9 February 2017

To Malaysia and Back at Glasshouse, Hyatt Regency

As we settled down for dinner at Glasshouse, I couldn't help but admire the glass paneled walls on either sides of the large room -  from where the all day restaurant at the Hyatt Regency gets its name. I was here to sample some Malaysian fare as a part of their ongoing Malaysian food festival, and also to get an understanding of their cuisine better from Chef Taripin who is down in the city to showcase some of his culinary magic. I'll repeat myself here - food has the ability to make you travel to far off destinations without leaving your seat. And I was really looking forward to the culinary journey to Malaysia, I was about to embark upon that night.

Over a generous serving of fish crackers and prawn crackers, that Chef had flown in specially, we got around to talking. 'Malaysian cuisine has strong Indian and Chinese influences along with traditional Malay influences, of course. Owing to the multicultural population of Malaysia, food is constantly getting adapted and hybridized', Chef explained. These influences were highly evident throughout the meal with the dishes carrying flavour profiles that we Indians are used to.  

The Roti Canai is a typical Malay flat bread that had contrasting flaky and soft textures akin to a Malabari Parotha. We paired this with a Dalcha - their version of the Indian dal with South East Asian elements. The Murtabak we bit into was freakishly similar to the Mughlai Parathas of Kolkota, or the more local Baida Roti sans the egg. Makes you wonder who inspired whom in this case

Roti Canal with Dalcha

Other fabulous dishes we sampled from the menu include the Ayam Rendang - a fragrant chicken curry cooked with coconut, lemongrass and galangal. 'We use coconut milk or peanut as the base in all our curries, unlike Indian curries that use cashewnut', Chef explained. I enjoyed this dish so much, that I managed to extract the recipe from Chef, but more on that later. The Squid in Soy Sauce was a perfect reflection of the Chinese influence on the cuisine with the squid cooked perfectly, the soy sauce comforting.

(Clockwise): Murtabak, Chicken Mince, Stuffed Pancakes, Squid in Soy Sauce
The buffet offers other traditional delicacies as well such as the Mee Goreng - stir fried noodles, Roti Jala - a woven roti, and the unofficial national dish of Malaysia - the Nasi Lemak! The spread included local desserts as well such as Pancakes cooked with Coconut and Palm Sugar and a refreshing Tapioca pudding.  Somehow desserts in South East Asian cuisine always end up getting overshadowed by the vast variety of savoury dishes, but I am glad I got to sample a few traditional sweets here.


I am sharing a recipe of one of my favorite dishes from the ongoing Malaysian food festival - the Ayam Rendang courtesy Chef Taripin. This chicken curry cooked with coconut milk is the perfect comfort food, to be had with rice on the side.

Ayam Rendang
Ingredients:
·         Chicken, cut bite sized – 500 gm

·         Thick coconut milk – 1cup

·         Palm sugar -30 gm

·         Galangal, crushed – 1 no.

·         Lemongrass – 3 no.

·         Kaffir leaf – 4 no.

·         Turmeric powder – 10 gm

·         Red chili paste – 20 gm

·         Cashewnut – 15 gm

·         Mixed Spices -10 gm

·         Onion, garlic, ginger paste -40 gm

·         Grated coconut browned – 10 gm



Method :

·         Cut chicken into small pieces. Keep aside.

·         Heat up the pan, saut√© onion, garlic and ginger paste in it.

·         Put in all the dry ingredients to it and cook it well until the  
  aroma of the ingredients is noticeable.

·         Then add chicken to it.

·         Now add palm sugar, coconut milk and season the rendang.

·         Once the oil comes on top of the chicken rendang is cooked. Then add grated coconut to it.

·         Serve hot with steam rice and pickled vegetables.

Chef Taripin shall be demonstrating similar traditional Malay dishes at the Malaysian Masterclass to be held at the Hyatt Regency on the 11th of February. The Malaysian food festival is on till the 12th of February, and commences with a spectacular Malaysian Sunday Brunch.
(The author was invited to dine at Glasshouse, Hyatt Regency. The views are unbiased and her own.)

1 comment :

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