Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Yellow & Fragrant Rice) Recipe

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

 Nasi Kuning
Hello sweeties! I’m extremely happy that finally I can get back to blogging again :D. I had a really good time during the previous Ied holiday. I didn’t take so many photos of food during the celebration just like I did before, instead I went to paddy field and took some photos; hope I can edit the photos sooner and share them with you all ^^.

When I posted my Tumpeng Mini and shared a little story about Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Yellow & Fragrant Rice) and Nasi Gurih (Indonesian Savory & Fragrant Rice), my friend Lyn asked me to share the recipes and now here I come! ^^. This post is also my entry for this month’s IFP (Indonesian Food Party). Momon, so sorry for coming late again and for not being able to make the logo yet ^^v. Have you done with this month’s entry?

Let's Make Nasi Kuning!

When we look at the photo of Nasi Kuning I have here, it may remind us to the appearance of Saffron Rice. But they are different of course, Indonesians use our local rice grains and turmeric root extract to color the rice. I ever read a joke that turmeric is the poors’ version of Saffron ;p. Nasi Kuning is a typical Indonesian food often enjoyed during festival, holiday, or celebration such as birthday celebration, Ramadhan, Ied celebration, farewell party, thanksgiving, etc. For that festival and celebration, Nasi Kuning is often used to make Nasi Tumpeng, a cone-shaped dish accompanied by various Indonesian typical side dishes such as ayam goreng (fried chicken), perkedel kentang (potato fritter), telur dadar (thin egg omelet), crispy tempeh, and some garnishes like sliced cucumber, flowers made of cayenne pepper and celery. Other than for celebratory banquet, Indonesians nowadays can enjoy Nasi Kuning for breakfast menu (they can enjoy it everyday if they want to) since it is now commonly sold in the morning traditional markets or sold by itinerant food vendors.

Nasi Kuning has savory and floral aroma since it is cooked in coconut milk along with aromatic leaves used in cooking like Salam leaves (Indonesian Bay Leaves), Pandan Leaves (Screwpine Leaves), Kaffir Lime Leaves, and also another aromatic ingredient like Lemongrass. Among Indonesians themselves, we have some different versions for the recipe. Take my aunt for the example, she doesn’t like to add Pandan Leaves (Screwpine Leaves) on the recipe. But when it comes to me, I like to add Pandan Leaves and Kaffir Lime Leaves, and other aromatic ingredients :D. For this post, I took the recipe from my recipe book collection.

Backyard Treasure ^^

Nasi Kuning takes a quite long time for the cooking process, but once we get it done and ready to enjoy, it feels so worthy :D. As I live in a boardinghouse, I often take a shortcut in cooking Nasi Kuning. I cook it by rice cooker that it cuts the cooking process time a lot. But believe me, the shortcut way can’t result the delicate and original taste we can get by cooking it in the traditional method ^^. But at least, the faster way can heal my crave for Nasi Kuning when I get it in a sudden :D. Nasi Kuning is also a great ingredient to make characters with yellow color in Bento, right? :D. I made this Nasi Kuning when I was home in the previous Ied celebration, hope you enjoy today’s post ^^

Nasi Kuning
(Indonesian Yellow & Fragrant Rice)

1000 grams rice, washed and drained
1500 ml of coconut milk
4-5 cm of Turmeric root, grated and get the extract
2 Pandan Leaves (Screwpine Leaves), knotted
2 Salam Leaves (Indonesian Bay Leaves)
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 stalks Lemongrass, bruised
1 teaspoon of salt

1.    Soak the rice grains in water for 2 hours, drain.
2.    Steam the soaked rice grains for about  45 minutes or until half-cooked. Remove from heat.
3.    In a heavy saucepan, boil coconut milk, turmeric extract, Pandan leaves, lemongrass, Salam leaves, and Kaffir Lime leaves over moderate heat. Stir frequently.
4.    Reduce the heat then add in the half-cooked rice grains and salt into the saucepan. Stir well, cover (my grandma loves to cover it with banana leaves) , and simmer for some more minutes until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
5.    Remove from heat and transfer the rice into a steamer.
6.    Re-steam the rice for about 1.5 hours or until done.

•    Indonesians love to use fresh Turmeric roots instead of turmeric powder. If you can’t find the fresh one, you can substitute it with 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder. Be sure to use mature Turmeric root to get the beautiful yellow color. But, be careful not to use excessive turmeric extract to get the desired yellow color, I’m just afraid that you will also get “so-turmeric-tasted” Nasi Kuning ;p
•    If you want to take the shortcut method by cooking it in the rice cooker, you just need to put everything into the rice cooker pot. But, don’t forget to put the appropriate amount of liquid for the rice amount that you use.
•    My grandmother and people in my hometown love to cover the rice with banana leaves before re-steaming it. It also gives aromatic fragrance to the rice. But, you can use tea towel or another dish towel if you don’t have one :D
•    If you are able, use fresh ingredients only since the delicate and floral aroma is irreplaceable ^^

Besides IFP, this Nasi Kuning is also my entry for IDFB Challenge #1: Food by Its Country of Indonesian Foodblogger group in Facebook. Yeah, this Nasi Kuning represents one of many culinary in Indonesia :D


Oya, although it’s way late, I want to say Happy Belated Ied ul-Fitr for all my muslim friends and readers. I pray that we will be endowed with many chances to celebrate many and many Ied celebrations in the future :D

Happy Ied Ul-Fitr

Happy day! ^^

When I visited Xinmei's blog today, I'm interested in joining Blog Hop Program with this month's theme is #ricelove. Since my recent post is about rice, so I entered my post ^^. But, I did make definitely an embarrassing mistake by entering my entry for twice T______T. Anyone (the hosts) please help me to erase one of my entries T______T. For anyone of you, you can join the #ricelove fun by linking up any rice recipe from September month. And as I have copied from Xinmei's blog, don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #ricelove event :D

Co-Hosted by:

bonita food


  1. I have just discovered your bento site, this is so cute! And I love the recipe you have used here, especially with the flavours of all of the different leaves :) I'm going to have a look at some of your other posts now ^.^

  2. I love Nasi Kuning and thank you very much for sharing :) I definitely love to try this because I've planted these ingredients at home except turmeric.

