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Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Yellow Rice)

Recipe by Connie Veneracion
Rice is cooked in coconut milk with turmeric to make nasi kuning, the Indonesian yellow rice. Because the cooked dish resembles a mound of gold, nasi kuning is often served during festivals and celebratory occasions.
In this recipe, lemongrass, pandan, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and a little salt are added for a truly fragrant and tasty dish.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian, Indonesian
Servings 4 people
Nasi kuning (Indonesian yellow rice) served with pan-fried salmon drizzled with Sriracha



  • Dump the rinsed and drained rice in a pan and stir in the coconut milk.
    Basmati rice mixed with coconut milk in pan
  • Add the lemongrass, pandan leaf, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, salt and turmeric, and stir to dissolve the turmeric powder in the coconut milk.
    Rice, coconut milk, lemongrass, pandan, garlic, salt and turmeric in pan
  • Bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat and cover the pan.
  • Cook until the rice has absorbed all the coconut milk.
    Newly cooked nasi kuning (Indonesian yellow rice) in pan
  • Fluff up the rice with a fork, cover the pan once more and leave to continue cooking in the residual heat for another five minutes.


Medium to long grain rice is recommended for making nasi kuning. Read more about rice varieties.
If the rice grains are not fully cooked by the time the liquid has dried up, stir in a quarter cup of coconut milk, cover the pan once more and cook until the liquid has dried up and the rice grains are soft and creamy.
Nasi kuning (Indonesian yellow rice) with salmon and cucumber slices on black plate
Keyword Rice