Thursday, 23 May 2013

Nasi Kuning, food for the heart or medicine?

 In the old days I was always plagued with chicken-soup with rice, bone dry crackers and weak “taste to nothing” tea when I was sick. Or worse boiled rice, boiled with chicken broth that flown over the rice. Ow my, not going to bother you with it. Well you know, I have not been up to par, having colds and infections in my air ways and inflammations in the shoulders.

A friend in the UK when he learned I have been sick for months, pointed me out to the great medicinal value of Turmeric ( Kunjit, Yellow root, Kurkuma )
So I started searching for recipe’s that use Turmeric, and get the best benefits for health while eating something great. Now I stumbled on Nasi Kuning that originates from Indonesia and the Moluccas, a vibrant yellow rice dish that is eaten with celebrations and parties, which is great for health. The yellow stands for happiness and luck and resembles the colour gold. And for health, there is also Lemon-grass used in it, which is also used to help getting rid of a cough and nasal congestion. It is not as difficult as Nasi Goreng, but has amazing taste, creamy sweet with a zesty like citrus tone. Better than bland chicken-soup he.

What you need is:

300 gram Pandang rice or Basmati rice
Lemon-grass ( Sereh ) 1 stalk, 3-4 leaves or rather petioles from it 6 inch long
5 mm of Galangal root ( use Ginger if you really can't get Galangal )
2-4 cm of Turmeric root ( Kunjit, yellowroot )
1 chicken stock cube
2 tea spoons of concentrated coconut cream ( Santan ) or a tin of coconut cream or milk
2 Salam leaves, Daun salaam, or Indonesian bay leaf, or 1/2 a bay leaf.
ground pepper as that enhances the medicinal properties for Kurkuma

With this rice you put in the herbs if possible fresh and take all out when it is ready. If you have to use powder you can leave it, but hey it is best to get it fresh, and it will not cost you a lot.

Take 3-4 layers (petioles) of lemongrass and give them a good bash without breaking.
Take 5 mm of skinned galangal root in 2-3 slices.
Take 2-4 cm of Turmeric and grate it on a fine grater.
Everything gets a nice yellow colour, including the hands.
Put all in a pan with 2 chicken stock cubes, 2 teaspoons of coconut butter ( concentrated coconut crème ) or a small tin of coconut cream.
300 grams pandang rice and 2 Salam leaves.
If you can’t get salam leaves you can use ½ a bay leaf.

Add water until it is 25 mm above the rice, and get it to a modest boil. When boiling, lower the heat after 10 minutes to a slow simmer, and leave it for another 10-15 minutes.
Times can differ if you have other rice, so check the package of the rice.
The rice is ready when it is lovely soft and creamy, and just a bit sticky.
Take the herbs out when ready, and form nice bowls just simply using a cup or a small kitchen bowl.

Here you have the result, presented with stir fried vegetables and Satéh Ajam ( Chicken Satay )

Enjoy !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer


  1. Bought (on your advice) fresh turmeric (and laos/galanga) at the chinese shop (Amazing Oriental)
    And yes! it taste much better as dried powder..
    Also put some roots in the ground to see if it will grow


  2. Great read Bart thanks for sharing