Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Turmeric Rice) – Learn how to make easy and aromatic turmeric rice or what we call nasi kuning in Indonesia. Can be made on the stove, rice cooker, and pressure cooker.
Turmeric rice or Nasi kuning is a popular rice dish in Southeast Asia, especially in the Southeast Asia regions.
The rich golden yellow color is perfect to celebrate special occasion such as birthday, wedding, baby shower, etc. The turmeric rice is usually stuffed into a cone-shape mould to make nasi tumpeng. We didn’t have any particular celebration that day. Just me craving for it 🙂 Well, maybe I should say everyday that I wake up and feeling healthy inside out is a celebration, isn’t it ? 🙂
HOW TO MAKE NASI KUNING ON THE STOVE OR RICE COOKER (AS SHOWN IN THE VIDEO)
1. Wash the rice
Wash the rice in several changes of water until it runs clear. Drain with a sieve to make sure all water is drained off. Getting rid of excess starch is important or the rice will be sticky and mushy
2. Cooking on the stove
Bring water and coconut milk to a boil and then add rice and the rest of the ingredients.
Stir to mix. Lower the heat to low to let it simmer.
Cover with lid and let it cook for the next 20 minutes. Turn off the heat but DO NOT open the lid yet. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Uncover the lid and fluff the rice
3. Cooking in a rice cooker
Place the rice, coconut milk, water, spices, herbs, and seasonings in the inner pot of rice cooker. Stir to mix everything and cook on white rice setting or whichever setting you usually use to cook white rice. Wait 10 minutes and then open the lid to fluff the rice
WHAT TO SERVE WITH NASI KUNING
I love the flavor that is infused into the rice from all the spices and herbs. It is very quick and easy to make and often go well with dishes such as Meat Rendang, Green Jack Fruit Curry/ Sayur Nangka or other spicy dishes such as Kering Kentang Garing (Indonesian Spiced Crispy Fried Potatoes), Kering Tempeh Kacang (Spicy and Sweet Fried Tempeh and Peanuts), Fried Fish with Sambal, perkedel kentang. These are just to mention a few. I made my mom’s green sambal in a big batch and it compliments the nasi kuning very well too.
I made this to accompany another Indonesian famous chicken dish, twice-cooked fried chicken with spiced crunch or ayam goreng kremes in Indonesian. I can tell you it’s a big hit in our family !! The house smelled really good that day 🙂
TIPS FOR MAKING GOOD TURMERIC RICE/NASI KUNING
1. Rinse the rice until the water is clear. This is to make sure your rice won’t be starchy and that’s what makes it sticky
2. Ratio of rice : water
I typically like to do 1:1 ratio for cooking the rice in rice cooker and instant pot. The water doesn’t escape much compare to when you cook on the stove. For the stove, I would add another 1/2 cup of water
3. Use good quality turmeric powder
4. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes after cooking and then fluff the rice
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER NASI KUNING
Leftover can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week max. The longer you keep, the drier it will get, which is perfect for nasi goreng.
HOW TO REHEAT NASI KUNING
I would recommend moist heat like a steamer. Simply bring the water in the steamer to a boil and then steam on high heat for 5 minutes. If you want to use the microwave, sprinkle some water on the rice and then microwave it on high for a minute or two or until it’s heated through. If you plan to use it for nasi goreng, there’s no need to reheat the rice.
