This Nasi Kunyit or Turmeric Rice (黄姜饭 Huáng Jiāng fàn) is simple, vegan, and appetizing. Pair this with my Vegan Rendang for a delicious meal.
Nasi Kunyit is a scrumptious rice dish made from glutinous rice that has a vibrant yellow hue that is served often. It’s steamed along with coconut milk. There are numerous recipes online and I got this from my friend’s late mom.
Nasi means Rice and Kunyit is turmeric in Malay. It’s typically served with curry but personally, I love this dish by itself. Nasi Kunyit along with curry, red colored eggs, and Ang Koo Kuih (turtle-shaped cake) are often passed to friends and families when a new baby is born. I called my mom and aunt to confirm this as I remember we did something like that when I was younger. You can also read about the tradition from my friend’s research below.
I wanted to jot down all these traditions so my kids and others can continue to pass on the culture.
How to make Nasi Kunyit
Similar to most of my glutinous rice dishes, I soaked mine overnight or at least for 4 hours. For this recipe, once you’ve rinsed the rice until the water turns clear, you’ll soak it in a turmeric mixture.
It’s always best to use freshly grated turmeric but since I didn’t get any fresh ones, I used turmeric powder. Then, you’ll add 1 tablespoon of lime juice and lime slices. Stir to combine and let the rice soak in this mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight. And the next day, the grain will be nicely coated with a beautiful orange layer.
Discard the lime slices and drain out the water. Place the rice on a shallow plate and spread out the rice. Add in knotted pandan leaves, season with salt, and white peppercorns (if using).
Steam the rice over high heat for 20-25 minutes. Then, drizzle in some coconut milk and continue to steam for another 5-10 minutes to draw out the coconut fragrance.
Once ready, discard pandan leaves, and serve warm with Acar (Nyonya Vegetables Pickles) along with a homemade Mushrooms Rendang.
Check out my other rice dishes:
This Nasi Kunyit (Turmeric Rice) is
- Simple and Easy
- Perfect with Acar and Mushrooms Rendang
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Nasi Kunyit (Turmeric Rice) – 黄姜饭
- 2 cups [400g] glutinous rice
- 1½ tablespoons turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Lime slices
- a pinch of salt
- a few pandan leaves knotted
- ¼ teaspoon peppercorn
- ½ cup [~110ml] coconut milk used canned
- Wash and rinse glutinous rice over cold water until then the water turns clear. Then, transfer the glutinous rice to a big bowl and add enough to cover all the rice.
- Add in the turmeric powder, lime juice along with the lime, and a pinch of salt. Soak the rice for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready, discard the lime slices and drain out the water.
- Transfer the beautiful yellow rice to a large shallow plate or bowl. Then, add in the pandan leaves, peppercorn, and steam for about 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, drizzle in the coconut milk and steam again for another 5 minutes.
- Before serving, discard the pandan leaves and serve warm. I paired mine with a side of Acar (Nyonya Vegetables Pickles) and Mushrooms Rendang.
THis round, taste is nice but the tumeric seems to be rather patchy esp the base.
Not so shiny.
Would it be possible to do a version of this with jasmine rice, do you think?
Hi Maggie, yes you can. If you are using Jasmine, then you don’t need to steam it, or you can cook it in a rice cooker. 🙂
You mention pandan leaves in your directions but you do not have them in your ingredients.
Thanks so much for letting me know. I would just use a few leaves. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!
Hello Mei Mei, I just used a few leaves that I tied them into knots. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions at all. Best, WoonHeng
This looks really yummy! Would you know if there would be any way to do this recipe in an Instant Pot by any chance?
I haven’t tried yet, but I’m pretty sure you can try the steam function. Let me know how it goes. :-). Thanks again for giving this a try.