Did you know that Negeri Sembilan is laden with signature dishes hotspots? No trip to Negeri Sembilan is complete without indulging its popular dishes and traditional Malay style pastries known as kuih, which are undeniably delicious. For a gourmet selection, look no other than the most popular bird’s eye chillies.
It is all about the finest ingredients and prepares yourself to gorge on delicious food, which might be a little bit hot and spicy as you enjoy a gastronomic adventure like no other!
Located about a one-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, it’s easy to explore Negeri Sembilan, the southern state in Peninsular Malaysia, which is well-known for its Matrilineal Custom (Adat Perpatih) as well as strong Minangkabau culture, architecture and style of cooking.
Here are several popular culinary delights that we think you should discover as you go on a food adventure in Negeri Sembilan.
MASAK LEMAK CILI PADI
This quintessentially Negeri Sembilan’s signature dish is a spicy, savoury coconut gravy, which is often cooked with chicken, fish, prawns or smoked beef.
The combination of fresh turmeric, lemongrass, onions, bird’s eye chillies and other condiments simmered in coconut milk, produce an aroma and flavour as if it looks like a vibrant yellow Malaysian curry. You may also add in some pineapple for extra oomph to knock your socks off. Masak lemak cili padi is best eaten with warm rice for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Aptly known as ‘apam daun rambai’, this another famous local delicacy in Johol, Negeri Sembilan is made of wheat flour, sugar, brown sugar and bread crumbs.
A freshly and perfectly baked apam johol will turn into light brown with a nicely cracked and flaky top wrapped in the rambai leaf. Apam Johol itself is fragrant and slightly sweet, and it is best served for hi-tea or as a dessert. You can eat this one as a snack on its own or dip in with your beef rendang, sambal ikan bilis (anchovies in spicy gravy) or bean porridge.
RENDANG PUCUK UBI
Rendang pucuk ubi is a unique traditional cuisine made of anchovies, cassava leaves, onion, turmeric, lemongrass, coconut milk and tamarind paste. It is best served with rice or lemang (glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk), ketupat (compressed rice dumpling) and bread.
SAMBAL TEMPOYAK DAUN KAYU
According to tradition, the original recipe would require about 44 different kinds of thinly sliced leaves and herbaceous plants mixed with the main ingredients – fermented durian together with blended bird’s eye chilies and turmeric besides seasoning of anchovies, lemongrass, petai bean and coconut milk. This classic Negeri Sembilan cuisine is usually served with warm rice and grilled fish.
SATAY TULANG JELEBU
This is another variety of Malaysian famous charcoal-grilled satay (small pieces of meat cooked on a stick). The tender satay is marinated with traditional home-made spices and served with a spicy peanut sauce.
AIR JANDO PULANG
This sweet and refreshing drink is unique to Negeri Sembilan to quench your thirst on a hot sunny day. It comprises young coconut water with its exquisite pulp added with ice cubes, palm sugar and some colouring (usually red), which is optional.
CENDOL SAGU RUMBIA
This Negeri Sembilan dessert may look like a cendol (typical Malaysian dessert consisting of shaved ice, creamy coconut milk and brown sugar), but what makes it different is the use of sago – the tiny jelly-like balls in which it is a little bit chewy but tasty!
This sweet traditional delicacy is made of glutinous rice flour and palm sugar, while the filling consists of mixed grated coconut. It can either be fried or steamed with coconut milk whichever suits your taste buds!
If you are still undecided about where to start with, we suggest you to try eating spicy traditional foods ‘Makan Berselo’ at Negeri Sembilan Museum. The menu will include rice and expect to sit cross-legged on mats laid down on the floor during a feast while eating using your hands. Makan Berselo is part of Negeri Sembilan’s Matrilineal Custom to entertain and welcoming guests.