Events, Food
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Pasar Malam: Malay Food Fiesta

Yesterday I went for ‘Pasar Malam,’ a food fiesta and hawker street organized by the Womens Affairs Committee of the Sri Lanka Malay Association. Having a Malay grandmother, I had been exposed to most of these food items growing up. My grandma loves to cook and she and her sisters make some amazing Malay dishes.

A brief history of the Malays in Sri Lanka can be read here.


Kaki Soup. Made from the leg bones of the cow, in a clear broth, this yummy soup is a staple Malay favourite.



Serikaya, more famously known as the ‘wattalapan.’


Pasthol, a favourite Malay short-eat, stuffed with spicy babath (tripe).


Cheena Kueh, made out of jaggery and riceflour. Eaten with grated coconut.

On an invitation from Meg, my mum, grandma, and I spent our evening at the fair with her family enjoying the great food, conversation and atmosphere.

Held at the ‘Padang’ a historic building, home to the Colombo Malay Cricket Club (CMCC) and the Sri Lanka Malay Association, we tried an assortment of Malay treats from kaki soup to satay, pasthol to prawn dumplings.



My great aunt.


My mum is half Malay.


Grandma meets Meg’s dad.


I love how this couple co-ordinated their outfits.

Apart from traditional Sri Lankan Malay cuisine, there were also stalls serving Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian and Middle Eastern food. I genuinely enjoyed my bites from all the stalls and think it’s a fantastic place for the average foodie to run riot.


The ladies at the Indonesian stall.


The Malaysian stall





Fruit cocktail from the Indonesian stall.

The evening gave way to musical performances, fashion shows and even a demonstration by Hair dresser Ramzi Rahman.


Ramzi Rahman, one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned hair dressers gives a demonstration. He is also form the Malay community.


Malay fashion show


Malay man wearing a songkok (Malay cap).

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The Malay people and their culture, are such an intrinsic part of our country. All Sri Lankans should definitely visit the next Pasar Malam for a taste of their food and a glimpse into their way of life.

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