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Yellow Rice with Vegetables

Posting Date: 10/21/15

Yellow Rice with Vegetables

Indonesians have rice dish called Nasi Kuning or Yellow Rice. It is called yellow rice because the color of the rice is yellow from the turmeric used in the cooking. It is cooked with coconut milk, turmeric, bay leaf, and lemon grass. It is normally served for special occasions accompanied by many main dishes, such as fried chicken, fried tofu, scrambled egg, vegetables, etc. So, it is just considered as plain rice and not a main dish in Indonesia. I noticed Indians also have rice dish, called Biryani. It is almost similar to yellow rice in term of the color but it comes with vegetables and it could come with meat as well. Because of that, it could be served as a main dish. There are a lot of steps and spiced used in making biryani. So, it is a little bit more complicated than making yellow rice.

For this recipe, I combine the best of both worlds. This is a combination of yellow rice and biryani. It is easy to make but it can be eaten as main dish if you add meat. I sometimes make this for a party and serve it with other main dishes.

I don't use coconut milk for this recipe since I ran out of it. Coconut milk will make it taste better if you like it. Next time I will make it with coconut milk and post the recipe.

I normally cook the rice in rice cooker. It is very easy and simple. If you decide to use rice cooker, please remember to use hot water and not cold water. From my experience, hot water works better to mix the turmeric with the rice so that the rice will have more uniform yellow color. Since some people may not have rice cooker, for this recipe I cooked the rice in a pot and over a stove. I used jasmine rice but you can use basmati rice or long grain rice.

This rice will be good to be served with beef rendang. Click here for beef rendang recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 cup rice (could use basmati, jasmine or long grain rice)
  • 1.75 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup green raisin
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed before slicing it
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pea
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon mint, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced


  1. Rinse the rice and drain it. Repeat it 3-5 times until the water used to rinse becomes clear.
  2. Put the rice in a bowl and pour 1.75 cup of hot water and leave it for 30 min. If you are using a rice cooker, put the rice and hot water in the rice cooker.
  3. In the meantime, heat vegetable oil and butter at medium high heat on a pot. Let the butter melt. Saute garlic, onion, and ginger until aromatic. Add turmeric, cumin, and chili powder. Mix the spices well so that they coat the garlic, onion, and ginger mixture. Saute them for about 1 min.
  4. If you are using a rice cooker, transfer the spices to the rice cooker and mix it well with the rice. If you are not using a rice cooker, transfer the rice and hot water to the pot and mix it well with the spices.
  5. Add carrot, bell pepper, green raisin, jalapeno, tomatoes, and salt. Mix them well with the rice.
  6. If using rice cooker, start the rice cooker. If you are using a pot, turn the heat to high and let it boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on the pot.
  7. Halfway during cooking, add peas and cashew nuts and mix them well.
  8. Once the rice is cooked (about 15-20 min), turn off the heat and add mint and cilantro and mix them well.
  9. Serve the rice with other main dishes.

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