The different regions are known for their dishes. However, one thing the Malay cooking has in common is the use of spices. Coconut milk is important in many of the dishes. Shrimp paste (belacan) is also used to make a condiment called sambal. The paste is added to chillies, onions, and garlic. Nearly every meal is served with rice. Food is eaten with the fingers of the right hand. Beef, water buffalo, goat, lamb, poultry and fish are eaten for protein. Nasi lemak, rice cooked in rich coconut, is a popular dish. Curry and palm leaves are also popular.
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