Makene Oghe Kito Sedap-Sedap
The Kelantanese cuisine, heavily influenced by Thai cuisine, is quite popular among Malaysians. In fact, many visitors come to Kelantan just to taste the special delicacies that cannot be found elsewhere. The use of sugar is a must in every Kelantanese kitchen, and thus most Kelantanese dishes are sweet.
Kelantanese food makes more use of coconut milk than anywhere else in the country. Curries are richer, creamier, and more influenced by the tastes of nearby Thailand.
 Local specialties
Apart from delicacies imported from Thailand, there are delicacies which are invented by the Kelantanese themselves such as:
* Nasi Dagang
This is a mix of white rice and brown glutinous rice (special glutinous rice) which is cooked with coconut milk (santan), blended onions and garlic and some spices (such as fenugreek) (Malay: halba). Fish or chicken curry comes as an add-on to complete the dishes together with mildly brown sugared sambal (chili paste), so it’s recommended to take only a small portion as it is extremely filling. The Nasi Dagang is one of the tastiest dishes in Kelantan and goes well with fish curry, pickle, hard-boiled eggs. See here for the main article about Nasi Dagang
* Nasi Kerabu
Nasi Kerabu literally means “rice salad”. Kelantan has a variety of Nasi Kerabu. Nasi kerabu biasa (normal) or nasi kerabu putih (white) which comes with its own sambal tumis (a special coconut milk based gravy with local herbs and spices, with a hint of chillies) or Nasi kerabu Hitam (black) though the actual color is blue (after the rice is soaked and cooked with a local flower although some people use artificial equivalents) and nasi kerabu kuning (yellow) which use tumeric in the preparation of the rice. Nasi Kerabu Hitan and Kuning does not require a sambal tumis, instead, it has a watery chilly sauce which makes it slightly hotter. The “kerabu” (salad) could be any vegetables or edible leaves though the more or less standard version will have daun kesum, taugeh (bean sprout), thinly cut; long green beans, bunga kantan, cucumber (connoisseurs will insist “seeded”), and daun kadok. Apart from that it is also served with fried breaded fish, keropok keping, salted egg, “solok lada” (fish fillet and coconut-stuffed chillis), and pickled garlic (local gherkins)
* Nasi Tumpang
Rice packed in a cone-shaped banana leaf. A pack of Nasi Tumpang consists of an omelette, meat floss, chicken and/or shrimp curry and sweet gravy. It is traditionally meant for travellers.
* Ayam Golek / Ayam Percik
Wood-fire broiled chicken dressed with sweet coconut gravy. Ayam Golek/Ayam Percik is eaten with white rice in major family dishes and serve during a feast.
* Nasi Berlauk
Most Kelantanese have Nasi Berlauk as their breakfast. Nasi Berlauk is rice served with fish or chicken and vegetables cooked with tumeric and galangal infused yellow gravy.
* Nasi Ulam
Ulam is the local term for raw vegetables – the meal consists of white rice served with a variety of raw vegetables, and is considered one of the healthiest dishes found in Malay cuisine.
Also termed as chlorophyll rice, the Khau-Jam is a green rice cooked using up to seven types of herbs, and served with raw vegetables (such as bean sprouts, cucumber, and long beans), fish flakes and local Keropok. The meal is often accompanied by Budu and sometimes served with deep-fried fish.
These are Kelantanese fish crackers. Their texture and colour are noticeably rougher and darker than the usual variety found on the West Coast of Malaysia. Like the curries, the crackers are influenced by Thai cooking and produce a sharper, saltier taste.
* Keropok Gote
These are Kelantanese fish sausages. Made by combining fish flesh and sago, keropok gote is rolled into long firm sticks and then steamed or boiled. To enjoy it, one has to cut it into desired bite sized and deep fried. Different from Terengganu’s keropok lekor, the Kelantan variety is thicker and longer in size and has to be fried to be eaten. Keropok Gote is probably the one snack which all Kelantanese children grow up with. It is a must at all school canteens.
