Nasi Kuning, Indonesian yellow rice, cooked in coconut milk, is the central feature in the country’s national dish, called Nasi Tumpeng. Nasi Tumpeng is a feast, usually reserved for special occasions. The Nasi Kuning is shaped into a large cone-shaped mound in the center of the serving platter, with an assortment of other courses placed around the mound. However, Nasi Kuning can be made and served for regular meals as well.
If you wish to prepare the full Nasi Tumpeng feast, you will find several typical traditional side dishes on our Indonesian Cuisine page. Also, below you will see instructions for fashioning the necessary mold for shaping the yellow rice into the traditional cone shape. If you just want to prepare a simpler meal, Nasi Kuning will be excellent served with just a side or topping of almost any Indonesian meat and/or vegetable dishes.
Nasi Kuning Recipe-
- 3 cups of jasmine (basmati) rice
- 2″ length of fresh turmeric root, peeled and finely grated
- 2 cups of thick coconut milk
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Salam leafs (you can use a bayleaf as a subtitute)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, trimmed and bruised
- 1 tsp. salt
- Wash the rice thoroughly and drain it in a colander or sieve.
- Put 1/4 cup of water in a blender along with the grated turmeric, and process until fine. Strain through a sieve, and push until you have extracted all of the juice. Measure out 2 tablespoons and discard the rest.
- In a heavy duty skillet, place the turmeric water and all the other ingredients. Place a lid on the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once a boil is achieved, stir, lower the heat to just a simmer, and cook until the rice is done.
- Remove all of the leaves and the lemongrass before serving your Nasi Kuning.
Note: If the rice seems to be too dry before the grains are soft and swollen, sprinkle with a little more water and continue cooking.
Instructions for Making the Cone-Shaping Mold-
- a large, square sheet of thick paper
- aluminum foil
- all-purpose glue
- Spread the paper out on a flat surface, then put glue along the outside edges and crisscrossed lines diagonally from corner to corner.
- Cover the paper with aluminum foil, pressing to ensure good adhesion. This will be the inside of your mold, and will ensure the rice does not stick to it
- Once the glue has set, fold and shape the composite into a cone, and glue the seam together where the two edges meet and overlap.
- Use scissors to cut the bottom of the cone to be level, so that the mold will sit upright and centered when placed on a flat surface.
- You are done! Use the mold to shape your Nasi Kuning into the traditional cone shape.
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