Turmeric Rice (Nasi Kunyit)

Turmeric rice or nasi kunyit is a festival dish popular in Malaysia which is similar to our bringhe. The main ingredient of this recipe, the basmati rice is not indigenous to our country and used mostly in Indian and middle eastern dishes. It is also very expensive so if you are looking for any substitute, you can use Jasmine rice.


How to Make Turmeric Rice (Nasi Kunyit)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Rice recipes
Cuisine: Indonesian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 300 grams basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes, drained and dried
  • 3 Tbsp. corn oil
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste (very finely minced)
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste (very finely minced)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed
  • 2 tsp. fresh turmeric paste or turmeric powder
  • 2 long red chilies, cut in half
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 turmeric leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Fried shallots (optional)
  • Fresh turmeric leaves (optional)
How to cook Turmeric Rice:
  1. In a wok or deep frying pan, heat oil over moderate heat and fry the star anise until fragrant.
  2. Add ginger and garlic pastes, fry for 2 minutes. Add lemongrass, turmeric, and red chilies and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in coconut milk, water, turmeric leaf, and drained rice. Season with salt and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring from time to time, until all the liquid has evaporated and the rice has cooked, about 25 minutes.
  5. Fluff the rice and serve hot.


Turmeric Rice