What’s so special about Penang Indian food?
Penang Indian food? It’s just too good to be true! Try first, and you will find out why it is so special!
Penang Indian food is not only cheap but you get so much more than you paid. (Doesn’t it sound like a perfect food to try as a budget backpacker?) You can get food from RM 1! It’s 0.22 euro! Crazy cheap! Are you excited? I will take you to the world of Penang Indian food.
Rotti Canai is a typical Indian Malay flatbread served with curry (usually lentil curry or chicken curry). It is very entertaining how Rotti is made! The dough is hit by hand, flown in the air, … finally it was put on the hot flat pan. Pick one piece and dip it in curry! It feels like heaven to me when I put it in my mouth! I couldn’t stop eating it for breakfast almost everyday! You should definitely try if you don’t wanna regret! 😉
- Price: RM 1/per 1 Rotti
- Tip 1 : Order a cup of Teh Tarik or Kopi O Kosong
- Tip 2: Order at least 2 Rotti Canai to make you full! 😉
- Where to eat: Rotti Canai is available almost everywhere in Little India in Penang, so it’s not a problem for you to find a place to eat! Just wander around Little India and find a place you like! 😉
Banana leaf rice
Banana leaf rice is traditional Indian food. Basically, banana leaf is served as a disposable plate. There is white rice, pickles, one or two different curries, some vegetables and big prawn crackers. It used to be vegetarian dish, but you can also choose boiled eggs, fried or curry chicken.
- Price: Starting from RM 5 (If you add chicken or boiled eggs, it will be more expensive!)
- How to eat: You’d better try with your hands! Don’t put too much curry! I had a hard time finishing my rice because it became so watery at the end! 🙁
- Where to eat: I’ve tried one place for a couple of times and it was pretty good. This Banana leaf rice restaurant is called KRSNA Restaurant. Click here to see the place where I ate.
Nasi Dalca is a dish with steamed rice with a piece of curried chicken with carrots and potatoes. It’s a very simple curry dish but it’s so good and addictive, you are so going to be addicted that you can’t stop yourself from walking to the restaurant every day to eat Nasi Dalca (at least it happened to me and my friend).
- Price: RM 7
- Tip: You can add some cabbages or green vegetables like me in the picture (RM 1 or more). Also you can get a vegetable curry with rice which costs you only RM 4!
- Where to eat: I don’t think my friend wants to share this restaurant with you, but I should share my favorite Nasi Dalca restaurant for my visitors! Click here to see the location on the map.
The words Nasi Kandar literally mean rice balance. In old days, vendors or hawkers carried rice meals on a pole with two big food containers. Nasi Kandar‘s nasi (rice) is mildly-flavored steamed rice (Briyani) instead of white rice. And you can choose various side dishes and curries. It will be easier for you to think of Nasi Kandar as an Indian buffet. It’s a vegetarian dish but you can also choose eggs or chicken.
- Price: RM 6 (It will be more expensive if you choose meat.)
- Where to eat: I had Nasi Kandar for a couple of times on street food stalls. There are two streets. Click here to see the first Nasi Kandar place on Lorong Pasar. Click here to check the second one on Jalan Penang.
Other Indian food
If you want Tandoori chicken, you can just order it at the restaurants. Penang Indian restaurants sell familiar Indian food to what you eat back home. 😉 (I ordered Tandoori chicken with butter garlic naan, it was so amazing!)
Rotti Pisang is similar to Banana pancake in Thailand. Unlike Banana pancake which has condensed milk, lots oil, and Nutella, Malay Indian Rotti Pisang is less oily, less sweet and served with curry. I can say Rotti Pisang is healthier than the ones in Thailand.
The combination of Banana pancake and Curry sounds very weird, right? Trust me, it tastes amazing!!! If you are a sweet-tooth, then you can ask them to put in some condensed milk! 😉
- Price: RM 2.5 or more
- How to eat: Pick one of Rotti pieces, dip in curry sauce, and put it in the mouth! 😉
Hot Puthu (Puttu)
Hot Puthu is a steamed hot rice cake made of rice flour, coconut, and palm sugar. It is served with warm brown sugar. It’s a perfect dessert after eating savory Indian curry! I liked it even though it was very sweet. Why don’t you try Hot Puthu when you’re craving something warm and sweet! 😉
- Price: RM 3
Kolkatai is a dessert made of rice flour. There are three different types as you see in the picture above. It’s good enough but it’s not as sweet as Hot Puthu though.
- Price: RM 2 for 5 pieces
Teh Tarik is tea with condensed milk. You can easily find it in every restaurant you go to in Malaysia, especially in an Indian restaurant. Teh Tarik is really good with savory Indian food! One Rotti with Teh Tarik makes your morning happy and pleasant. 😉
- Price: RM 1.5 for a cup of hot Teh Tarik
Kopi is a word for coffee with condensed milk. It means your coffee will be very sweet!
- Price: RM 1.5 or more
Kopi O kosong
Kopi O Kosong means black coffee without milk and sugar. I don’t like my coffee to be sweet, but Malaysians love condensed milk so much I had to learn a new word, Kopi O Kosong! If you are like me, say Kopi O Kosong when you order your drink instead of black coffee without milk and sugar. Your order will be much easier! 😉
- Price: RM 1 or more
Of course, there are different kinds of Lassie and fruit juice in Indian restaurants in Penang. If you want Banana Lassi, no worries! They will make you one if you want. 😉
- Price: Lassi – RM 3.5 / Juice – RM 3
How was my Honest Penang food guide? How was your experience? Do you like Penang Indian food? I hope to hear from your experience soon! 🙂
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