Archive for March 27th, 2009

Sumatran Yellow Rice

March 27, 2009

yellow-riceThis Indonesian recipe is from my Sumatran friend living in Australia.   The first time I tasted this I fell in love.  It is so light with just a whisper of lemon and coconut to tease your taste buds.  I’ve since made it my own and friends always ooh and ah.  Use your rice cooker for best results.  The lemon grass, fresh turmeric root, fresh coconut, and kaffir lime leaves can be found at Asian markets and some supermarkets.  The lemon grass leaves can be steeped in boiling water for a refreshing cup of tea.   Fresh turmeric stains everything so take care when handling this root.


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup  fresh coconut milk (or 1 cup of  unsweetened coconut milk in the can)
  • 1 knob fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 1 lemon grass bulb, bruised
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (or zest of half a lime)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine


  1. Break coconut, shred meat, soak in 3 cups warm water, place in a fine sieve , and push solids to extract milk.  You need 1 cup of coconut milk.  Use the remaining coconut milk  in another recipe (see below).
  2. Crush fresh turmeric in a blender with 1/4 cup water, place in a fine sieve and push solids to extract juice.  You want 2 Tbsp of the extract.
  3. Place everything in your rice cooker, give it a stir and push the switch to cook.
  4. When finished cooking, remove lemon grass bulb, bay leaf and kaffir lime leaf.  Fluff with a fork.  Serve with your favorite curry dish, chicken, fish, or Thai dish.

Use leftover coconut milk in curries, baked chicken, mix with shaved watermelon for a fruit dessert, add it to your favorite ceviche, cook octopus with it, cook green bananas or plantains in coconut milk for a starch dish, cook ripe bananas with coconut and honey for a hot drink  like the Tongans do.  Dry the grated coconut and toast it for cakes.