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"Will Malaysian cooking be the next ethnic food to explode in popularity in North America? Susheela Raghavan certainly thinks so. She's author of the new cookbook, "Flavors of Malaysia: A Journey Through Time, Tastes and Traditions" (Hippocrene, $40).

"While Malaysian food is new and interesting in many ways, it is not unusual or exotic to those who have tried and enjoyed other Asian fare and European-Asian fusion style dishes," said the resident of New Rochelle, N.Y. "Though Malaysian cuisine has its roots in Chinese, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Portuguese cooking, its dishes have been transformed with a blending of ingredients and cooking styles from each other, and from marrying one another.

"To me, it is the next trend," she said simply.

Raghavan is not alone on this.

The cuisine born of Malaysia's cultural melting pot has won a number of fans.

Martha Stewart, for example, paid a high-profile visit to the country last year and found the experience to be a very good thing."

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