Nasi Tumpeng

Nasi Tumpeng made from yellow rice is one of my family’s favorite dishes. It has great significance in the Balinese culture, and is used for various celebrations, from birthday parties to religious ceremonies. It consists of yellow rice, made in to a cone shape, to symbolize a mountain, with a selection of various other food, placed around the base, which symbolize the harmony of nature.  There are no hard and fast rules about what these foods are, but usually there is an assortment of Indonesian dishes, such as Urab vegetables, ayam goreng (fried chicken), ayam bakar (grilled chicken), abon sapi  (beef meat), udang goreng (fried prawn), telur rebus (boiled  egg),  tempe orek (sweet and dry fried tempe), perkedel jagung (corn fritters), sambal goreng (chilli sauce), and many more besides.

This dish is served as a symbol of gratitude, and is shared as a group. The yellow rice is created using turmeric, not saffron.


white rice             50 gr

coconut milk        50ml

turmeric water     20ml

bay leaf              1pc

lemon grass       1pc

lime leaves         2pc

salt                      15gr


  1. Wash and drain the rice in a sieve.
  2. Place the freshly grated  turmeric in a blender with 20ml water and process until fine. Strain through a sieve, using a spoon to push and  extract all the juice.  If you cannot find fresh turmeric substitute with 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  3. Place rice, turmeric water and all other ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Stir, lower the heat and cook until the rice is done.
  4. Remove all leaves before serving.
  5. Place the rice on a plate, and form it in to a cone shape, placing a small cone of banana leaf on the top
  6. Arrange your other ingredients around the base of the rice making sure to have a combination of vegetables and meat dishes.

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