Cooked Nasi Kuning
I have started reading Roberto Saviano's Gomorra and it is really beautifully written - about some of the most horrible things that have been and are going on in our world. I've been walking around feeling uneasy for a few days now. And each time I enter a boutique or a restaurant since, each time I see a Chinese or those Africans selling fake branded bags, I would think of what Saviano wrote about the Italian Mafia in the south of Italy and how widespread their influence is in this country and beyond. And I am only at Chapter 3.
I've been telling myself that thank God I haven't started becoming too friendly with anybody outside our expat circle here in Modena. Yes, it comes to that, you have to be careful about who you make friends with in these parts. And I am starting to look at the manufactured goods in high-end boutiques, outlets and market stalls with a suspicious eye, wondering how they obtained their goods, whether they paid taxes, whether they exploited labour, whether they were made by the mafia. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Anyway, to bring me away from Italy for a while, I went back to my Singaporean roots and prepared a Nasi Kuning this morning to accompany the Rendang Roast Chicken and Sayur Lodeh that we had for lunch. The sun came out after a really foggy start and the bright yellow colour (not at all reflected in the photos unfortunately) of the spiced coconut rice brought some sunshine into the kitchen too. I have resisted making this rice too often as it's rich with coconut milk and it's not good for the heart.
Nasi Kuning :
2 cups Jasmine rice (washed and drained)
1-2 Lemongrass stalks (bashed and cut into 2)
1 piece Galangal (sliced)
1 Tsp ground Turmeric
1/2 Tsp ground Coriander
1/2 Tsp ground Cumin
1-2 Tsp Salt
1 cup Coconut cream
1 1/3 cup hot water/stock
2 Pandan leaves (knotted)
2 Tsp Vegetable Oil
Fry the lemongrass and galangal in the oil till fragrant. Add the dry spices followed by the salt.
Add the rice and coat the grains with the spices.
Pour in the water or stock, give it a stir and then stir in the coconut cream (or thick coconut milk). Place the knotted screwpine leaves on top and cover the pot.
Cooked Nasi Kuning
Cook over high-medium heat for 5-8 minutes or till the liquid is almost all absorbed. Lower the heat to the smallest flame and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat (without removing the cover) and leave it to cook in its own steam till the rice is ready to be served. Just before serving, remove the leaves etc (everything would have floated to the top normally) and fluff the rice with a fork.