  3. The pictures are gorgeous and the rice looks amazing! Love the bright yellow color! Yumm :c:

  4. @Xinmei: Thanks a lot Xinmei for your visit here ^^. Hope you can have a great time enjoying my blog. Don't you wanna give a try for this recipe? But I hope that you can find all of those spices hehehehehe :D

  5. @Anncoo: Many thanks Ann, yes I'm happy to share it ^^. Oh really? You plan all of the ingredients? Ha, so excited to know that, your garden/backyard must be a lot of fun :D. I think it's not a hard thing to find fresh turmeric in Singapore, am I right? :D

  6. @StephD: Thanks a lot Stephanie ^^. When you visit Indonesia don't forget to come over to my house and I'll happily make you one :D

  7. Coconut flavored rice is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  8. @Baker Street: My favorite too ^^. It's my great pleasure to share the recipe and many thanks for visiting my blog. Btw, could you help me erasing one of my entries? *puppy eyes: begging you ^^

  9. welcome to our #ricelove bloghop!! i love the flavors you've chosen here!!! the tumeric root looks just like ginger. this is like curry rice with delicious flavors!

  10. Aww! Thank you so much, Tata! ;D
    Really really appreciated this beautiful post of Nasi Kuning! :h:
    When I first saw this rice in your other post, it already attracted me so much and now that I know what ingredients are involved, I really MUST try it bcoz I love coconut milk rice (nasi lemak)! :c:
    Thank you once again for sharing this great recipe, Tata! I'll let you know how it turns out when I try this! ;)

  11. @Junia: Bundle of thanks, Junia! ^^
    I'm so happy joining this event, this is so much fun to be able to discover many GREAT foodie blogs out there :D. Yeah, this savory rice is also great to be enjoyed with curry ^^

  12. @huyen_anhi: Many thanks, huyen_anhi :D
    Yes, it is... I love to enjoy it with fried chicken (or crispy fried chicken) and sliced thin egg omelet ^^

  13. @Lyn: You're welcome Lyn ^^
    It's my great pleasure to share the recipe (believe me, I'm happy to make others happy hehe). I think I need to visit your house when you make it and we'll enjoy it together. I'll bring the side dishes, LOL :D

  14. Hey! I was going to help you put the link to the bloghop on your post but it seems you've got it sorted now :)

  15. Your recipe is terrific. I love the color of your rice and the way you have presented it. I'll haveto give your recipe a try.

  16. @Xinmei: Thanks a lot Xinmei ^^. I did a mess at first, but now everything is OKAY :D

  17. @Mary: Many thanks Mary ^^. Now it's me who is terrific to know that you'll give the recipe a try, yeaayyy to Mary :D

  18. Those pictures are soo nice and that food looks really yummy :D

  19. Of coz I believe you Tata! You're always a sweetie! :h:
    Sure, no prob and you're always welcome here! :b:
    How about on my house-warming? I'll cook this rice and you just have to bring yourself, your family & the side-dishes! :a:

  20. hi tatabonita, my first time here, these look so interesting..can smell the aroma of yellow rice when looking at your great photo.. wow and delicious too especialyy when eat hot and i like flavored rice very much.
    feel free to visit mine too, i am malaysian and happy eid fitri to you too :)

  21. @Andreea: Many thanks, do you want to give it a go? :D

  22. @Lyn: A ha ha, sounds so great! Oh how I wish we were a close neighbor :D

  23. @cookingvarieties: Thanks a lot for your visit here and very nice comment (very appreciate it :D). Yes, couldn't agree more... It's so good when it's warm even without any dishes it tastes so great :D

  24. Say, harap masukin logo event Indonesian Foodblogger challenge chapter 1 (foto pertama di album challenge 1, foto empal itu) di postingan, dan jgn lupa mention-in juga event ini berikut linknya ke idfb group di fb. Makasi ya say..

    Idfb admin

  25. @Andrie Anne: Sip, sudah dilaksanakan Bu admin :D. Thanks sudah diingetin Buuuu :D

  26. Hello Yunita,

    I bumped into ur blog while searching for recipes of Nasi Kuning, and your version looks very good! (I like the steaming part :P) Really want to try it. Just wondering- as u wrote: 4-5 cm of Turmeric root, grated and get the extract-->> How to get the extract? Do we just grate the turmeric and collect all the grated bits? Or is there any other way?

    Thank you very much in advance! Have a good day :)

  27. @Reddy: Hello Reddy, thank you very much :).

    Oh well, also thanks for the question. I grated the turmeric root first with traditional coconut grater (you can see the picture like this one After that, just like my grandma does, I squeezed the turmeric pasta with fingers and hand palm to get the extract, after that I added a little amount of water to the extract.

    That method surely will make your hand yellow tainted by the color of the extract hehehehehe. If you don't want it happens to you, you can cover your hand with plastic :D

    Hope it can help, happy cooking and let me know your nasi kuning ^^. Have a great day too!


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