Chicken-Turmeric Mixed Rice

Origin: Indonesia


Basic ingredients

  • turmeric rice / Indonesian Nasi Kuning
  • shrimps crackers
  • cucumber slices
  • sambal (optional)

Ingredients for Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs

  • 500 g tofu, cut in cube/approx. similar size to the quail egg
  • 20 pc quail eggs
  • 2 pc ripe tomato, roughly chopped
  • 2 cm galangale, thinly sliced or bruished
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, cut in two, crashed or bruised
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves, discard the rib of the leaf
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp soak in 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • oil to fry tofu

Spices for the paste

  • 8 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 7 pc large red chillies, de-seeded (if you don't like it spicy), chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi (optional)

Ingredients for Ayam Goreng Bumbu Kuning/Crispy Yellow Fried Chicken

  • 750 g chicken, washed
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 1 stem lemon grass, bruised
  • 200 ml water
  • oil for deep-frying

Spices for the paste

  • 4 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 cm galangale, chopped
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • tsp salt or to taste

Ingredients for Kering Kentang/Spiced Fried Potatoes

  • 500 g potatoes, thinly sliced in 2 cm x 2 cm
  • 2 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 pc salam leaves or bay leaves as subtitute
  • 2 pc kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 75 ml water
  • 50 ml oil

Spices For the paste

  • 2 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cm galangale, peeled off, chopped
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 50 g palm sugar, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt

Chicken-Turmeric Mixed Rice

There are many variants of Nasi Kuning or Indonesian mixed turmeric rice. Each region has their own version for example Javanese Yellow Rice, Balinese Turmeric Rice, Manadonese Turmeric Rice etc.
This time I introduce you a version of Nasi Kuning Ayam with 3 side dishes: A spicy Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs, a bit sweet Spiced Sweet Potatoes, decent-neutral Crispy Ayam Goreng Bumbu Kuning and fried crackers at your choice. If you don't like potato, just replace with Spiced Fried Tempeh or Kering Tempe. It tastes also great!
Nasi Kuning or Indonesian Turmeric Rice originated from the era of Javanese Hindu kingdom. It is usually served in celebration or communal feast as an expression of gratitude. According to Javanese philosophy, yellow colour has a meaning like gold symbolizes wealth and prosperity. With this dish in celebration, people hope to receive a lot of blessings and prosperous life.
Have a nice try and hopefully you will find something new to cook and enjoy your rice 🙂



  • Put the quail eggs with enough cold water in a small deep sauce pan. Ensure all the eggs are covered with water.
  • Bring over high heat to boil then reduce to medium heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes until the eggs become hard. (Tips: Do not boil eggs in boiling water which keeps on popping otherwise the shell will be broken and the content comes out).
  • Once they're cooked, discard the hot water, rinse and soak in cold water immediately so that a shock effect occurs.
  • Leave them sit for 10 minutes, the eggs will be cool and ready to peel easily.
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a fryingpan/skillet on medium heat, fry the hard-boiled eggs. (Tips: Make around 4 lightly (not too deep) slits on the eggs, to reduce oil's splater during frying).
  • Fry until the outer surface becomes lightly golden brown.
  • Set aside to drain. (Note : You can skip the frying process if you prefer but fried hard boiled eggs will mix and absorb the spice paste better than a slippery hard boil egg.)
  • While waiting the soaking process, prepare the tofu. Cut in dice/cube which has similar size to the quail egg.
  • Heat about 100 ml oil in a fryingpan/skillet on medium heat, fry the tofu until lightly golden brown (Note: Do not fry too long otherwise the tofu will be too hard. Just fry until the outer surface turn to lightly brown).
  • Set aside to drain and put aside.
  • Prepare all ingredients for the paste, peel-off and cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
  • Blend the spices into a smooth paste. If necessary add a little bit oil to help the blending process.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan/wok, sautee the paste with lemon grass, galangale, kaffir-lime leaf and salam/bay leaf.
  • Stir all the time until the paste done & well cooked to obtain the best taste. The paste is done when the texture becomes scrambled & the colour changes from yellow into orange/red. (It takes approx. 5 minutes).
  • Add the fried tofu & hard boiled quail eggs. Stir to mix.
  • Add the hot water ***, tamarind juice, salt and chopped tomato. Adjust into medium heat & simmer for approx 15 minutes until the water is being absorbed. Stir occasionally.
  • Add kecap manis and stir to mix. Adjust the taste and add sugar or salt if necessary. Remove from heat.
  • For cooking instructions with photos please open "Balinese & Quail Eggs" recipe.


