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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Fragrant Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice - Malaysian Style)

          Nasi Lemak (fragrant rice) is considered as the national dish of Malaysia, which is served along with the chili sambal, crispy fried anchovies, cucumber, roasted peanuts and hard boiled egg. This delicious dish is quite a popular street food and a favourite one-pot meal enjoyed by the locals. 

          It is commonly found in all hawker centers across the country and is relished anytime of the day. A very simple dish with some amazing flavours. Now this dish can be easily prepared at home. So check the recipes of both Nasi Lemak and Chili sambal.

  • 1 cup rice, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised
  • 1" galangal, bruised
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves
  • salt to taste
  • roasted peanuts, as required
  • crispy fried anchovies, as required
  • few sliced cucumber
  • 1 tbsp. chili sambal
  • 1 boiled egg
  • coriander leaves to garnish

          Pressure cook the drained rice in coconut milk, water, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and salt to taste for 2 whistles. Keep aside.

          When serving, place the rice in the centre of the plate and top it up with the chili sambal. Place the peanuts, anchovies, cucumber and egg all around and garnish with coriander leaves.

Chili Sambal ----

 Sambal is a traditional Malay sauce that acts as the base of most of the recipes, like stir fries, Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, etc. It is spicy, sweet and tangy and is a ground paste made of shallots, galangal, garlic, lemon grass, shrimp paste, vinegar or tamarind paste, dry red chilies, sugar, salt and dried anchovies. 

          They can be made in large quantities and stored in air tight containers. which can then be frozen for later use. No Malaysian dish is complete without it. The taste can be adjusted according to individual preference. To make it mild, the seeds can be discarded from the red chilies. This paste goes very well with any Indian cooking too.


                                 Fried anchovies

  • 15-20 dry red chilies, soaked for an hour
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon grass, sliced
  • 8-10 shallots
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. dried anchovies., cleaned, drained & pat dry

          Heat oil in a pan and fry the anchovies till crisp. Drain on a kitchen towel. When cool, grind along with chilies, garlic, lemon grass, shallots, salt, vinegar and sugar to a smooth paste.

          Heat the same oil in which the anchovies were fried. Saute the prepared paste on a low flame till it turns slightly dark brown in colour and the oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan. Serve along with Nasi Lemak, noodles, Nasi Goreng, etc.

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