* Laksa Kelantan
The Laksa dish, white noodles served with gravy (curry or otherwise) and vegetables, is made differently in every state in Malaysia. The laksa Kelantan employs the creamy white gravy which is richer and has full-bodied flavour. The main ingredient is fish flesh, although connoisseurs would certainly prefer the ones made of eels. Laksam is another version with thicker noodle (similar to kuey teow). Laksa or laksam is served with ulam similar in nasi kerabu, with a pinch of salt and belachan for added taste
* Pisang Coklat
In English, ‘Chocolate Banana’ which is supposedly the favourite flavour of ice cream in the Kelantan district.
* Coconut Shake
This yummy drink usually can be found and sold at some morning markets (so called Pasar Pagi in the weekend) and night markets. It is made from young coconut juice, blend with its flesh and some ice, plus little amount of cream soda drink and milk. It will form like ice blended, and usually served with vanilla ice-cream on top of the drink. It is hard to find this drink sold outside Kelantan.
 Thai-influenced dishes
Perhaps the most characteristic Kelantanese-Thai dish is ‘kaeng matsaman’—a mouth-watering beef curry cooked with peanuts, potatoes and chopped red onions in a thick coconut milk sauce. Other Kelantanese-Thai specialties include: ‘kaeng phanaeng kai’—savoury chicken and coconut curry. ‘Kaeng som nom mai dong’—hot and sour fish ragout with pickled bamboo. ‘Pla see siad haeng thawt’—deep fried semi-dried pla see fish. ‘Khao yam pak tai’—an intriguing breakfast salad. The presentation is exquisite. A small pile of fragrant boiled rice, accompanied by finely chopped heaps of lemon grass, peanuts, bean sprouts, green beans, sour mango and chopped makrut or kaffir lime is served with spicy chilli pepper, fresh lime and a piquant sweet-sour sauce. It’s unusual, elegant, and very typical of Kelantan. Kelantanese dishes, like central Thai, are usually accompanied by generous helpings of ‘khao suay’, or “beautiful rice”—the best of which, ‘khao hawm Mali’, or jasmine-fragrance rice, is steamed until each grain is tender but separate. When something tastes this good, the Thais utter in full emotion:-“Pisek!”
Somtam is a papaya salad with a salty, spicy, and sour taste. The main items in it are young, unripe papaya, soy sauce, groundnuts, fish sauce, lime juice, and chilies. These items are combined in a mortar, pounded with a pestle for few seconds and served. The salty and lime juicy taste is very popular. This light dish is widely available in regions with large numbers of ethnic Thais, such as Tumpat and Siamese wats.
Contrary to popular belief, Cholek is not just a dipping sauce, but can also refer to a snack eaten with the sauce. Cholek comes in various forms, including meaty cholek, cholek ayam (chicken), cholek perut (cow intestines), cholek pelepong (paru-liver), and also a variety of cholek buah (fruits)m such as cholek pauh (mango).
The sauce or “the cholek” comes in various forms. • Cholek manis (with brown sugar). • A sweet, sour and very mildly hot version. This cholek is different from other chili sauces because cholek is very thin and rather sweet. This dipping sauce is used for any kind of chicken, but also goes well with shrimp, fish cake, spring roll, sausage, etc.
Budu is a salted (fermented) anchovy sauce eaten with rice, grilled fish and vegetables/salads (ulam). A bit of lime juice, hot chilis and onions are added on for taste. Also, tempoyak (fermented durian) or fresh durian is added for good measure.
Once so combined, the purple-brownish condiment has a blend of salty and sour taste. Nowadays, other types of fish are also used to create Budu. Famous budu maker villages are Kg. Tawang, Bachok and Kg. Penambang near Kota Bharu. Similar sauces are found in the Philippines and Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia).
Tempoyak is a fermented durian dip, used with normal white rice. Most unforgettable is eating the ‘tempoyak+budu+ulam’.
Those with high blood pressure should beware of the high salt content of this condiment, however.
Another famous Thai dish is ‘pakpek belut’. The main ingredient of this cook is eel. Many Thai restaurants around Tumpat and Wakaf Bharu make this dish their main attraction. Some customers prefer it spicy, and some prefer it less spicy. This dish is not easy to cook; it needs some experience in handling the heat, natural ingredients, salt, and the eel itself. This dish is also influenced by Chinese cuisine, for whom there is a belief that eating this exotic food is more healthy.