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INDIA BANANA LEAF RICE
Banana leaf rice is a typical dish in South Indian cuisine. White rice (or parboiled rice in authentic South Indian restaurants) is served on a banana leaf with an assortment of vegetables, curried chicken, mutton meat or fish, pickles, and/or papadum. Most of the time, however, only the gravy of the curry will be served and no meat is served as it is meant to be a traditional Indian vegetarian dish. It is traditionally eaten with the hand.
The banana leaf is used as it is believed that the hot rice will release the coating on the banana leaf, which aids in digestion.
Depending on restaurants, tomato rice is also available. Diners can have the option to choose from a variety of vegetable dishes, curried meat / fish dishes, fried chicken or even crispy fried squid. Indian banana leaf rice shops will usually have a delicious, mouth-watering dish which is made from raw cucumber, onions and pineapple mixed as a salad with a little vinegar and sugar. Papadums (thin cracker made with black gram, jackfruit and tapioca) are then served as an accompaniment to a meal, together with a selection of curries for you to douse over the rice.
In Malaysia, to show your appreciation after a satisfying meal, fold the banana leaf towards you (i.e. inwards) to signify that the meal was good. Folding the opposite direction (i.e. away from you) signifies that the meal was not satisfying.