Still got the blues…

My regular Malay kuih stall at Bandong had not been selling the Kelantan nasi kerabu for a long long time – the ones where the rice is blue in colour…and the other day, I saw on Facebook my daughter eating that all the way in Wellington, New Zealand. Sigh!!!

Imagine my delight when I stopped by the stall the other day and found that they were selling just that! Nasi kerabu…

Nasi kerabu 1

…but the rice was not blue! According to the lady, the one making it, originally from Johore, could not get hold of the flower, bunga telang (blue pea/butterfly pea) that they use for the blue colour and she did not want to use artificial colouring and used kunyit (tumeric) instead, hence the yellow colour.

For RM3.50, I got the rice with the thinly-sliced ulam (raw vegetables) and the fish and grated coconut kerisik (floss)…

Nasi kerabu 2
*Oops! Sorry, pic a bit blurry!*

…and the sambal (sauce)…

Nasi kerabu 3

Wait a minute! Where was the stinky air budu (fermented salted fish sauce)? It would not be the same without that! Perhaps the lady had mixed it together with the sambal. And where was the fried fish…and the stuffed green chili? Where was the bergedil ikan (fishcake)? I had those before here and here…plus it was only RM3.00 then but that was over a year ago so the price increase should come as no surprise at all. Tsk! Tsk!

Anyway, I poured the sauce over the rice…

Nasi kerabu 4

…and mixed everything thoroughly before eating it.

Well, I must say it was very nice. The chicken had a special fragrance – like it had been marinated with serai (lemon grass) or something like that. On the whole, I think this would go down very well with the less adventurous who may not like any kind  of peculiar smell or taste in their food.

Anyway, I went back to the stall a few days later to voice my grievances and according to the lady, the one making the nasi kerabu would have fried fish instead of chicken on some days and she told me that the air budu was already in the sambal…as can be seen in the plastic bag in this photograph…

Nasi kerabu 5

…and she drew my attention that there was also some sambal cili (pounded chili) added as well.

I ended up buying a packet to give it another try…

Nasi kerabu 6

…but unfortunately, there did not seem to be any difference from what I had previously.

The final verdict, therefore, would be that it certainly was nice enough to tickle one’s delight but at RM3.50 a packet, I probably would think twice and  not have that very regularly, I’m afraid.

Author: suituapui

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

33 thoughts on “Still got the blues…”

  1. Now this is indeed something i would love to have or to wallop, miss this so much, Nasi Kerabu, now they don’t make it as authentic as they used to already,,, .sigh how things change with times……..

    You have this in Penang? Next time, you must bring me, k? 😉

  2. Talking about the blue flower, a bloggy friend just sent me a photo she took from a restaurant here in KL offering Blue Cl*t*r*s rice. I tell you I laughed my head off when I saw that picture. You got email? I send to you. BTW, I gave you something on my blog; no it’s not food. Have a good week!

    Nasi kerabu is supposed to be blue…and if they use the flower, it’s like the nyonya bak chang (rice dumpling) or the glutinous rice part of the serimuka. Ya, sort of uneasy when eating for the first time…but eventually, I got used to it. Anyway, it’s just the colour – no difference in the taste – or at least, that’s what I think. Will hop over to your blog right away…

  3. Next time show her your blog of the pictures you took previously!

    She knows. I bought all from the same place. The other Johore lady not making anymore (so no more bergedil ikan) and the blue kerabu from a lady in the 10th Mile army camp – she stopped sending here to see as it is too far and not convenient. I hear she still sells it at the camp…but so far. Not bothered to go all the way.

  4. oh i like nasi kerabu too! and kelantan’s nasi dagang is so fragrant and delicious too! have you tried that before? 😀

    I prefer kerabu…as dagang, they serve with fish curry…and sometimes, the fish/curry not that great. Most of the time they use tongkol which has a heavy fishy smell.

  5. One small piece of chicken only? Surely not enough.. anyway, i seldom take this type of nasi.. maybe used to eating it in the office, once outside, i never buy any of this type…

    It seems you’re more into Chinese food or western. Never/Seldom seen any post on Malay(sian), Indian or other cuisines in your blog?

  6. You are one customer they cannot fool. I agree that what you bought is not quite worth RM3.50.

    …especially when nasi lemak is only RM1.50 a packet and RM2.50 with a piece of chicken rendang added.

  7. Wht a coincidence, I just watched chef Wan’s masterclass teaching how to make kerabu salad!^^

    Best Wan? My sis saw that too…but not me. Didn’t get to watch.

  8. Kelantan Nasi Kerabu? That’s the first time I see it! So many components involved and what’s air budu? Anyway the whole combination looks lovely.. would love to try it one day.

