This is my first trial with Malay Cuisine and yes it was quite successful and welcomed into my family's dinning table palate. I must mention that there is lot of resemblance with Indian spices. There are lot of new flavoured veggies which I got introduced too, like the Galangal ( called Blue Ginger in Singapore), Pandan Leaves etc.
This dish Nasi Lemak is a lovely flavoured rice infused with coconut milk mainly and other flavours like Pandan Leaves, Ginger, Galangal, Lemongrass. Though all of them are probably optional and the main ingredient is Coconut milk and the Pandan leaves commercially, but I have used other flavours too. But we need to be careful with our Indian instinct not to overpower with too many flavours and transform the Nasi Lemak to Biriyani or pulao. Also another catch here is the high cholesterol coconut milk ..yes once in a while its ok. traditionally, this is served with fried peanuts, Ikan Bilis(salted fried small fish) and fried egg and of course fried chicken. I have omitted the Ikan Bilis and the fried chicken. Instead I served this with another Malay Chicken dish Ayam Pangaang and also some healthy salad and stir fried veggies. After all I am trying to role model my son R , a right balanced diet.
Ingredients I used-
Rice- 2 cups ( wash thoroughly)
Coconut Milk- 1 small cartoon
Pandan Leaves - about 5 ( wash them nicely and make a knot as shown in my garnish or even tearing them will do)
Galangal- 1 inch and chopped roughly big chunks
Ginger - crush with the back of a big knife..this will help to marry the juice with the rice while boiling.
Lemongrass Stalk- 2 - crushed again...remember to take out the outer skin.
Cinnamon stick- 1 whole
Nutmeg Powder- 1 tsp (to give the magic fragrant).
Water- 3 and half cup
Fried Peanuts - a handful.
Some sugar and salt to do the Tender Love and Care to the Nasi Lemak, which would go according to your taste.
How I made it-
1. Add water to the washed rice in a pot. Pour the coconut Milk and mix.
2. Throw the knotted Pandan Leaves, smashed ginger, Galangal and Lemongrass and the cinnamon stick.
3. Now add the salt and sugar and sprinkle the nutmeg powder and stir.
4. Now let the rice cook on low fire. Soon the whole house and kitchen will wear the lovely aromas of coconut milk, pandan leaves and lemongrass.
|Infusion in process-all the flavours and aroma|
5. Just before the rice gets well cooked, uncover the pot and take out the whole herbs and ginger etc. Stir the rice well and let it cook till done.
6. Serve the rice in a pot and garnish with the Pandan leaf and lemongrass stalk.
I fried a egg and served with some cucumber slices, red onion slices, chopped chillies and a swirl of dark soy sauce.