BANANA leaf restaurants in Malaysia have traditionally depended on cooks from India.
As a result of the caste system, which continues to be practiced unofficially, there is still a tradition in India where sons take over the trade or vocation of their fathers.
A barber’s son, for example, will become a barber, and a cook’s son goes on to become a cook himself.
In Malaysia, hardly anyone aspires to become a cook in a banana leaf restaurant because of the low salary and difficult working conditions.
Moreover, hiring cooks fron India allows these restaurant operators to keep the prices of food affordable.
Currently, the cost of a vegetarian banana leaf meal is around RM8 while a non-vegetarian meal with chicken or mutton costs RM15 or more.