Rice colored with turmeric and shaped into a cone is a common sight during festive occasions in Bali and Java. The conical shape echoes that of the mythical Hindu mountain, Meru, while yellow is the color of royalty and one of the four sacred colors for Hindus.
Even in Muslim Java, this traditional festive dish remains popular, and is accompanied by sambal trasi, classic grilled chicken, and eggs in fragrant lemongrass sauce.
Ingredients for Indonesian Nasi Kuning
- 2 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced and two tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup water
- 1.5 (300 g) cup uncooked rice, washed and drained
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) thin coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (150 ml) chicken stock or 1/4 tsp chicken stock granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1 salam or pandanus leaf
- 1 stalk lemongrass, thich bottom third only, outer layers discarded, inner part bruised
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh galangal, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp salt
Accompaniments for Indonesian Nasi Kuning
- Freshly sliced cucumber and tomato
- 1 portion sambal trasi
- 1 portion grilled Indonesian chicken
- 1 portion sambal goreng tempeh
- 1 portion eggs in fragrant lemongrass sauce
- Emping (melinjo nut wafers)
Procedure for Indonesian Nasi Kuning
- Grind the turmeric and water in a mortar until fine. Strain through a sieve to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. If using ground turmeric, dissolve the powder in two tsp of water
- Combine the rice, turmeric juice, coconut milk, chicken stock, salam or pandanus leaf, lemongrass, galangal, and salt in pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer cooked until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the rice is dry and fluffy. Remove from the heat and mix well. Alternatively, cook the rice and ingredients in a rice cooker.
- Discard the salam or pandanus leaf, lemongrass, and galangal.
- Press the cooked turmeric rice into a cone shaped, if desired. Serve the cooked rice with the accompaniments on the side.
No longer seen merely as an exotic counterpart to the Occident, South-East Asia has developed an identity all its own over the past few years. You will find very little homogeneity in ASEAN, with every country priding itself on a distant identity concerning culture, religion, cuisine, and traditions.
This vast region is an overwhelming mix of landscapes, from verdant, rolling hills, and isolated islands with white-sand beaches to thick forests and intriguing caves. You can enjoy a range of diverse experiences, and no matter what type of traveler you are, you will find that one special place that will have you returning repeatedly. There are beaches to bum about on, temples, and architectural marvels to visit, hills aplenty to hike, tea estates to unwind at and a whole lot of truly incredible foods to experiment with.
Because we know that you could spend your entire life trying to uncover all of South-East Asia’s treats and not make much headway, we have brought together a collection of the best, unique experiences on offer in the ASEAN countries.
Get off the highway and wander down little, hidden by-lanes where you will discover everything from forgotten tribes, to a mosque built of pure gold, and a swimming pool on top of the world.
Best Travel Ideas for Southeast Asia
The Indonesian archipelago is a incredible blend of exceptional cultures, adventure experiences, and indigenous wildlife that goes way beyond the much-explored realms of Bali. There is no better way to step off the tourist trail and have a assortment of holiday stories that no one else will than with a trip through these 17,000 islands
Indonesia: At a Glance
Experience the Best Attractions of Indonesia
- Get Your Cocoa On: ‘Monggo’ is Javanese for ‘please, go ahead’ and when you taste these scrumptious Indonesian chocolates, you will definitely want to go ahead and eat them by the handful. If Willy Wonka lived outside our heads, we are sure that these scrumptious, dark, locally made treats would be his trademark. Leave room in your bag for them!
- Dive into the Deep: Far away and remote, the sparkling clear emerald green waters of the Gill Islands off Lombok are stunning, and diving heaven. Get your scuba gear on—there are hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, lionfish and many funny looking parrotfish to rub fins with swimming amid all the colorful coral.
- Truly In-spired: Huge temples in rice fields seem to be South East Asia’s thing, and, just like Angkor War, Borobudur is spectacular in itself. An enigmatic Buddhist temple complex rising out of too-green-to-be-true rice paddies, surrounded by volcanic peaks reaching for the skies, it looks like it arrived at the beginning of time. There are monasteries around at which visitors are welcome; you can even join the monks in the prayer chanting.
- Tail Tales: Watch out for forked, snake-like tongues on Komodo Island, notable because its home to the world’s largest lizard, the unique and badass Komodo dragon. The largest island in Komodo National Park, surrounded by pink shores and red coral, it is also where you can trek and walk through rural fishing villages on stilts.
- Shop Your Way through Seminyak: Glitzy Seminyak, home to galleries, local Balinese boutiques, restaurants and excellent hotels lining the beaches, is a whole other world. Go window-shopping on Abhimanyu Street, famous for its exclusive boutiques.
- Misty Mountaintops: Climb up the smoky volcanic hills of Berastagi, where it is always cool and green. Gunung Sibayak and Gunung Sinabung each take a day to hike, and are very easy to get to.
- Art it Up: As you saw in Eat, Pray, Love was very real— Ubud is serene, impossibly green, and full of art and character. Spend your days soaking in the culture, browsing through local artisans’ shops and whiling the afternoons away in a cafe.
- Eat Your Heart Out: If you will come back missing something, all bets are on the food. Indonesian cuisine is mouth-watering, colorful and for lack of a better word, delicious. Snack on lightly spiced nasi goreng topped with a fried egg for breakfast, lap up fiery curries and banana-wrapped fish, and enjoy that staple, spicy chili-flavored sambal.
- Go Local: Just east of Bali, the islands of Nusa Tenggara are diverse. Discover native animistic rituals and long-running tribal traditions that co-exist alongside Islamic Lombok and Catholic Bores.
- Of Coffee and Rhinos: Java has a fair bit going for it. Surrounded by the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, there are temples, tropical islands, and brilliant surf breaks. Glug down some of that world famous Javan coffee, and go looking for the Javan rhino, one of the rarest mammals in the world.