I remember asking one of the Istana hotel concierge on the best Indian curry house in town. The answer was Betel Leaf restaurant, Lebuh Ampang, KL. It was in June 28th, 2010 when I accompanied Emeritus Prof Barry Nocumber, a distinguished Australian scholar and professor who was with me examining post-graduate student in child psychiatry, we went to this restaurant.

It was a busy weekday; precisely in the late evening. The restaurant was situated on the first floor of the seasoned row of shop houses. Outside, it was raining. The one-way street were clogged with buses and taxis. Many people were waiting for the transport as the bus stop and taxi station were located just in front of the shop houses. We were chatted excitedly about ourselves and the exam that we had just attended to.

It was there that we ate pulao rice, served in a stainless plate with banana leave, papadom, chicken curry and vegetable. Interestingly, Indian curry houses serve foods using stainless metal dishes. Malays, to the contrary, feel awkward eating curry from periuk. Following tradition, banana leaf rice is somewhat acquainted with South Indian cuisine. The food that we ate had a lot of pepper, chillies, spices and curry leaves.

The North Indian cuisine (pic, below) such as  briyani is taken with creamy sauces and of course, not being served using  banana leaf. I was informed that the North Indian dishes tend to taste less spicy because the milk, cream or yoghurt content helps tone them down. This was confirmed when I tested the best Hyderabad briyani.

Hyderabad briyani