Nasi Kuning


Nasi kuning is a fragrant rice which is usually served as part of an Indonesian meal. This delicious yellow rice is flavoured with lemongrass and turmeric. It’s a must try!

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Nasi kuning
Veronique van Ohmydish

Made by Véronique

Published at 2022-01-19, this recipe is for 4 people and takes 30 minutes.

Founder of Ohmydish (established 2014). Would happily spend her entire day in the kitchen. Previously worked in the hospitality industry as an independent chef and is ready and willing to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. With her easy-to-follow recipes, helpful tips, and cooking knowledge, you will be making the very tastiest dishes yourself in no time! Véronique's recipes are intended for everyone, from beginners to advanced home cooks.

Updated at: 20-03-2023

30 minutes 4 people Side dishes 320 calories p.p.
Nasi kuning


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  • 300 grams rice
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 700 ml water
Nasi kuning ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • fine sieve
  • medium-sized saucepan (preferably with a thick base)
  • fork

Nasi Kuning

30 minutes 4 people Side dishes 320 calories p.p.

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Preparation – 10 minutes

wash the rice in cold water, this prevents the rice from sticking too much while cooking.

tie a knot in the lemongrass stalk, or crush it with something heavy so that the flavours can be better released.

bring 700 ml along with 200 ml coconut milk, lemongrass, bay leaves and the kaffir lime leaves to a boil.

Nasi kuning
Nasi kuning

Finishing the nasi kuning – 20 minutes

once the water is boiling, add the rice along with 1 tablespoon of turmeric and half a teaspoon of salt.

turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer without a lid for around 10 to 15 minutes. The water should be fully absorbed by the rice.  

once the water has been fully absorbed, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes or so to allow the rice to fully dry.  

use a fork to fluff up the rice, and remove the kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves and lemongrass. Serve the rice as a side dish or as part of a more elaborate indonesian meal. Enjoy!

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Nasi Kuning: frequently asked questions

When is nasi kuning eaten?

Nasi kuning (also known as nasi koening, nasi koenjit, or nasi kunyit), is usually served as part of a large Indonesian meal, during festive occasions. The yellow colour symbolises happiness and a new beginning.

It is served as a small tower of rice, called a tumpeng. This tower represents a mountain, which asks the gods for their blessing.

Which rice is best for nasi kuning?

You can use different types of rice for nasi kuning, but Jasmine rice is the most suitable because of its aromatic flavour.

Can I cook nasi kuning in a rice cooker?

You can make nasi kuning in a pan on the hob, in a rice cooker, or even in an instant pot.

What does it taste like?

Nasi kuning tastes of aromatic spices, but is mild. The aromatic flavour comes from the use of sereh (lemongrass), djeroek poeroet (kaffir lime leaves) and kunyit (turmeric). The coconut milk gives this yellow rice a delicately delicious flavour.