Yellow Rice: A Fortune in a Plate of Rice

16 Aug 2016

Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesian. It holds an important place in the country’s culture. A typical Indonesian meal consists of steamed rice and one or two main dishes. Steamed rice or plain rice is known as “Nasi Putih” or literally White rice.

Experiencing the local culture is a huge part of travelling and trying traditional food is a good way to taste a small part of that culture. Talking about Indonesian food seems to be no end in sight. Fried Rice is indeed famous but variety of rice dishes make Indonesian food is one of the world's greatest cuisines.



Yellow rice or nasi kuning is a method of cooking rice in turmeric. The main ingredients come from shallot, garlic, lemon grass and coconut milk. Sometimes clove and bay leaf are added to give more tastes. The simple way to make Yellow Rice is processing a fresh turmeric in a blender and get the extract juice by strain through a sieve. Put rice, turmeric water and all ingredients in a heavy saucepan or rice cooker. Stir in a lower heat and cook until the rice is done.

Yellow rice commonly a symbol of Indonesian celebrations. It is often served during festivals or other occasions in Indonesia: wedding, birthday, anniversaries, new baby born, house warming. Yellow is a symbol of good fortune, wealth and dignity. The yellow rice is usually stuffed into a cone-shape mold, accompanied by various side dishes such as vegetables, fried chicken, tofu, tempeh, shredded omelette, and beef. These package popular as Nasi Tumpeng (rice cone). Nasi Tumpeng is not a recipe, but instead a symbolic account of a traditional ritual feasts, symbolizes joy and gratitude. The practice to use of Nasi Tumpeng became popular among Indonesians as what is known pre-requirement in any ritual. In Indonesia, each region has their own varieties. People in Manado, North Sulawesi, served yellow rice with spicy shredded tuna while in Kalimantan served with animal protein (egg/chicken/fish/beef) in red sauce made from dried chili called bumbu habang. And when you off to Bali, make sure to try yellow rice served topped with a fried egg or satay (skewered chicken or pork grilled in peanut sauce).

However, it doesn't mean that you have to attend some kind of festivity to get the Yellow rice. You can easily find yellow rice in some local “warung” or street food stall or cart, which typically eaten for breakfast. If you looking for something new to enjoy rice, Yellow Rice will make a big difference in a plate of rice. 

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