Eat Like A Local! – Mamak

By July 11, 2019 November 19th, 2019 Culture, Food

In Malaysia, our pancake options are wide. It comes in many shapes, sizes, textures, colours and even flavours. Some looks similar to crepes and some are a little more doughy such as the Roti Canai and Murtabak.

Malaysians' Pancake

Apam Balik

The Apam Balik is made with eggs, baking soda, flour, coconut milk and water. It is cooked on a hot frying pan with margarine or butter. A filling of crushed peanuts can also be added, and then the pancake is folded over. There are 2 types of Apam Balik, one is thick and fluffy whereas the other is thin and offers a crispy and crusty bite.

Roti Jala

A bright yellow coloured (Tumeric) pancake. This is usually served with curry. Traditionally, it is made by dipping a whole hand in batter and allowing the batter to drip over the pan while making circular movements. This delicate net can either be folded or rolled into a cylindrical shape. The texture of the Roti Jala is soft and velvety.


This is a type of roti canai in Malaysia. Murtabak is a very thick roti which is filled with a mixture of egg, meat, onions and varying spices. It is usually deep-fried in a wok and oily. You can also opt to have this served with different types of curry, such as chicken curry, beef curry, mutton curry, fish curry or even mixed curry.


Nasi Kandar/Banana Leaf

Besides pancakes, we also have different kinds of Indian Rice (Nasi Kandar and Banana Leaf). The Nasi Kandar is a very popular Malaysian dish which originated from Penang. It is often placed in a wooden container about 3-feet high, this gives it a sort of distinctive aroma.

The rice is served with side dishes such as fried chicken, cubed beef, lamb or even fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetable options would usually be either brinjal (terong), okra or bitter gourd. The Banana Leaf Rice is traditionally served on a Banana Leaf.

Rice, assortment of vegetables, pickles and appalam. You can also order side dishes such as Chicken. Boiled eggs or even seafood. It is also good to note that most Banana Leaf Meals are eaten by hand.

Fun Fact

After a meal, the guest must always fold the banana leaf as a sign of gratitude to the host. It is considered to be very rude if the banana leaf is folded outwards

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