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Wedding Food ala Malay

It’s amazing that when my Malay neighbor organized a wedding, the whole neighborhood got invited. A representation of true muhibah. The wedding reception or kenduri usually takes place in front of the house where a marquee is set up to provide cover for the important occasion. Other options are to have the wedding reception in a restaurant, hotel or banquet hall. Generally, the wedding ceremony begins with the procession of the groom accompanied by his entourage of family and friends to meet the bride.

In a Malay wedding, the guests are free to help themselves with the feast first before the groom’s arrival but it is more proper to stop eating and give your attention to the couple during the procession. What is a celebration without food? Malay wedding food, spicy yummy! Familiar with only a couple of popular dishes, I went on a food search and found more delicious choices that will make you drool. The food is served in a buffet spread or dome set.

dome food, outdoor wedding
Wedding food served in a dome

Let’s start with the assortment of appetizer, condiments and vegetables such as Acar Rampai/ buah (Pickled vege or fruits), Sambal belacan (Shrimp sauce) to go with raw vegetables (this combination is called ulam (Malay salad), Dalca sayur/ terung (vege in dhal curry), Pajeri Nenas. Pajeri Nenas is a pineapple dish cooked in a thick kerisik curry sauce. (Kerisik refers to toasted grated coconut). 

pajeri nenas
From left: Acar rampai, Dalca sayur and Pajeri nenas

Rice is essential in weddings. Varieties of rice are served up to the host’s preference, for example plain rice, Nasi minyak (Scented rice), Nasi briyani, Nasi tomato (Tomato rice), Nasi jagung (Corn rice).

To make Nasi minyak, you add butter, coconut milk, spices and ginger to cook the rice.

To prepare Nasi briyani: Cook basmati rice and vegetables together with dried fruits, yogurt, ghee, and other spices. You can also
add the meat of your choice to create this aromatic rice dish.

nasi briyani wedding
Left: Nasi minyak. Right: Nasi briyani

I think I never went to a Malay wedding without having Ayam Masak Merah on the table. The already fried chicken is cooked in a spicy tomato sauce to produce this juicy Red-colored chicken.

Other chicken dishes are Ayam masak madu (Honey chicken), Ayam kurma (Kurma is type of dates), Ayam kari dengan ubi kentang (Curry chicken and potatoes), Ayam goreng berempah (Deep-fried chicken), Chicken satay.

ayam masak merah wedding food
Left: Ayam masak madu. Right: Ayam masak merah
ayam kari kentang food in wedding
Left: Ayam kurma. Right: Ayam kari kentang

Beef preparation methods are also mostly spicy or curry based. For instance Daging masak hitam (Dark soy sauce chicken), Daging masak Briyani, Daging Rendang / Rendang Tok, Daging masak Kurma (chicken with chili, coconut milk and kurma powder), Daging salai masak lemak (chicken cooked with tumeric and small chili), Beef satay.

  • Daging Rendang Tok – The beef dish made popular in the Perak state has lemongrass, dried chilies, palm sugar and kerisik which thickens the sauce.
  • Daging gulai kawah – Beef prepared in curry-like sauce from coconut milk,
    brown sugar, gulai and dried chilies. The gulai sauce has a thick
    consistency with yellowish color because of the addition of ground
daing gulai kawah
Left: Daging Rendang Tok. Right: Daging gulai kawah
peanut sauce, cucumber unions nasi impit
Left: Skewers of Chicken and beef satay being served.
Right: Satay is to be eaten with peanut sauce, cucumber, onions and nasi impit (rice cubes)

Fish: Ikan masak tiga rasa (3-flavor fish), Ikan masak asam pedas (Sour and spicy fish), Tenggiri masak kicap berempah (Mackerel in soy sauce and spices), Tenggiri masak kari (Curry Mackerel).

Prawns and squid: Udang Goreng Berempah (Deep-fried prawns in spices), Sambal udang/ sotong (Prawn in chili-based sauce), Sotong goreng tepung (Deep-fried squid).

tenggiri masak kicap berempah
Left: Sambal Sotong. Right: Tenggiri masak kicap berempah

Sweet Treat: Sirap Bandung (Milky rosewater syrup), Sago gula melaka (Palm sugar sago), Malay kuih (dessert) like kuih keria (sweet potato doughnuts), Kuih koci (a pyramid of glutinuous rice flour filled with a sweet peanut paste), Kuih kaswi (rice cake made with palm sugar)

  • Kuih talam (tray cake) kuih – Consists of two layers. The top white layer is made from rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom green layer is made from green pea flour and extract of pandan leaf.
  • Bingka ubi – A baked kuih of tapioca mixed in sweet pandan-flavoured custard. The kuih is yellow in colour but has a dark brown crust at the top caused by the baking process.
Sago gula melaka, green and brown
Left: Sirap bandung. Right: Sago gula melaka
kuih kahwin
Clockwise: kuih keria, kaswi, bingka ubi and talam

Ref:,, shahriahnovelisresipe, atieaizam,, wattieshomemadecakes,,,,,

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