Is there anything more uniquely and definitively Malaysian than the mamak?
It’s probably near impossible to find someone who hasn’t whiled a few late-night hours away at the mamak with friends, and almost everybody has their own staunch uniform mamak order. (Roti pisang and masala chai for me, please!)
Of course, with all things good, it’s not particularly healthy to overindulge, no matter how delicious. But if you find yourself unable to stay away from the mamak, a few healthy food choices go a long way. Our friends at Shape have compiled a list of the best and worst things you can eat at a mamak!
1. Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori chicken is basically baked chicken, cooked in a traditional tandoor clay oven. Without the excess oil from deep- or pan-frying, tandoori items are also marinated in yogurt and spices, which are chock full of their own health benefits too. This makes this dish one of the healthiest possible things you can order at a mamak!
We know, we love carbs as much as you do. Roti canai is delicious, but for your health, make a switch to the healthiest roti a mamak has to offer: chapati. This staple flatbread is made of whole wheat flour and is cooked over a griddle with very little oil. Each chapati is roughly 120 calories, and the whole wheat will keep you full and healthy with fiber.
What would a trip to the mamak be without a flood of curry over your rice or roti? But meat curries can easily reach up to 183 calories per 100g serving, and can be oily to boot. Go easier on them and opt for a serving of dhal curry. Not only does it tend to be less oily, dhal – which is often made legumes like with yellow lentils – is a healthy dose of fiber, protein, and vegetables. I drink it like a soup.
And now for the worst things you can order.