Nasi Kerabu is a dish that is synonymous to Kelatan, and is much loved by Malaysians all around. Back in its homeland, this dish is a meal so versatile, you can have it any time of the day. Be it for lunch or dinner, this dish is sure to please your palate.
Kelantan’s hallmark food prides itself on the signature blue-hued rice derived from the butterfly pea flower. Nowadays, it’s slightly tougher to come across this plant, so you’ll notice bluer rice made from artificial food colouring.
This dish is held together by an intricate system of side dishes, creating the essence mandatory to make Nasi Kerabu. We’re here today to inspire you to make your very own Nasi Kerabu. By the end of it, to say you’ll feel accomplished would be an understatement.
Origin of Nasi Kerabu
Before we get to the history of this heritage dish, let’s take a look at the name of this meal, nasi means rice while kerabu is the Kelantanese dialect for herbs. Basically, you’re eating is a very healthy herb and rice meal with the addition of grilled chicken or fish. This dish is thought to be from Thailand, though very little evidence supports this idea.
Nowadays, the essential accompaniments for this dish are shredded vegetables such as long beans, bean sprouts, cabbage, or cucumbers. Additionally, you’ll see salted eggs, fried fish or chicken, sambal, fermented fish paste, grated coconut, stuffed green chillies, or fish crackers. With the many stores serving Nasi Kerabu, variations to this dish exist, each having their own unique concoctions.
Nasi Kerabu Recipe: How to Make Nasi Kerabu at HomeCourse: RecipeDifficulty: Moderate
Nasi Kerabu is known for its signature blue hue and is a heritage food of Kelantan. Although this recipe requires a lot of ingredients, the assembling of this dish is easy once you’ve gathered all of them. And not to mention, it’s no rocket science that more ingredients, just means more flavour!
1 kg fragrant rice
50g bunga telang or blue peas flower
- Herbs to finely slice: *
Herbs to finely slice: *
5 pieces of kesum leaves*
2 pieces cekur leaves*
2 pieces kentut leaves*
2 pieces kudu leaves*
1/2 stalk lemongrass*
2 pandan leaves
2 tbsp palm sugar
- Garnishing ulam mix:
2 torch ginger buds, finely sliced
1 stalks daun kesum, finely sliced
2 cekur leaves, finely sliced
2 daun kentut, finely sliced
2 daun kudu, finely sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, finely sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 cucumber, pared and julienned
1 onion, finely sliced
5 long beans, finely sliced
1/2 round cabbage
- Fried grated coconut:
1/2 coconut flesh, finely grated
8 shallots, finely sliced
2cm ginger, finely chopped
Palm sugar and salt to taste
- Using a food processor, finely blend the herbs marked ‘*’ with one glass of water. Then, sieve the blended mix to extract the juices.
- For the rice, blend the blue pea flowers with 1 cup of water and set aside. Wash the uncooked rice and add the pandan leaves, juice of the herbs, the pea flower juice, kaffir lime leaves, and the palm sugar. Mix well and cook in a rice cooker.
- In a pan over low heat, dry-fry the grated coconut with shallots, ginger, palm sugar and salt. Stir continuously to avoid burning the mix. Once fragrant, set aside.
- Mix all the Ulam Mix with grated coconut. Garnish on top of the rice before serving.
Ways to enjoy Nasi Kerabu
This rice is best eaten with a serving of fried chicken or a fish of your choice. We think a spicy plate of ayam percik is best when it comes to this dish though. If you can get your hands on some authentic budu, you’re in for a treat! Enjoy.
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!