let me introduce to you my homestate that I grew up in, and still am living in.

Malacca( Melaka) has over 600 years of history, and has golden years and turbulent years. Malacca was the cradle of Malay civilisation and through Malacca, Islam spread in South-east Asia. Due to the strategic location and a trading hub in 16th. Century for spices and other sought-after commodities, it encountered the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English and Japanese before securing the future in Malaya in 1957 and in Malaysia in 1963.

The long history has created a melting pot of people, cultures, cuisines and languages and different races have lived together since Independence in 1957 as Malaysians.

The Malays are the biggest group of people in Malacca. Malay cuisines in Malacca is infamous for its heat. Fiery hot asam pedas (translates into hot and sour) method of cooking is favourite of the state. The basic recipe is used and adapted according to main ingredient used. For instance, kaffir lime leaf is used for catfish, beef and stingray and Vietnamese mint is used for mackerel and snappers. It differs from other states because torch ginger bud is not used at all. (Source )
Other famous food of the Malay community includes cincalok and dodol.

After the Malays comes the Chinese, the next biggest group of people in Malacca. And there is something special about the Chinese descendants in Malacca. It’s the Peranakan or Straits Chinese, Chinese migrants who intermarried with the locals and settled here during the early 1400s. Most have lived for generations along the straits of Malacca. The Peranakan retained most of their ethnic and religious origins (such as ancestor worship), but assimilated the language and culture of the Malays.

Peranakan Chinese cuisine came about because these settlers applied the Chinese method to Malay ingredients and recipes. Their food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and also herbal. It differs from its northern counterparts that has more tangy notes and less usage of coconut milk. Perennial favourites include nyonya laksa, kapitan chicken, itek tim, cendol and nyonya kuih. Read more here.

Besides the straits Chinese, there are also Peranakan Indians, or Chittys. Chittys are actually Indian traders who came to the Malacca in the early 1400s from the southern part of India, during the days of the spice trade. Many married local Malay women like the Chinese Peranakans & adopted the cultures and languages of the region while retaining their own religion – Hinduism. Chittys are not to be confused with chettiars. Chettiars are money lenders. (Source)

Though the Peranakan Chinese and Chitty Melaka cuisine is almost similar, the latter has its own originalities. The Chitty Melaka does not eat pork or beef; some dishes are distinct Indian and ingredients used are not the same. Both communities are meticulous in the preparation and cooking of the dishes Visit this site and this site to read more about Chitty cuisine.

Now, there is another community that is found in Melaka, the Portuguese Eurasians or Kristang. Portuguese men (sailors, soldiers, traders, etc.) came to Malacca during the age of Portuguese explorations, and in the early colonial years and married local native (Malay) women. The creole group arose in Malacca (Malaysia) between the 16th and 17th centuries, when the city was a port and base of the Portuguese.

Kristang food is similar to Malay cuisine, with the additions of stews and the inclusion of pork in the diet. Early Kristang and other colonials adopted the same ingredients used by the locals. Some roots of Portuguese-style cuisine are evident in kristang food; however, it has more of an eastern than western style, related to years of local influence and ingredients. Lots of information about Kristang cuisine here.

Besides the traditional fare, Malacca is also known for other foods ie: satay celup, chicken rice ball, roti john, fried oyster, cendol, nyonya kuih , pulut tekan, crepes and many more…..

You don’t need to travel here to have a sampling of the food found in the state. Here are some recipes that you may want to try in your own kitchen,

1. Asam Pedas Melaka
2. Devil’s Curry Chicken (Ayam Debal)
3. Eurasian Curry Puff
4. Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls
5. Satay Celup

Now… that’s the intro to the food of my beloved state.
It’s the time for me to tell you how to participate in this event.



1. Who can join? Anyone can join. Come let’s replicate some (state) food at home!
2. Prepare a dish (sweet or savoury) that is from (state), be it old time favourites, modern goodies or dishes that has been localized. Take a picture of the food, or many many pictures. If possible, tell us the story about that dish, share with everybody so that others will learn.
3. Provide a recipe that is credited (from books, from internet, from friends or family or maybe it’s your own, BE SPECIFIC). Submissions without stating recipe sources will not be accepted for all forms of submission.
4. Submit your entry latest by 31 August 2012 except for Facebook submissions.



1. Bloggers
a. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) that is from the Melaka.
b. Blog about it from 1st August – 31st August
c. Include this caption below your blogspost
“I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest (link to here , Melaka State hosted by Cindy of yummylittlecooks)”

 Send the following information to this email address (cindyensia<@> with the email title as “MFF Melaka”

Title of Blog:
Name of dish:
URL of blog post:
Picture : (URL or attachment that is lesser than 500k.)

2. Facebook users
a. Like this FB page
b. Prepare a dish (sweet or savoury) from the state of Melaka
c. Take a picture and upload it into Facebook (This month’s FB page link )
d. Provide recipe together with the picture

*Bloggers can submit old recipes to FB. Anyone that has once cooked a Malacan dish and have the picture and recipe can submit to Facebook. Not necessarily a recently done dish.
For a pictorial guide on how to submit, please visit here

3. Non Facebook users + non bloggers
Email it a picture of the dish together with the recipe to (cindyensia<@>


lena said...

good morning cindy, nice write up wbout melaka. I was grinning reading the chittys and chettiars, they do sound alike! haha! I've only been to malacca once, did not try many of the traditional food here but always remember their famous chicken rice balls. Seriouly, it's one of the best chicken rice i had so far. Will make some dishes to support you and the event! All the best!

Shannon @ JustAsDelish said...

Hi, I'm familiar with Nyonya dishes & kuih, but not sure if they are from Melaka or not. For eg Pongteh, or kuih talam. can you help me clarify? I want to join for this month. thanks!

yummylittlecooks said...

Hi lena,
Thank you for your kind of words...

Yes,they are from melaka, nyonya kuih.Lots more, like kuih lapis, abok abok sagu....

Jeannie Tay said...

Very informative post about Melaka, been there a few times, the most recent during the CNY break at the beginning of the year. Love the place with its very historic and colorful buildings. Of course the food there is a must try. Looking forward to see what you will be dishing up for this event.

アンゼエリン said...

Onde onde too? If I have time I'll try to make some dish to support you too.

Anonymous said...

I see only Sarawak on your FB page. No Melaka?

yummylittlecooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yummylittlecooks said...

Hi Angeline,
Yup, onde onde too:) thank you :)

yummylittlecooks said...

Hi Anonymous,
MFF FB for Melaka events at

mui mui said...

Hi Cindy,
I am interested to join MMF-Melaka. I would like to know is pandan angku a Malacca kind of kueh. Thank you.
mui mui(doreen)

yummylittlecooks said...

Hi Doreen,
Thank you for interest in MFF. And yup angku is one of nyonya kuih :)

アンゼエリン said...

Cindy i've submitted a post of MFF in my blog...plse view ya.

mui mui said...

Hi Cindy,
Thanks for the info. Will post soon.
Have a nice week ahead..^^

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

Fab blog.

Just found out about this and will be forwarding my entry very soon.

Thanks for hosting.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

Peng said...

Hi Cindy...the sweet nonya radish cake consider? I've made it but yet to update in my blog ;)