Banana Leaf

18 Oct

Banana leaf is another must-eat for visitors to KL, so of course that was on the agenda when my parents were here. “Banana leaf” refers to a kind of Indian restaurant in Malaysia where they serve you a thali on a freshly washed banana leaf.

With each banana leaf, you get a heap of rice, a choice of three curries (vegetarian or non-veg), some vegetable side dishes, pickle, and fried bitter melon. It’s southern Indian in style, so the curries tend to be spicier and thinner than the creamy curries of north India. The place in the photo above served crab curry, a first for me. The crab is simmered for such a long time that the shell becomes soft.

 

Eating banana leaf rice the traditional way

 

After you finish, you just roll the leaf up away from you. If you eat the traditional way, with your fingers, you don’t even dirty any utensils, and the leaf is biodegradable, so it’s pretty eco-friendly as disposable dishware goes.

The best part about banana leaf is the price. A meal with a drink will run you about 8 ringgitt (or slightly more than $2) — about the same as a fast-food value meal, but way tastier. And you can get free refills on the curries! (If you can get the curry guy’s attention…)

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