Pin It
Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Indonesian Yellow Coconut Rice (Nasi Kuning)

By
Indonesian coconut rice (Nasi tumpeng)

When I was growing up, fragrant yellow coconut rice was right at home sitting next to the roast beef, honey-baked ham and Yule log cake served during Christmas dinner.

 

Every year, my mom would make nasi tumpeng, a unique Indonesian rice combination. She would start by making rice flavored with coconut, turmeric and other herbs, which she would shape into a conical pyramid and place on a bed of folded banana leaves. Around the base of the cone, she would arrange various foods neatly in piles: fried chicken pieces, potato cutlets, fried tempe, salted fish, shredded egg omelet and a host of other items. The whole production would take her several days to complete!

 

Full of significance, nasi tumpeng is traditionally served to celebrate a special occasion, be it a birthday, a wedding or even a promotion at work. The height of the cone symbolizes the greatness of God or Allah, and the food at the base of the cone symbolizes nature’s abundance. The yellow tinge of the rice symbolizes wealth and high morals.

 

Nasi tumpeng fit perfectly into our holiday celebrations, a time of thanksgiving and hope for a prosperous New Year.

 

Yellow Coconut Rice (Nasi Kuning)

 

Nasi kuning, literally “yellow rice” in Indonesian, gets its festive golden color from turmeric. As the showpiece of a major celebration such as a wedding or anniversary, the rice is molded into an inverted cone and served on a bed of banana leaves together with a grand spread of meat and vegetable dishes. Yellow coconut rice is also a humble accompaniment for almost any dish usually served with white rice.

 

Time: 45 minutes plus frying shallots

Makes: 6 to 8 servings as a as part of a multicourse family-style meal

 

Ingredients

2-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water

1-1/2 cups coconut milk

1 plump stalk lemongrass, bruised and tied into a knot

1 salam leaf

4 kaffir lime leaves, crumpled

2-1/2 cups long-grain rice

2 cups water

Fried shallots for garnish

 

Instructions

Dissolve the turmeric and salt in the warm water.

 

In a large pot, bring the coconut milk, lemongrass, salam leaf, and kaffir lime leaves to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the turmeric water. Tip the rice into the pot and add the water. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer uncovered until the liquid has just been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender but not mushy; the rice grains should still be separated. If the rice is still hard, make a well in the center of the pot, add a little water, and cook a few more minutes.

 

Halfway through the estimated cooking time, gently fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks.

 

Let the rice cool. Fish out the lemongrass, salam leaf and lime leaves and discard.

 

On a large serving platter, mound the rice into the shape of an inverted cone. Garnish with fried shallots.

 

From The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook—Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens (Sasquatch Books, August 2012) by Patricia Tanumihardja

© 2012 – 2013, Patricia Tanumihardja. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

Have you made any of these mistakes?

10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room

Because every little global citizen needs a map

The West's Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

How the West sleeps is different from the rest

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Patricia Tanumihardja writes about food, travel, and lifestyle through a multicultural lens and has been published in numerous national and regional publications. The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook—Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens (Sasquatch Books, August 2012) is her first book. Pat is also the creator of the “Asian Ingredients 101” app, a glossary on-the-go that’s the perfect companion on a trip to the Asian market, and blogs at theasiangrandmotherscookbook.wordpress.com. She currently lives with her family in Seattle.

Leave us a comment!

3 Comments
  1. CommentsGrowMama Picks for October 2012 » Grow Mama Grow   |  Monday, 29 October 2012 at 3:08 am

    […] Calling all home cooks! An authentic, inspiring dish to try out at […]

  2. CommentsGrowMama Picks for October 2012   |  Friday, 05 July 2013 at 10:15 am

    […] Calling all home cooks! An authentic, inspiring dish to try out at […]

  3. CommentsVvshella Sk   |  Monday, 12 May 2014 at 2:41 am

    Reminds me my home delicious taste. Thank you for sharing recep. Singaporean residing in Dubai.









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
[…] Peru, 97 percent of newborns are breastfed, according to LLLI. In Culture Parent reported that 69 percent of Peruvian children are breastfed exclusively from birth to five months, and ou...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Hi I was googling Islamic beliefs when I came across your post. We are American and our neighbors are from Pakistan I think. Our kids love playing together but their dad doesn't allow the kids to co...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline
Mother’s Day is the most perfect and accurate Occasion to express your Love and Gratitude towards Mothe...
From Holi Craft: Straw Painting
[…] Muslims fast for 30 days every year for Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan this year is happening during most of the month […...
From Ramadan: June 28-July 28
[…] Raising a Little Buddha – Part 1, InCulture Parent — Post by a Buddhist Minister about raising an enlightened child.  It starts with intimacy, communication, and community. [R...
From How to Raise an Enlightened Child — Part I
[…] Breastfeeding in Jordan, InCulture Parent — Not as restrictive as one might think. […...
From Breastfeeding in Jordan
[…] Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother, InCulture Parent – “The 2010 Mothers’ Index rates 160 countries (43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world) in terms of th...
From Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother
[…] Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids, InCultureParent — Interesting look at how our values impact our interactions with our children (babies in particular). […...
From Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids
[…] Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon, InCulture Parent — a fascinating look at cultures in the Amazon where pregnant women have sex with more than one man as a means...
From Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon

More Recipes