Nasi Kuning – Yellow Rice

Nasi Kuning (Indonesian for: “yellow rice”), or sometimes called Nasi Kunyit (Indonesian for: “turmeric rice”), is an Indonesian rice dish cooked with coconut milk and turmeric, hence the name nasi kuning (yellow rice). Nasi kuning might come in the form of a cone called a Tumpeng and is usually eaten during special events. The rice looks like a pile of gold, so it is often served at parties and opening ceremonies as a symbol of good fortune, wealth and dignity.

It is usually served with a variety of side dishes such as shredded omelette, serundeng (relish of grated coconut and spices), urap (vegetable in shredded coconut dressing), teri kacang (fried anchovy and peanuts), sambal goreng (fried tempeh and potato caramelised in spicy sauce), ayam goreng (Javanese-style fried chicken), balado udang (shrimp in chilli), or perkedel (potato fritters). More elaborate nasi kuning might include fried cow’s brain, fried cow’s lung, beef and seafood. It is common to serve nasi kuning with kerupuk udang (shrimp cracker) or emping chips and a decoratively cut cucumber and tomato.

The top of the tumpeng is customarily given to the most senior person in attendance.


Nasi Kuning - Yellow Rice
Nasi Kuning (Indonesian for: yellow rice), or sometimes called Nasi Kunyit (Indonesian for: turmeric rice), is an Indonesian rice dish cooked with coconut milk and turmeric.
Cuisine: Indonesian
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 3 cups rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Place all ingredients, except butter, in a saucepan, then bring to boil.
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes over low heat or until all liquid has been absorbed, stirring a few times.
  3. Turn off heat and cover, then allow to stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Add butter and fluff, then place on a platter and serve hot.

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John Doe
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