Malaysia is a country with rich culture. In 1963 when Malaysia was established as a united country. The mix of ethnic has thus created a unified cuisine in Malaysia, but it still retains the unique qualities of traditional cooking methods. The population of Malaysia is mainly Malay, Chinese and Indians while the Borneo sub origins made out the most of west Malaysian population. Malaysia is known for many things one of the most popular ones is food. Malaysia. It has a very diverse population consisting of many different ethnic groups. Malaysian food, is very much reflective of the diversity of the people staying here. Located at the Southeast Asia, Malaysia is between Thailand and Singapore while West Malaysia is next to the Sulawesi and Philippines. Malay cuisine is the cooking tradition of ethnic Malays of Malaysia. There are so many to choose from, whether traditional or modern cuisines, deem to satisfy the choosiest tastes buds. Malaysian food is mixed with other cultures from around the world. The food is mainly influenced by Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisine. These influences manifest themselves in a variety of ways from the cooking techniques and tools used to the exotic flavour and spices used in dishes. As a country that brings together many different cultures, the food is very variaty. The taste of Malaysian food are unique that have combination of sweet, sour, rich and spicy. This combination is not like any other country’s cuisine in the world. Different Malay regions are all known for their unique or signature dishes. For example Terengganu and Kelantan for their Nasi dagang, Nasi kerabu and Keropok lekor. Negeri Sembilan for its lemak-based dishes. Pahang and Perak for their gulai tempoyak. Kedah for its northern-style Asam laksa and Malacca for its spicy Asam Pedas. Because most of Malay people are Muslims, so Malay cuisine follows Islamic halal dietary law regulation. From beef, water buffalo, goat, and lamb meat, poultry and fishes this protein can be gain. Pork and any non-halal meats and also alcohol is prohibited and absent from Malay daily diet. Nasi lemak, rice cooked in rich coconut milk probably is the most popular dish ubiquitous in Malay town and villages. Nasi lemak is a consider like Malaysia’s national dish and very famous in Malaysia. Another example for popular dish in Malaysia is Ketupat or nasi himpit. This dish become popular especially during Idul Fitri or Hari Raya or Eid ul-Fitr. Various meats and vegetables could be made Gulai or Kari. A type of curry dish with variations of spices mixtures that clearly display that Indian influence already adopted since ancient times. Laksa, is also a popular dish in Malaysia. Malay cuisine also adopted some their neighbour cuisine traditions like rendang that come from Minangkabau in Pagaruyung Highlands and also satay from Java. However Malay people has developed this recipe with their own distinctive taste so the taste will be different from others. Every Malay meal is served with rice, which is also the staple food in many other Asian cultures. Due to its sunny weather all year round, fruits and vegetables are so many while meat, poultry and seafood in affordable price and easy to find. Malaysian food, have a variety dish that divided into Malay, Chinese and Indian that prepared by their own unique ways and recipe. Although there are various type of dishes in a Malay meal, all are served at once, not in courses and food is eaten with right hand and Malays rarely use utensils. This show about the uniqueness of Malay ethnic. COMMON INGREDIENT THAT ALWAYS USE IN MALAY DISHES Malay food is strong, spicy and aromatic. The main characteristic in traditional Malay cuisine is with the generous use of spices. The spices give a delicious taste to the food. Chilli peppers are important to Malaysian kitchens. Both fresh and dried chilies are used. This chilli come in several sizes, shapes and colour. The two type of chilli that most commonly available is the bird’s eye chili, which although small in size are extremely pungent and very hot and longer varieties, which tend to be much milder. Green chilli are more peppery in taste. If a milder flavour is preferred, the seeds and membranes are removed from the chili pods before they are cut or the chilli are left whole and removed prior to serving. Some common uses include grinding the chilli into a paste or sambal and also can chop a fresh chilli as a condiment or garnish and pickling whole.. Shrimp paste also use in Malaysian cooking. It is a type of shrimp paste which is pressed into a block and sun-dried. In its raw form it has a very pungent smell. Once cooked, the shrimp paste’s aroma and flavour mellows and contributes a depth of flavour to the dish. Shrimp paste always packaging in small quantities. The coconut have another quintessential feature of Malaysian cuisine and virtually all parts of the plant can be used. The white fleshy part of the coconut endosperm may be grated, shredded and used as is dried to make desiccated coconut or toasted until dark brown and ground to make kerisik. Grated coconut flesh is also squeezed to make coconut milk, which is used extensively in savoury dishes and desserts throughout the country. Coconut oil also used for cooking and cosmetic purposes and may be either obtained by processing copra (dried coconut flesh) or extracted from fresh coconuts as virgin coconut oil. Coconut water is a clear liquid found inside the cavity of each coconut, is a popular cooler in Malaysia’s hot and humid climate. Gula melaka is unrefined palm sugar produced from the sap of the coconut flower. This gula melaka is most traditional sweetener in Malaysian cooking and imbues a rich caramel-like flavour with a hint of coconut. Common herbs include lemongrass, a type of grass with a lemony aroma and flavour. Young, fresh stems are more desirable as older stems tend to acquire a woody texture the tender white