Being the gateway centre of Malaysia, Selangor has a huge array of food choices from around the 14 states that make up the country. Often overlooked is Selangor’s own gastronomical delights that have been carried down through centuries and its tradition still remains. Due to the state's history of former migration, some of its settlers were people from different backgrounds and countries that have resulted in it becoming culturally diverse making the food rich in flavours!
Giving you the best of Selangor, we highlight five traditional flavours for you to try whilst out dining or if your feeling adventurous to make at home.
Pecal is a common appetiser that can be found just about anywhere in Selangor. Known to be a traditional Javanese salad that merely consists of vegetables topped with a mouth-watering peanut sauce that can also be served with Ketupat or Lontong.
The preparation in making Pecal is extremely simple so you can easily try it at home at any time! The key ingredients to prepare this dish are peanuts or groundnuts for the gravy or which we call ‘kuah’, tofu, bean sprout, long beans and cucumber. It is that easy, or you can head over to Warung Soto Pasir Penambang in Kuala Selangor to experience the authentic taste of this one of a kind dish.
2. Nasi Ambeng
Nasi Ambeng is usually served in the form of a platter which can be shared with four to five people per serving. It consists of a variety of food choices that will just blow your mind. When it comes to preparing this Javanese-Malay dish, you should not miss out on its side dishes which are chicken, fried noodles, long beans, sambal tempe accompanied by white rice that is served in banana leaf!
In Selangor, Nasi Ambeng is normally served at festivals or large gatherings or locally known as ‘Kenduri’. Warung Ibu Nasi Ambeng Tanjung Karang also serves one of the best Nasi Ambeng you can find in Selangor.
3. Sambal Taun
Known as Sambal Taun or Sambal Tahun, this unique dish is famous among Selangorians. It originates from the Javanese early settlers and has become a traditional food of Selangor ever since. This dish is said to be spicy because of the amount of chilli used in its preparation. Hence, the name sambal. Here in Selangor, the protein is taken from cow skin but it is commonly switched to either clams, cow lungs or even anchovies, according to one’s preference.
Other ingredients needed to complete this one of a kind main dish are red onions, garlic, shrimp paste, coconut milk, oil, tamarind paste, a pinch of salt and sugar. In the past, it is believed that this dish was served during Eid celebration! You can also drop by Restoran Miah Corner in Kuala Selangor to try this dish first before making them.
4. Wadai Kipeng
In the tongue of the Banjar people, ‘Wadai’ predominantly means ‘Kuih’, while ‘Kipeng’ refers to pieces. Back in the day, it has been traditionally practised by the Banjar community to plate up Wadai Kipeng on their Thanksgiving ceremony!
It goes without saying, to prepare this porridge-like dessert, the must-have ingredients are glutinous rice flour, coconut, palm sugar, granulated sugar and some pandan leaves! This is a perfectly sweet ending to your meal. For a local experience, you can try them at Homestay Sg. Sireh where you can also learn how to make them.
5. Bahulu Kemboja
We named it the ‘old-timers’ favourite traditional kuih that is still popular up to this day. Bahulu Kemboja can be served whenever you like, be it for breakfast, or even during teatime, well you choose! Having its own speciality, this kuih is sold widely but it is undeniably though to find one that tastes as original as the Selangor one today.
You can always try making one at home and you may be surprised at what good of a cook you are! To maintain the uniqueness and moisture of the kuih, the ingredients needed are original pandan essence straight from its leaves, wheat flour, rice flour, some coconut milk, eggs, sesame seeds for topping and of course, sugar and salt to give taste! Warung Soto Pasir Penambang also serves the best Bahulu Kemboja, so while you are there for the Pecal, don’t forget to give this a try as well!
Selangor is blessed to have such amazing flavours and dishes in just one state. From appetisers, main dishes, desserts and teatime snacks, all these traditional cuisines is a reflection of how splendid Selangor can be!