Tourism Malaysia

Banana Leaf Rice – A Mouthwatering Introduction

The beautiful and colourful kolams that decorate the floors of our shopping malls remind us that Deepavali is just around the corner. To get into the spirit of the festival of lights, the blogging crew decided to indulge in one of Malaysia’s favourite Indian meals – banana leaf rice. After all, if there’s one thing that brings Malaysians together, it’s food!

So armed with our hungry tummies, we ventured to our neighbourhood banana leaf rice eatery for a satisfying meal.


What is banana leaf rice?

It’s a traditional method of serving rice dishes on banana leaves instead of plates that was brought over to Malaysia during the migration of South Indians. A unique dining experience, it will tickle your taste buds with all kinds of flavours, while filling your tummy with contentment.

A typical serving of banana leaf rice


There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to banana leaf rice. No two restaurants are alike, with each having their own specialties. Some of our favourite side dishes are fried ikan bulus (silver whiting fish), mutton curry and telur ikan (fish roe).

How should I eat it?


For a more authentic experience, we were encouraged to use our hands as it is said to heighten our senses and enhance the taste. However, we were reminded to never eat with your left hand, as it is considered unclean.

To fold or not to fold


At the end of our meal, we learnt that we should fold our leaf to signify that we are done. It is best to fold the leaf inwards towards you, as that shows our appreciation for the meal. Folding the outwards is usually done at funerals and wakes as a sign of condolence to the family of the deceased. So, remember, always fold it towards you!

Help, my stomach is on fire!


For those of us with delicate stomachs, a mango lassi is the perfect accompaniment to the meal. It’s a yoghurt-based drink that is not only refreshing, but helps put out the fire in our tummy too!

Where can I get a taste?

Indian restaurants are aplenty at Brickfields, home of Little India in Kuala Lumpur and it’s easily accessible by public transport. But if you’re feeling adventurous, here are some of the most popular banana leaf rice eateries around Klang Valley:

  • Devi’s Corner (14, Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur)
  • Krishna Curry House (D-G and E-G, Jalan SS9A/14,Seri Setia Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya)
  • The Lotus Family Restaurant (13 15, Jalan Gasing, 46000 Petaling Jaya)
  • Raju’s Restaurant (27, Jalan Chantek 5/13, Off Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya)
  • Sri Ganapathi Mess (47, Jalan 1/10, Seksyen 1, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor)
  • Sri Nirwana Maju (43, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur)


Know of any other must-try banana leaf places that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.


Want to be part of some Deepavali festivities? Join the Deepavali Open House celebrations, which will be held in Malacca on the 1st of November 2014.

Find out more at and get to know other cultures and heritage in Malaysia.

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