part closest to the base of the stem is thinly sliced and eaten raw in salads, or pounded with other aromatics to make a rempah. It is also used whole in boiled and simmered dishes. The pandan (screwpine) leaf is the Asian equivalent of vanilla in Western cuisine. The subtle aroma is released when the leaves are bruised by tying one or two long leaves into a knot. This screwpine leaf is used for cooking curries, rice and desserts. The leaves can also be used to wrap items like rice, chicken or fish for cooking. Pandan leaf also available in liquid essence or powdered form to flavour and colour cakes. Turmeric is a rhizome popular for its flavour as well as colouring properties. The leaves and flowers of the turmeric plant can used to cooking and also eaten raw. Other essential seasoning and garnishes include tamarind, specifically the paste-like pulp extracted from the fruit pod which contributes a tart flavour to many dishes. Candlenuts are similar in appearance to macadamia nuts, being round, cream coloured and have a high oil content. Candlenuts are normally ground to thicken sauces. ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE OF MALAY COMMON FOOD ( SAMBAL ) Advantage 1. Lose weight : Spicy foods can increase metabolism that affects weight loss. 2. Healthy heart : Research shows, people who are accustomed to eating spicy foods have a number of incidents of heart attack and smaller strokes. 3. Prevent cancer : According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill cancer cells and leukemia. Certain spices like turmeric found in curry powder and mustard can slow down the spread of cancer and tumor growth. Combination of turmeric with black pepper will make the effect multiply.4. Improve digestive function : The benefits of chilli in the digestive tract are enhancing blood circulation in the abdomen and enhancing the mucus layer. Capsaicin also helps kill H.pylori bacteria that cause sore ulcer. Disadvantage 1. Spicy food results in damage to the stomach wall. This is because, the type of spicy food is a combination of acids and too much acids enter the solids, thus causing damage to your stomach wall.2. Spicy foods cause you to have insomnia or sleep difficult at night. So you should not eat spicy food at night. Because your views will not be comfortable.3. Spicy foods cause you to lose your appetite. So try to reduce the food that is spicy for your body health. TABOOS DURING CONFINEMENT MALAY Pregnancy is the most nutritionally demanding stage in a woman’s life. This stage demands extra calories and essential nutrients are needed every day to support the growth of the fetus. Severer food that must avoid during pregnancy might deplete the body of important nutrients which can adversely affect pregnancy and birth outcomes. Evidence showed that the amount of weight gained during pregnancy can affect the immediate and future health of a woman and her baby. Therefore, attention to appropriate dietary behaviour and proper nutrient intake is of utmost importance for adequate nourishment to both, of mother and the fetus. Lack of accurate information concerning food intake of pregnant women could be a hindrance for the improvement of their nutritional status. Food taboos exist in every society. The dietary rules and regulations that may govern particular phase of human life cycle and maybe associated with special events such as a menstrual period, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, wedding, funeral and so on. Food taboos are commonly practiced during pregnancy in many cultures in Malaysia and outside. Certain food or activities are not allowed during pregnancy in order to safeguard the unborn child and prevent any negative outcomes to the mother. Passed on from one generation to another generation, most of these taboos are based on learned behaviour, either acquired mostly by instruction from parents and family members or observation from close relatives and friends who practices it before. Many of these cultural patterns have to do with avoiding other problematic events or situations. Hence changing the food habit during pregnancy are observed by the women in order to make delivery easy or to prevent the child from being marred or deformed. The traditional postpartum care in Malaysia is widely practiced regardless of the social demographic and cultural differences. The women in Malaysian societies observe 30 to 44 days of confinement period in which adherence to the food restrictions is the one of the most common practice. Type of foods that have to avoid and reasons for practicing food taboos during pregnancy among Malay women : FoodReason for avoidancePineapple Sugarcane juice Carbonated drinksTapaiFear of abortion, excessive bleeding during labor or maybe the baby born with deformities*Hot foods Fear of abortion, excessive bleeding during labor, the baby may be born with deformities, uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen (pain), fever Cold foods Fear of abortion, body ache, bloated stomach, produce thick breast milk, baby will get sick easily Other foodsFear of abortion, difficult labor, unnecessary sickness, vomiting, dizziness, edema, dark skin baby, the baby may be born with cognitive impairmentØ Hot foods: black pepper, chili, durian, fried foods, ginger, rambutan, turmeric, vinegar. Ø Cold foods: cabbage, coconut water, cucumber, jackfruit, kale, long beans, pumpkin, spinach, watermelon.Ø Other foods: cashew nuts, chicken liver, coffee, junk foods, mackerel, meat, oily foods, seafood. The main reason for avoidance this food is was mainly due to the belief that consuming these foods will lead to abortion and followed by excessive bleeding during labor and also the baby will born with deformities. Other reasons for women that have to avoid unnecessary sickness, edema, vomiting and/or dizziness. They also fear of face a difficult labor, having babies with dark skin or the baby will cognitive impairment.