    See! You know all the food from all over the world and you do not know our own local delights. I’m all the way over here across the sea and yet I know all these from the east coast. I hope you know keropok lekor? Muahahahahaha!!!! 😀 I love trying out what every place has to offer – some I like, some I don’t…but you wouldn’t know unless you try.

  9. I have not eaten breakfast yet so your photos made me drool like crazy cos I love to each Nasi Kerabu. The price is worth it and I am also surprised your daughter could eat them at NZ! Who made them? Anyways, I often asked where Nasi Kerabu and Laksa originated from because so many Malaysian states including Thailand still serve them. Perhaps it is Peranakan Food…maybe.

    Nope! It’s not Peranakan. It’s traditionally Kelantan and nasi dagang’s Trengganu. I think one of my daughter’s coursemates made for sale or something – sure to sell well over there as all of them do not have much choice once they start craving for all our Malaysian delicacies…

  10. my mother grows bunga telang at her place. we will pick the flowers and sun dry them. boil them to get the colour.. lovely 😀

    Trengganu, right? Nasi dagang…and kerabu. 😉

  11. Yipee…. my office server decided to unblock your blog for reasons unknown to me. Then again, it could be just temporary… possibly upgrading to more effective shields. hehe. U must be getting ready to meet the 3 senior ladies from Kuching tomorrow. Haha… as far as i know, one will be bringing Kai Joo lane delicacies. So many visitors this month hor…

    Aha!!! I guess they have decided that my blog is motivating and inspiring…and educational. Muahahahaha!!!! Yup…another round of feasting begins tomorrow…

  12. But, If
    You’re Thinkin’
    About My Nasi
    It Don’t Matter If You’re
    Blue Or YelloWhite

    Would just wallop no difference to Bananaz as they all looked the same anyway..muahahaha..~;).

    You can’t see blue? You can see green, right? Eeeeee….I wonder what the colours of the traffic lights appear to you. All the same? So if they change the positions, you will not know whether to stop or go?

    1. Bananaz didnt know there are colors for the traffic lights? Thought they are all green? Will just drive according to the force heard of ‘may the force be with you? Just kidding lolz. Those days may have some slight problem coz the red & green are not clear and that the top light is stop and bottom light is go but after the introduction of LED lights totally no problem can see them very clearly now. So no need to say your prayers next time I drive you around in Penang, the first time you are perfectly OK coz ignorance is bliss muahaha. BTW what is the color for the middle light huh?

      The middle one? It’s purple. Muahahahahaha!!!! 😀 What LED lights? The ones that tell you how many seconds before you can go?

      1. Neh the round traffic lights where top is red, centre is purple and bottom is green one leh..they are using LED lights instead of those normal light with colored glass pane or color bulb with plain white glass pane dunno which is which.

        Oh? Never noticed that before. Guess I never bothered as to me they’re all the same- traffic lights. 😉

  13. Oppsss!…nasi kerabu, this is something I have not tried. Used to see it during Ramadan month..the blue rice. Bought some nyonya kuih the other day and I saw the blue rice. I ask the lady whether they put colouring or what and she told me that the colour was taken from a type of flower.

    That’s the way it should be- natural colouring using the flower. This one is nice for the not-so-adventurous. The authentic may have its exotic tastes with the air budu, the ulam and all that – may not go down to well with some people.

    1. It’s bunga telang flower. I used to have this blue flower in my garden, and my grandma’s too. But we dun use it for nasi ulam, but for nyonya kuihs instead.

      The peranakans use it for kuihs… I saw one blog – teaching people how to make nyonya chang and the chang was so very bright royal blue in colour. Quite horrendous – like somebody spilt ink all over it. LOL!!!

  14. Ehhh…I used to live in Kelantan, but only tried nasi kerabu two or three times before. Din fancy them. The colour turns me off. But they’re quite okay to eat.

    Like how some people do not like cincaluk…or anything with torch ginger. some may get put off by the air budu…and also the ulam – some may add mint leaves and others with very unique smell, and many people will not like that. I also felt it at first but after a couple more tries, I started to enjoy it. My daughter loves it!

  15. something like this lah i cannot tahan 😀
    nak some more, more and more 😀

    I’m sure you will not have a problem getting this over there- the real authentic stuff some more, since you’re nearer to Kelantan. We’re lucky to have something that’s, if at all, similar… 😦

  16. Oh..the blue rice, i saw before, but i didn’t try, you know i am not so into this type of food. At first i also tot the blue rice is coloring, but after that i saw tv, actually that is a type of flower. My mum now also plant that flower in her garden.

    Oh? Then must ask all those Malays to go and buy from her… LOL!!! 😀 I know – you’re like Claire…not into this kind of cuisine.

