Nasi Kuning: Indonesian Festive Rice

Sharing is Caring-

Whenever Heather gets a new cookbook for the house, it’s always a good enough reason to have a celebration!

This time around, she got a really delightful cookbook, Cradle of Flavor, that dives deep into some really exquisite looking Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean recipes. Needless to say that we’re both really excited to explore many more recipes from the region as we move through this cookbook.

It was this dish for nasi kuning, however, that caught our eye first as being very exquisite. And apparently for good reason, since nasi kuning is a dish often served for special occasions in Indonesian culture.

Because of the turmeric and the goldenrod color that it yields, nasi kuning is said to resemble gold and to symbolize good fortune and wealth to whom its presented, so no wonder it’s such a hit at the big events!

View of ingredients - rice, turmeric powder, coconut milk, vegetable broth, pandanus leaves
Click here to download this recipe - Nasi Kuning

The Coconut Milk in Nasi Kuning

What personally struck me most, however, about the dish in terms of its flavor profile and taste was the richness that stemmed from cooking with coconut milk. Now, as a half-Persian, I’ve seen some pretty interesting approaches to cooking rice, but this for me was the first time with adding coconut milk to cook the rice.

Rest assured, it certainly won’t be the last time I add coconut milk to cook rice. Each grain of the finished nasi kuning dish tasted incredibly decadent while also thoroughly coated with flavor… which I do suspect is a direct consequence of the coconut milk.

Plus, let’s call it an added bonus for this recipe that we can reap the tremendous health benefits of coconut milk. But that’s a topic for another day.

Cooking all ingredients together for the rice

While the coconut milk was a fantastic addition for the rice, the nasi kuning did just as much need the other added ingredients – kaffir leaves, lemongrass, and ginger – to help balence the taste of the overall dish. Without the springy and zesty freshness that these ingredients contribute, I would suspect that rice just cooked in coconut milk would be very heavy, wholesome, and sleep-inducing.

Thankfully, it wasn’t. This nasi kuning was a perfectly balanced dish that tasted as elegantly as it looked.

A taste as special as the occasions for which it’s made, no doubt.

Ready to serve turmeric rice dish
Click here to download this blog article's recipe - Nasi Kuning

Indonesian Rice

Prep

Cook

Total

Author Adapted from Cradle of Flavor Cookbook (affiliate link)

Yield 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric (or 1.5 inch freshly chopped turmeric root)
  • 1 ½ cups of uncooked long grain white rice, washed and drained
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth (original recipe calls for chicken stock, but we swapped)
  • 1 Salam, or pandanus leaves (we substituted kaffir lime leaves here)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom third only, outer layers discarded, inner part bruised
  • 1 (2 ½ cm) fresh galangal, peeled and sliced (we substituted ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice, turmeric, coconut milk, water, and vegetable broth into a small pot
  2. Add the salam panadus (or kaffir lime) leaf, lemongrass, galangal (or ginger) and salt into the pot and put over high heat
  3. Bring entire pot contents to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes. The liquid should be fully absorbed
  5. Once the liquid is fully absorbed, bring heat to a complete simmer and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. The rice will dry up and become fluffy
  6. Remove rice from heat and fluff with a fork

Courses Side Dish

Cuisine Indonesian

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Nasi Kuning: Indonesian Festive Rice

Indonesian Rice


  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x

Description

Indonesian Rice with vegetable broth and coconut milk.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric (or 1.5 inch freshly chopped turmeric root)
  • 1 ½ cups of uncooked long grain white rice, washed and drained
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth (original recipe calls for chicken stock, but we swapped)
  • 1 Salam, or pandanus leaves (we substituted kaffir lime leaves here)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom third only, outer layers discarded, inner part bruised
  • 1 (2 ½ cm) fresh galangal, peeled and sliced (we substituted ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice, turmeric, coconut milk, water, and vegetable broth into a small pot
  2. Add the salam panadus (or kaffir lime) leaf, lemongrass, galangal (or ginger) and salt into the pot and put over high heat
  3. Bring entire pot contents to a boil
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes. The liquid should be fully absorbed
  5. Once the liquid is fully absorbed, bring heat to a complete simmer and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. The rice will dry up and become fluffy
  6. Remove rice from heat and fluff with a fork
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Indonesian

Keywords: yellow rice, fried rice, flavor rice

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.