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HomeWorld Traditional RecipesIndonesian Traditional RecipesAuthentic Recipe of Nasi Kuning. Fragrant and Savory Indonesian Traditional Yellow Rice...

Authentic Recipe of Nasi Kuning. Fragrant and Savory Indonesian Traditional Yellow Rice from Java.

This easy-to-make recipe of traditional Nasi Kuning is an authentic recipe curated by the locals that are guaranteed to make you feel happy.

Things to know about Nasi Kuning Recipe

The Indonesian traditional fragrant yellow rice Nasi Kuning is a staple in many Indonesian events, from birthdays to the Independence Day of Indonesia. It is an easy dish to cook and is sure to be loved by everyone! The yellow color of the rice comes from the use of turmeric added during the cooking process of the rice.

Instead of water, the rice is cooked with coconut milk, producing a fragrant, savory, and delicious rice that can be eaten on its own or with accompanying dishes like “telur balado” and “ayam goreng.”

On special occasions, such as birthdays, formal events, Independence Day, and other events, Nasi Kuning is shaped into a large cone called Tumpeng. It is common in Indonesia to cook tumpeng to celebrate and give thanks for something big, like how cakes are used in Western countries.

This tumpeng is accompanied by many side dishes, like perkedel, kering tempe, telur balado, ayam goreng, sambal hati, etc. This dish has been around since the age of Hindu empires in Indonesia, like Majapahit.

Fragrant and Savory Indonesian Traditional Yellow Rice from Java. Authentic Recipe of Nasi Kuning.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Nasi Kuning
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— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Main Cooking Method Instant Pot – Multicooker


Servings 8 Portions
Calories / Serving 528 kcal


  • 750 grams (1.65 lb) Medium Grain Rice
  • 2 pcs Bay Leaf
  • 3 pcs Kaffir Lime Leaf
  • 1 pc Pandan Leaf – Screwpine – Pandanus Leaf Knotted
  • 1 stick Lemongrass – Cymbopogon – Barbed Wire Grass – Cochin Grass – Malabar Grass Bruised
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 800 ml (27.05 floz) Coconut Milk
  • 1 thumb Turmeric – Curcuma Longa 5cm (2 inches)
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  • Using a rice cooker bowl, wash the rice under running water by hand, and rinse. Repeat 2-3 times or until the rice water is clear. Strain, and set aside.
  • Place the rice cooker bowl inside the rice cooker.
  • Remove the skin from the turmeric and grate until smooth.
  • Into the rice cooker, add the pandanus leaf, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, bay leaf, and salt.
  • Pour the coconut milk into the rice cooker until around 2 cm (or 1 finger joint) above the rice.
  • Add the turmeric paste and mix well.
  • Close the lid and cook the rice until it is done.
  • When done, open the lid and let rest for 5minutes.
  • The rice is ready to be served!

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Religious Cooking Halal Recipes


Calories: 528kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 8gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 3gSugar: 0.004gVitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Nasi Kuning Recipe, Traditional Indonesian Fragrant Yellow Rice
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Cooking tip for making

Do not pour all the coconut milk into the rice cooker, measure using your finger until 2 cm (0.8 inches) above the rice.

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What to serve with

This dish is best served with many side dishes, like ayam goreng, kering tempe, telur balado, and sambal hati.

Variations of

If you cannot find fresh coconut milk, instant coconut milk is okay. Turmeric powder can also be used to replace fresh turmeric. Lastly, replace 10% of the white rice with glutinous rice if you want fluffier rice.

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