DID YOU MAKE THIS NASI KUNING RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), 2 1/2 cups are the maximum you can cook and use the same amount of time to cook*
Indonesian Turmeric Rice / Nasi Kuning (Instant Pot, Rice Cooker, Stove-top)
- 2 cups jasmine rice or long grain white rice
- 2 cups water Add another 1/2 cup of water if you are cooking on stove-top
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
- 3 fresh pandan leaves / screwpine leaves knotted together
- 1 stalk lemongrass bruised
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 kaffir lime leaves tear edges to release flavor
- ½ tsp salt
- Wash the rice in several changes of water until it runs clear. Drain with a sieve to make sure all water is drained off. Getting rid of excess starch is important or the rice will be sticky and mushy
Cooking on stove-top:
- Bring water and coconut milk to a boil and then add rice and the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix. Lower the heat to low to let it simmer. Cover with lid and let it cook for the next 20 minutes. Turn off the heat but DO NOT open the lid yet. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Uncover the lid and fluff the rice
Cooking in rice cooker:
- Place the rice, coconut milk, water, spices, herbs, and seasonings in the inner pot of rice cooker. Stir to mix everything and cook on white rice setting or whichever setting you usually use to cook white rice. Wait 10 minutes and then open the lid to fluff the rice
Cooking in instant pot:
- Place the rice, coconut milk, water, spices, herbs, and seasonings in the inner pot or instant pot. Stir to mix everything. Close the lid. Set the steam release valve to seal. Press on "rice" setting and it will automatically set the timer for you. You can also use "pressure cooker" function and make sure it's on high pressure and set timer to 3 minutes. When it's done cooking, wait 10 minutes before release pressure completely and then uncover the lids and fluff the rice
Thank you developing the recipe. It is very easy and reliable. I tried the stove-top method in my dutch oven, and the result is fantastic! I have tried several recipes before but it never turned out to be good – it is difficult to get the rice “done”. But now the rice is perfectly cooked, not wet, and tasted good. I used a mix of basmati rice and glutinous rice as I don’t have jasmine/pandan rice at home, and I like my nasi kuning to be a little bit sticky.
Hi Agnes, I’m glad you like it and great idea to add glutinous rice. My mom likes to do that too to add a little stickiness 🙂
what can i use if i dont have fresh pandan leaves? can i use dried instead? and how much to use ?
If you are going to use dried pandan leaves, you probably want to double the amount as the dried version usually a bit “weaker” in flavor
Your recipe says Jasmine rice. Is this usual white rice? So don’t use glutinous rice?
Hi Philomena, you can use jasmine rice or any other white rice. It’s NOT glutinous rice. I hope that helps to clarify.
Made this last night to eat with Kering Tempeh Kacang. Besides the great flavor, I thought the technique for cooking rice on the stovetop was much easier than the “simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on” technique. I totally missed “add an extra half cup of water if cooking on the stovetop” part, but it still came out wonderfully, just a tiny bit dry, which is nice as well.
I should’ve made it a bit more clear to add another 1/2 cup of water for cooking on the stove. Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad it still turned out alright for you 🙂
I usually use a rice cooker to start and then transfer to a steamer because the rice cooker would always pop before before the rice was done and refuse to keep cooking (I think because the thickness of the coconut milk confuses it into thinking it’s done). I tried out your Instant Pot method and it worked great!
Hi Irene, it has happened to me before too and you are right, it could be sometimes the coconut milk is too thick, so I have to kinda thin out the coconut milk a bit. I’m glad it works out with Instant Pot though 🙂
I love nasi kuning, I had an Indonesian aunty who would always make this for all our celebrations. I love love Indonesian food!
Can I still make this without the following ingredients : pandan leaves, lemongrasss (I have lemongrass paste), and Kaffir lime leaves? I only have Lemongrass paste.
Hi Crystal, yes you can make it with just lemongrass paste, it’s just that the aroma won’t be as “complete” if you also have pandan leaves and especially kaffir lime leaves 🙂 BUT, I know sometimes we don’t always have all available 🙂
I want to ask for permission..
I wanna make a banner, can i use this photo of your nasi kuning.
Overall love the recipe.
Hi Rizky, thank you for reaching out. I apologize that I do not allow my photo for other publication. Thank you for understanding and for checking with me. Appreciate it!
Thanks for sharing. I follow. I cooked and we all loved it!!
Yay!!! Thank you for letting me know! I’m glad you guys loved it 🙂
I love that rice! I’d love a plateful right now!
You have a lovely blog 🙂 the food photos are awesome 🙂
We make a similar version of this rice back home in India too…with a bit of difference in the style of preparation and ingredients…looks yummy.. I haven’t tried Indonesian food before..would love to try..
Thank you Bilna. It’s a bit unfortunate that Indonesian food is not so well-known, especially in North AMerica. It’s not easy to find good Indonesian restaurants.