Home » Indonesian Cooking » Festive Turmeric Rice Recipe – Resep Nasi Kuning

Festive Turmeric Rice Recipe – Resep Nasi Kuning

Festive Turmeric Rice Recipe - Resep Nasi Kuning

Festive Turmeric Rice Recipe – Resep Nasi Kuning

Rice colored with turmeric and shaped into a cone is a common sight during festive occasions in Bali and Java. The conical shape echoes that of the mythical Hindu mountain, Meru, while yellow is the color of royalty and one of the four sacred colors for Hindus. Even on Muslim Java, this traditional festive dish remains popular, and is accompanied by Sambal Trasi, Classic Grilled Chicken and Eggs in Fragrant Lemongrass Sauce.

Ingredients :

  • 2 in (5 cm) fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced, or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 11/2 cups (300 g) uncooked rice, washed and drained
  • 11/2 cups (375 ml) thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) chicken stock or 1/4 teaspoon chicken stock granules dissolved in 1/2 cup (125 ml) warm water
  • 1 salam or pandanus leaf
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom third only, outer layers discarded, inner part bruised
  • 1 in (21/2 cm) fresh galangal, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Freshly sliced cucumber and tomato
  • 1 portion Sambal Trasi
  • 1 portion Grilled Chicken
  • 1 portion Sambal Goreng Tempeh
  • 1 portion Eggs in Fragrant Lemongrass Sauce
  • Emping (melinjo nut wafers)

Method :

  1. Prepare the Accompaniments by following the respective recipes.
  2. Grind the turmeric and water in a mortar until fine. Strain through a sieve to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. If using ground turmeric, dissolve the powder in 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Combine the rice, turmeric juice, coconut milk, chicken stock, salam or pandanus leaf, lemongrass, galangal and salt in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the rice is dry and fluffy. Remove from the heat and mix well. Alternatively, cook the rice and ingredients in a rice cooker.
  4. Discard the salam or pandanus leaf, lemongrass and galangal. Press the cooked turmeric rice into a cone shape, if desired. Serve the cooked rice with the Accompaniments on the side.

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time : 15 mins + time to prepare the Accompaniments
Cooking time : 15 mins + time to prepare the Accompaniments


Source :
The Food of Indonesia
Delicious Recipes from Bali, Java and the Spice Islands
by Heinz von Holzen & Lother Arsana
photos by Heinz von Holzen


See also Indonesian Recipe “Sayur Asam – Vegetables in Sweet Tamarind Broth Recipe”