Masak Lemak: A Taste of Malaysia

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Masak Lemak, also known as Masak Lemak Cili Api, is a traditional Malaysian dish that has been passed down through generations. It is a staple in many Malaysian households, particularly in the Negeri Sembilan region, known for its rich and spicy cuisine.

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The Essence of Masak Lemak

The name “Masak Lemak Cili Api” translates to “Cooked in Fat Chili Fire,” which perfectly encapsulates the essence of this dish. It is characterized by its creamy gravy, made from a blend of coconut milk, turmeric, and bird’s eye chili, also known as “Cili Api” in Malay. The combination of these ingredients results in a rich, spicy, and slightly sweet flavour that is truly unique to Malaysian cuisine.

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Variations of the Dish

While the basic recipe remains the same, Masak Lemak can be prepared with various ingredients such as chicken, beef, fish, or vegetables. The most popular version is Masak Lemak Cili Api Ayam, which is made with chicken. Regardless of the main ingredient, the dish is typically served with steamed rice, making it a complete and satisfying meal.

Source: cookpad


Masak Lemak is more than just a dish; it is a reflection of Malaysia’s rich culinary heritage. Its unique blend of flavours and ingredients showcases the diversity and complexity of Malaysian cuisine. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a taste of Masak Lemak is a taste of Malaysia.


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Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal