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Turmeric Rice with Spicy Gravy and Herb Salad Recipe

Turmeric Rice with Spicy Gravy and Herb Salad Recipe

Turmeric Rice with Spicy Gravy and Herb Salad Recipe

This rice dish, known as nasi kerabu, is very popular among the Kelantan Malays. The food stalls sell this dish wrapped in banana leaves. The assortment of herb salad served fresh with the rice provides a wealth of natural nutrients.

Ingredients :

    • 500 g (21/2 cups) uncooked white rice, washed and drained
    • 2¾ cups (650 ml) water
    • 2-cm (3/4-in) turmeric root
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 knotted pandanus leaf

Spicy Gravy :

    • 6–8 dried red chillies, de-seeded, cut into short lengths, soaked to soften
    • 1-cm (1/2-in) galangal root
    • 1-cm (1/2-in) ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 5 shallots
    • 1 tablespoon dried prawn paste (belachan), dry-roasted
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, bruised
    • 3 tablespoons Tamarind Juice
    • 13/4 cups (450 ml) thin coconut milk
    • 11/2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt

Herb Salad :

    • 1 small cucumber
    • 3 stalks laksa leaves (daun kesum), thinly sliced, stalks discarded
    • 1 wild ginger bud (bunga kantan), thinly sliced
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, thinly sliced
    • 4 long beans or 10 green beans, thinly sliced lengthwise

Method :

    1. Place the rice and water in a rice cooker. Pound the turmeric with a mortar and pestle until fine. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the turmeric. Strain to obtain the juice. Add the juice to the rice, set aside for 1–2 hours to allow the yellow turmeric juice to stain the rice. Add the salt and pandanus leaf. Cover and cook as you would normal rice. If you do not have a rice cooker, place the rice mixture in an uncovered saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat when the liquid has evaporated, cover the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes.
    2. Make the Spicy Gravy by grinding the chillies, galangal, ginger, garlic, shallots and dried prawn paste into a fine paste in a mortar or blender, adding a little water if necessary to keep the blades turning. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the ground paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the lemongrass and continue frying for a few more seconds. Stir in the Tamarind Juice and coconut milk. Reduce the heat and cook, constantly stirring until the gravy thickens. Season with the sugar and salt. Stir well and turn off the heat. Serve the gravy in a bowl with the rice.
    3. Prepare the Herb Salad by peeling the cucumber. Thinly slice round the cucumber and roll in the thin rolls and slice these again finely. Divide all the herbs into separate serving bowls and serve with the rice and Spicy Gravy. Serve with Grilled Chicken in Coconut Milk, Roasted Turmeric Beef and Grilled Fish with Grated Coconut.

Serves 4–6
Preparation time : 25 mins
Cooking time : 45 mins

See also Malaysia Cooking “Nasi Lemak (Rice in Coconut Milk) Recipe”