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The Malaysian Wikiportal

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Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. It consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea. Federation of Malaya achieved its independence on August 31, 1957 and together with Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia on September 16, 1963. The country has thirteen states and three Federal Territories with Kuala Lumpur being the Malaysian capital.

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Buah Keluak

Nonya cuisine combines Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend.

Nonyas are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word nonya (also spelled nyonya), a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part “madame” and part “auntie”), has come to refer to the cuisine of the Perakanans. However, Peranakan also refers to descendants of other migrants from India and Portugal. Nonya cuisine is just a small part of the rich Peranakan culture that has become part of Malaysia. The Chinese people of South-East Asia are known as Nanyangs. The word "Nonya" is probably derived from Nanyang.

Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients and wok cooking techniques with spices used by the indigenous people of the region community. Some ingredients such as cincaluk and belachan were adpoted from the early portugeuse settlers, who also brought chili to this region from South America where it originates. The food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. Key ingredients include coconut milk, galangal (a subtle, mustard-scented rhizome similar to ginger), candlenuts as both a flavoring and thickening agent, laksa leaf, pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius), belachan, tamarind juice, lemongrass, torch ginger bud, jicama, fragrant kaffir lime leaf, rice or egg noodles and cincaluk - a powerfully flavored, sour and salty shrimp-based condiment that is typically mixed with lime juice, chillies and shallots and eaten with rice, fried fish and other side dishes.

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A view of the tea fields of Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands is a highland region located about 121 km east of Ipoh and about 214 km north of Kuala Lumpur, in Pahang, Malaysia. At 5,000 ft (1,500 m) above sea level it is the highest area on the mainland, enjoys a cool climate, with temperatures no higher than 25 °C and rarely falls below 12°C year-round. Cameron Highlands is actually a district in the state of Pahang Darul Makmur although the road entrance is via Tapah and Simpang Pulai in the state of Perak Darul Ridzuan. Cameron Highlands district is bordered by Lipis district on the south-east, Kelantan on the north and Perak on the west.
Photo credit: Will Ellis from Reading, England.

Did you know

  • "... that tongkat ali is a popular South East Asian medicinal herb used extensively in Malaysia?"
  • "... that Alex Yoong is Malaysia's first Formula 1 driver?"
  • "... that Malaysia is one of only four countries in the world to have a true elective monarchy?"
  • "... that Malaysia earned the ninth place in the Environmental Performance Index in 2006?"
  • "... that the state of Penang still continues to pay the state of Kedah 10,000 dollars every year since 1786?"
  • "... that Nicol David is the first Malaysian to be ranked world number one in squash?"
  • "... that the Malaysian Government continues to pay the descendants of the Sultan of Sulu to continue its lease over Northern Borneo?"
  • "... that the Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world?

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