  • Cut the chicken in serving portions, wash and set aside.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.(If necessery add a little bit water from the recipe (200 ml) to help the blending process).
  • Transfer the paste mixture into a wok or shallowpan. Add the rest of water if any. Add the salam leaves & lemos grass.
  • Add the chicken pieces, stir the paste to coat the chicken pieces over medium heat until the chicken's colour turns to white.
  • Simmer slowly over low heat, stirring all the time until the mixture is absorbed, the chicken becomes tender & well coated with the paste.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add salt if necessary. (A bit salty is better than it tastes bland after frying). Remove from heat, discard salam leaves & lemon grass. Put aside.
  • Heat enough oil in a frying pan & deep-fry the chicken until crispy-golden brown. Set aside to drain or pat dry with kitchen paper. (If preferred deep-fry the chicken in a Fritteuse to 375°F (190°C) for about 4-5 minutes).
  • For cooking instructions with photos please open "Deep Fried Chicken" recipe.


  • Peel-off potatoes and slice into thin rectangles shape, approx. 2 cm x 2 cm.
  • Soak in cold water to prevent the color changes/turns to brown. Tips: Add 1/2 tsp baking soda into the water and soak for 10 minutes to achieve maximum crispness after frying.
  • Rinse under running water to get rid of remaining baking soda which cause bitterness. Set aside to drain.
  • Heat 100 ml oil in a fryingpan, deep-fry the sliced potatoes until crispy golden brown. Set aside to drain.
  • Prepare all ingredients for the paste, peef-off and cut into smaller size if necessary. Slice thinly chillies & kaffir-lime leaves.
  • Fry sliced chillies in the used oil. Set aside to drain.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste (garlic, galangal, tamarind, brown sugar and salt) in a blender or mortar and blend/grind into smooth paste.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of remaining oil in a fryingpan, saute the paste and salam/bay leves until fragrant. (approx. 2-3 minutes)
  • Add the water and stir to mix. Bring to boil and keep cooking until the mixture becomes thick then adjust the stove into low heat.
  • Add the fried potatoes, stir to mix and adjust the taste. Add salt or sugar if necessary.
  • Add fried chilies and kaffir-lime leaves. Stir briefly until the leaves just wilted. Remove from heat.
  • For cooking instructions with fotos please open "Spiced Fried Potatoes" recipe.


  • Transfer Nasi Kuning/Turmeric Rice, Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs, Ayam Goreng Bumbu Kuning and Spiced Sweet Potatoes in a serving container/bowl.
  • Serve each person an individual plate, put the rice in the middle of the plate, add the side dishes arround the rice, top up with kerupuk, cucumber slice or sambal if you like it more spicy.


  • Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs and Spiced Fried Potatoes can be prepared and cooked one day in advance, store in the fridge (keep the leaves with). It lets the flavors absorbed perfectly and tastes more delicious.
  • For Ayam Goreng Bumbu Kuning just marinate, precook, put in a container and store in a fridge. Deep-fry shortly before serving.
Keyword chicken, Indonesian, rice, tumeric

popular Indonesian recipes

“Thank You for visiting my site. I won’t bother you with my life stories LOL :-D. Just get the recipe, have fun while cooking and enjoy your meal!”

Endang SW Lestari