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Happy (Chinese) New Year! Time for Some Chinese Goodies

Today is Chinese New Year 2011, as the moon slides across from old to new and starts a new lunar month. Often called Spring Festival, there are more people in the world who celebrate this particular annual beginning than any other. There are other lunar New Year events, including Islamic New Year, Rosh Hashana, […]

Book of the Month: The Spice Merchant’s Daughter

Welcome to the inaugural review for the Chile Underground’s new feature, the Book of the Month! We know you’ll find it to be ‘da BOM.’

The (first) featured book is a cookbook, “The Spice Merchant’s Daughter” by Christina Arokiasamy. Ms. Arokiasamy is originally from Malaysia, and from a family of spice merchants. Her great-great-granddaddy was a […]

Chile Underground Turns Two Hundred

The Chile Underground, your favorite food blog (that talks about chiles and travel, I mean), turns 200 today. Posts, that is. And there’s no end in sight!

In a little over a year we’ve brought you recipes and news, Follies and frivolity, and travel (and eating!) reports from all over the world: Singapore, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, […]

Malay Fish Curry and Achar

Most of us think of fish dishes as mild, with flavors that kiss the palate and linger like a first kiss: lemon, dill, parsley, cream and so on.

There’s another way to flavor fish: Hot curry. This one arrives on the tongue like a torrid but doomed love affair, full of heat and zest, leaving you […]

More Malaysia: Nonya Chicken Curry and Three Pepper Pork

As I’ve mentioned previously, Penang (Pulau Pinang) is one of my favorite places in Malaysia. It’s a bustling little island, with lots of high-tech income and scenic charm. In the next few years there will be modernized trains and a much-enlarged airport. The world-class hotels and resorts (mostly on the north shore) attract lots of […]

Malaysian Food: On the Go…

Modern Malaysia is a country on-the-go. A nation of islands and peninsulas, Malays eat a lot of seafood. They are also officially Muslim, and that reflects in the types of food available. (It als means you have natural alarm clocks pretty much everywhere, when the muezzins call the faithful to first prayers.)

Folks on the go […]

The Nonyas of Malaysia

The Nonyas of Malaysia are an interesting story. Originally, the Chinese dominated trade in the Strait of Malacca and on down the southwest coast of present-day Malaysa. Of course, these traders and explorers brought their culture and cooking with them. Because only men were permitted to leave China for trade, they set up businesses and […]

More Malaysian & Indonesian Dishes

As I’ve noted before, I have a love of Malaysian food. Maybe even an obsession. So this month I’ll make several posts about Malaysia and its wonderful food, from a Westerner point of view (of course).

I’ve managed to reformulate and write up some of my favorite Malaysian and Indonesian dishes. I have found some similar […]