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The Food Of Singapore Malays: Gastronomic Travels Through The Archipelago

Original price $87.20 - Original price $87.20
Original price
$87.20 - $87.20
Current price $87.20

Khir Johari

Hardback, 608 pages



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.




I. People and Place

1. Setting Sail: The Malays and their World

2. Singapore, A Nusantata Kitchen: The Kampong Gelam Hearth

3. In Gardens and Lakes of Plenty: Ecologies of Taste


II. Indigenous Ingenuity

4. Rustic Trails: The Way of the Forager

5. Rich Harvest, Ocean Bounty: Malay Crops, Livestock and Fishing

6. A Repertoire of Techniques: Preservation and Preparation

7. Culinary Curiosity Cabinet: Tools and Implements

8. The Healing Earth: Food as Medicine

9. More Than a Palate Cleanser: Dainties and Delights


III. Food as Civilisation

10. Elok: The Aesthettics of Malay Cuisine

11. Lyric Flavours: Food in Verse, Tale and Song

12. The Rice Spirit and Other Stories: Symbolism and Mythology

13. Scenes from Malay Feasts: Rituals and Observances


IV. Food and the Politics of Identity

14. Where Monsoons Meet: An Arena of Cultural Exchanges

15. Mother Culture: Shifting Borders of Malay Cuisine

16. Epilogue: The Future of Malay Food