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Monday, July 23, 2018

My favourite food story

For Bollywood and theatre writer,Anjum Rajabali,it was love at first bite with the Malaysian specialty,Char kway teow

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: September 8, 2012 3:00:40 am

I will never forget the first time I ate Char kway teow in Malaysia. It was in June,1986 and it was the first time I had set foot outside the country when I had gone there for a workshop. I remember I was very excited about trying out the local cuisine but when I went to the hotel restaurant,the food tasted like food anywhere else in the world. So one day,I was complaining about this to a local person I had met and he immediately took me out to a street restaurant opposite the hotel. It was a roadside restaurant,very much like an Indian dhaba. I remember there was all the noise from the road and the market and we were sitting with a large group of people talking about movies and songs and we were all having a good time. And then the waiters brought our food and all conversation came to an end. That is when I tasted Char kway teow for the first time and fell in love with it at first bite. It’s a Malaysian preparation of noodles with sprouts,different veggies and chicken. 26 years later,I still hunt for that taste. It fit my tastebuds perfectly; I like spicy food and I love the variety of tastes that can be found in the Indian cuisine. I enjoy oriental food,especially Chinese,but this was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. It was much closer to my preferences and it hit the spot. The Char kway teow was spicy and gentle at the same time and with every bite,I could taste different elements in it. Unfortunately,it’s not easily found in India. So every time I go abroad,I look for it,whether I’m in Spain or England or France. Even when I meet Malaysians anywhere in the world,the mopment I tell them that Char kway teow is my favourite dish,they are amazed and an instant connection develops between us. I think that restaurants should bring this dish to India,I am sure others will enjoy it as much as I do.

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