  17. Now really confirm I really really hate you! What is wrong with you torturing ppl with all this food photos,huh? Nasi Kerabu is my most favourite nasi of all nasi. I think I can eat them every day for all meals. Oh, I regret coming to ‘visit’ you today…I love budu more than cencalok. SOBS!!!!! Hubby was just telling me Royal Brunei is having specials…NZ$1679 to Bangkok, NZ $1789 to Singapore and NZ$1785 to KL, by business class. Travel date till 31st October. See if hubby’s leave approved or not and I can go and serbu you. You better buy lottery and belanja me makan. My list is so the very long, muahahaha.

    PS: Royal Brunei (777) tak syiok la!!

    No problem! I go and sell my cow (like Jack & the beanstalk – not talking about any other cow here! Muahahahahaha!!!!!)…and use the money to feed you puas2! LOL!!! Come! Come! So cheap! Never mind syiok or not. I know all RB flights will transit Brunei. Too bad no RB-Sibu flights – have to go via KLIA. So quick! Quick! Get your hubby to get his leave approved and then you all can come… Yum! Yum! Nasi kerabu is waiting… Hehehehehehe!!!!

  18. Arthur, it is really r\frustrating to see prices having sky-rocketed. Many vendors have just simply taken the opportunity to increase prices. Was just telling my mom last night how disgusted I am that the dessert seller (tong yuen) has just increased their price by more than 10 percent again! I’d ban myself, but it’s difficult to impose total ban coz it’s my mom’s lullaby 😦

    Can cook your own? Would be a lot cheaper. Prices here still ok…not bad. This one’s a new kid on the block – not too familiar with the regular pricing, I guess. I think pre-packed stall food shouldn’t go beyond RM3.00. I wonder how much they’re selling in the shops – I hear there’s one place here selling this. Maybe I go and try and compare prices…and also the nasi.

  19. Foodie challenge: try air budu with durian! Wonderful!

    Yakah? We eat air budu with dabai…but no dabai over at your side,so you cannot try. Have to come to Sibu when in season. 😉

  20. isn’t the sambal sauce very salty because of the fish sauce? it’s not good for the hypertensive though. But I’m imagining it’s nice on the taste buds 🙂 i think i bought turmeric powder before but i didn’t really know what to do with it 🙂

    They say it’s better to use fresh tumeric instead of the powder form – tastes nicer. You can sprinkle it in your fried rice for extra fragrance e.g. pineapple fried rice…or add to your seafood soup e.g. tom yam. Nope…not salty as there’s not so much and mixed with rice and everything when eating but it has its nice smell and taste like balao or what we call cincaluk here.

  21. Rm3.50 for that is a steal here in KL wor..

    I guess the lady cut cost here and there, minus this and minus that. 😛

    Phew, sorry for not dropping by earlier today, was really busy with work. >< but now i'm at home, and ready to check all my favourite bloggers posts! And you're my number 1!

    …and you’re my No. 1 flatterer! Memang pandai, tripod hor! LOL!!!! Busy enjoying yourself, say so lah…so nice! But good, good! Young people should have a whole lot of fun. No lah,I do think it is a bit too expensive and the chicken is so small. If it had been one whole chicken wing, then that price would be quite reasonable – say, RM1.50/2.00 for that and RM2.00/1.50 for the rest of the stuff.

  22. I’m not a fan of nasi kerabu; I prefer nasi dagang, but the Trengganu made and not the Kelantan made ones. And I don’t think I’ve ever eaten budu before…

    You’re not a vegetable fan…so of course, you do not like kerabu. So far I’ve not had nasi dagang whereby I like the fish curry, that’s why- not crazy over it as much.

  23. must have been very hungry leh? until hands shaking?….photos blurry…!

    Hahhahahaha!!!! Rainy day, not enough light…so just move a bit, blur already. 😦

  24. but at least the last pic is clear!

    Hey…only the 2nd one’s bad…and the 3rd one, slightly. The rest o.k. lah… You see all of them blur kah? Oh dear! 😦

  25. Hhmm, somehow nasi kerabu is just not the same if the nasi is not blue! I fell in love with it when my Kelantanese chinese friend introduced it to me when I was in secondary school (ages ago!). It was then I began to explore other authentic malay dishes as well. I also like the terengganu nasi dagang but nasi kerabu is better. I know of a chinese couple who sells this in a market near my place – costs RM4.50 with a few small pcs of fried chicken and RM5 if goes with fried ikan kembung!

    Oh? Ikan kembung is more expensive? It’s cheaper here – RM1.00 at my regular Malay food stall…fried and beautifully marinated with dunno-what sambal. Chicken is RM1.50-2.00 a piece.

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: