On special occasions like when I’m entertaining some friends at home or for my open houses during Chinese New Year (whenever in a moment of temporary insanity, I decide to stay back in Sibu for the festive season), I would cook this yellow rice to go with the curry or the masak hitam (a Sarawak meat dish which is a lot nicer than the masak merah in the peninsular) or satay…and without fail, no matter how much I cook, I would run out of the rice very quickly so I will have to cook some plain white rice quickly or resort to serving slices of sandwich bread.

I don’t know exactly what it’s called – whether it’s nasi kuning (yellow rice) or nasi kunyit (tumeric rice) or nasi minyak (oil/ghee rice) and I don’t know how other people cook theirs but this how is I do it. I will chop some shallots and cut them into thin slices – the more I use, the more fragrant the rice later. Then I will buy a packet of the combination of spices that is easily available from any sundry shop, with cinnamon stick, star anise, bunga chengkih and buah palaga…and I will need some tumeric powder (serbuk kunyit), raisins and ghee. 

STP's saffron rice - ingredients 1

I will also wash the rice and drain it and prepare some knotted pandan (screwpine) leaves…

STP's saffron rice - ingredients 2

After heating up the wok, I will heat up the ghee and once it is hot, I will put in the shallot slices and saute until they turn golden brown. Then I will remove them from the oil to be used for garnishing when serving. Do take care to remove every little bit as what remains in the oil may get burnt and will affect the colour and appearance of the rice later.  Then I put in a handful of raisins and they will expand and turn round and brown in colour. Remove them from the oil and they will shrink and return to their original size and colour. Like the fried shallots, the raisins are also kept for garnishing when serving too. After that, I put in the spices and fry them in the oil and when I can smell the fragrance, I will remove the spices and discard them. I do not cook these together with the rice as I do not like the smell to be too strong, but some people may prefer it that way.

Then I put in the rice and add a teaspoon of tumeric powder (serbuk kunyit) and mix it all thoroughly with the now very fragrant ghee/oil, after which I will transfer it from the wok into the rice cooker. After adding water plus salt and msg according to taste, I will then cook it as I would cook rice normally, with the knotted pandan (screwpine) leaves submerged in the water. Stir regularly to ensure that the bottom part of the rice will not get burnt.  Once the rice is cooked, it is ready to be served. Sprinkle the fried shallots and raisins on top like this…

STP's saffron rice

It’s actually quite easy, so you can give it a try should you happen to be cooking curry, rendang or one of those nice Malaysian dishes that the rice is most compatible with. Good luck!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

15 thoughts on “Yellow…”

  1. Thanks for the receipe,STP! Your instructions are very crystal clear. Your version quite similiar to Pollie’s but u had more ingredients. I may modify a bit for I prefer sultanas to raisins. Photos are great n bright n colourful!Hve printed the receipe out!

    Printed? Do I get paid royalty? Hahahahahaha!!!! More ingredients kah? I thought there’s barely anything leh? I always use chicken/ikan bilis stock granules instead of salt and msg…in most of my cooking.

  2. Now I know…I used to ask people how to cook the yellow rice and I got all sorts of recipes *tau hin* How about the rice for chicken rice? I tried the other day and failed miserably 😦

    I also tried cooking chicken rice once…long long ago when I didn’t use to cook so regularly, following recipe book and of course, not nice lah! I may try again one of these days…and if successful, will post. If not, shhhh….!!! Hahahahahaha!!!

  3. so when you will publish your cook book har? Or even better, open Restoran STP?

    If only I knew I could cook, I would not have become a miserable teacher…and by today, I would be a millionaire liao lor! Hahahahahaha!!!

  4. Well, it isn’t too late ! Better late than never anyway ! So go go… haha… we’ll give you MENTAL and SPIRITUAL support… i’m sure it’s going to be one of those bestsellers. Haha

    Not talking about a book. Tons in the shops. A restaurant!!!…And I am telling this with a sigh! The road not taken! Destined to be a poor pensioner! Man proposes, God disposes! LOL!!!

  5. look the same – dont know taste the same cos you use more ingredients-must be more lemak- sometimes I use butter instead of ghee put in some evaporated milk–this is a very nice dish.

    Should be different. Ghee last time brand nicer…no more, so use 3 rifles’ not so wangi!! Wah! Add milk some more…. U try my way and let me know which one is nicer. LOL!! Wait a minute! U ever tried the rice Chinese New Year at my house?

  6. Wow, nasi kuning!
    Last time, my sis in law bought red rice in Miri. Cepat habis dimakan coz the rice so wangi. Kalah tu beras wangi AAA 😉

    Red rice? U should try Bario rice from the highlands. Best with fish head curry! Drool!!!

  7. it’s actually nasi or pulut yeah?
    in semenanjung we use pulut (known as pulut kuning)
    eaten with curry or rendang also

    Ah yes! I ate that…cooked with pulut once – 1986 at a coffee shop near Jaya Supermarket in PJ. VERY nice but it’s all sticky and lumpy…so I guess it will not look very presentable when served to guests.

  8. owhh usually when we serve pulut kuning we will shape it jadi bulat
    or we will pressed the pulut inside a container and cut it into desired shape/size
    sometimes also bungkus dalam daun pisang

    I see. Work! Hahahahaha!!! I usually prefer anything that’s less of a hassle. Ooo…wrap in daun pisang! That would definitely enhance the taste! Drool…..

  9. Arthur, this is Nasi Minyak yum! yum! Nasi kunyit is the one cooked with glutinous rice. Also great with curry. Hmm…you are quite the chef 🙂

    Ok…I also call it ghee rice or nasi kuning (yellow rice…which sounds like what people throw at weddings…hehehehehehe) – to me, all the same whatever the type of rice used. I love the one with glutinous rice a lot – very nice!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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