9789814841924 | 9789814841924

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The Food of Singapore Malays: Gastronomic Travels Through the Archipelago

ISBN 9789814841924

Book E-Book

Khir Johari

This landmark publication explores in detail the history and culture of Malay food in Singapore. How did Malay cuisine evolve to its modern-day form? How has geography influenced the way Malays eat? What cultural beliefs shape the rituals of Malay gastronomy? What does food tell us about the Malay worldview?

Coupled with over 400 stunning photographs from travels around the region as well as 40 detailed recipes for recreating key Malay dishes (both the popular and the obscure), this highly anticipated book is set to be the definitive work on Malay gastronomy.

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This is not a cookbook. It is the story of a people. 

In the Malay Archipelago – encompassing Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – the ingredients in a dish reflect the richness of the region. Sublime flavours build ties of kinship, while familiar foods hold their own in tales of kings and dynasties.

In the heart of this region lies Singapore. Here, the grandeur of Malay cuisine reflects the eclectic origins of its people. It is central to their art of living. It is their unwritten story. And what better way to chronicle the story of a people than through its food?

This landmark publication explores in detail the history and culture of Malay food in Singapore. How did Malay cuisine evolve to its modern-day form? How has geography influenced the way Malays eat? What cultural beliefs shape the rituals of Malay gastronomy? What does food tell us about the Malay worldview?

Chapters include: the art of foraging; techniques of preservation and preparation; sweets and savouries; food as medicine; aesthetics and symbolism; cultural exchanges and adaptations; feasts and celebrations.

Coupled with over 400 stunning photographs from travels around the region as well as 40 detailed recipes for recreating key Malay dishes (both the popular and the obscure), this highly anticipated book is set to be the definitive work on Malay gastronomy.


Khir Johari

Khir Johari was born and raised in the historic Gedung Kuning (Yellow Mansion) in Kampong Gelam, Singapore’s earliest Muslim quarter. He is a researcher and collector of Malay history and culture; former vice-president of the Singapore Heritage Society; a respected heritage consultant and speaker; a diehard foodie and consummate cook.

Khir’s Southeast Asian collection includes artworks, rare books and artifacts, food anthropology items and music recordings. He obtained a BSc in Mathematics from Santa Clara University and a Masters in Education from Stanford University. The Food of Singapore Malays, a decade in the making, is his first book.


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