Nasi Kandar

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Embark on a culinary journey to Malaysia with the aromatic and vibrant flavors of Nasi Kandar. This iconic Malaysian dish is a tantalizing combination of fragrant rice served with an array of flavorful curries, meats, and vegetables. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making this authentic and mouthwatering recipe. Prepare to experience the rich and complex flavors that make Nasi Kandar a beloved favorite in Malaysian cuisine.

Nasi Kandar is a beloved Malaysian dish that has a rich history intertwined with the cultural diversity of Malaysia. Its origins can be traced back to the Indian Muslim immigrants, known as “mamas” in Malaysia, who brought with them the flavors of South India.

  • The term “Nasi Kandar” is derived from the Malay words “nasi,” which means rice, and “kandar,” which refers to the pole (kandar) that the vendors traditionally carried on their shoulders as they sold this flavorful dish.
  • The dish is characterized by steamed rice accompanied by an array of side dishes, often curries and fried items. The star of Nasi Kandar is the aromatic and bold-flavored curry sauce, which is typically served generously over the rice.
  • Nasi Kandar reflects the fusion of Indian and Malay culinary traditions, resulting in a symphony of spices, herbs, and textures.

Today, Nasi Kandar is not just a dish; it’s a culinary experience deeply ingrained in Malaysia’s food culture. It’s often enjoyed at street stalls, local eateries, and restaurants throughout the country.

Nasi Kandar

Nasi Kandar is a traditional Malaysian dish that originated in the vibrant city of Penang. It is known for its diverse array of curries, which are served alongside steamed rice. The dish is traditionally enjoyed at food stalls or restaurants, where diners can customize their plates by selecting their preferred combination of curries, meats, and vegetables. Nasi Kandar is famous for its bold and robust flavors, thanks to the generous use of aromatic spices and herbs. This dish truly captures the essence of Malaysian cuisine with its rich and fragrant curries, tender meats, and vibrant array of accompaniments.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 1 hr Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 1 hr 40 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Calories: 976 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

For the Rice:

For the Chicken Curry:

For the Fish Curry:

For the Accompaniments (Choose your favorites):

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Rinse the jasmine rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

  2. In a large pot, combine the rice, water, pandan leaf (if using), and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the chicken curry. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and golden brown.

  4. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.

  5. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, and a little water to form a paste.

  6. Add the curry paste to the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  7. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook until browned on all sides.

  8. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season with salt to taste.

  9. While the chicken curry is simmering, prepare the fish curry. Heat oil in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and golden brown.

  10. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.

  11. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, and a little water to form a paste.

  12. Add the curry paste to the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  13. Add the fish fillets to the pan and cook until they are cooked through and flake easily.

  14. Pour in the coconut milk and fish broth (or water). Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the flavors have melded. Season with salt to taste.

  15. Once the rice and curries are ready, arrange them on serving platters or individual plates. Serve with the accompaniments of your choice, such as hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices, tomatoes, fried chicken, beef rendang, stir-fried vegetables, and sambal sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 976kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 49.44g77%
Saturated Fat 20.92g105%
Trans Fat 0.11g
Cholesterol 184.84mg62%
Sodium 771.4mg33%
Potassium 1052.29mg31%
Total Carbohydrate 84.44g29%
Dietary Fiber 5.41g22%
Sugars 4.23g
Protein 48.45g97%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.

Note

Tips and Variations:
  • For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken and fish with tofu or vegetables of your choice.
  • Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of chili powder in the curries.
  • Feel free to add additional vegetables or ingredients to the curries, such as potatoes, carrots, or eggplant.
  • Experiment with different types of fish or seafood in the fish curry, such as prawns or squid.
  • Serve Nasi Kandar with a side of sambal sauce for an extra burst of heat and flavor.
  • If you're short on time, you can use store-bought curry powder instead of making your own spice paste.
  • Leftover curries can be refrigerated and enjoyed the next day. They often taste even better as the flavors have had time to develop.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve Nasi Kandar as a main course for a Malaysian-inspired feast or dinner party.
  • Arrange the rice and curries on a large platter or individual plates for a visually appealing presentation.
  • Provide a variety of accompaniments such as pickled vegetables, papadums, and crispy fried onions to enhance the flavors and textures of the dish.
  • Offer a selection of different curries to cater to different preferences and spice levels.
  • Pair Nasi Kandar with a refreshing drink like iced lemon tea or a traditional Malaysian beverage like Teh Tarik.
  • Encourage your guests to mix and match the curries and accompaniments to create their own unique flavor combinations.
Allergen Information:
  • Nasi Kandar can contain a variety of ingredients, including meats, seafood, and vegetables, which may trigger allergens such as shellfish, nuts, or gluten.
  • Individuals with specific dietary restrictions or allergies should communicate their requirements to the cook or server to ensure safe and suitable food choices.
Wine or Drink Pairing:
  • Traditionally, Nasi Kandar is paired with beverages like "teh tarik" (pulled tea), a popular Malaysian tea, or "limau ais" (iced lime), a refreshing lime juice with ice.
  • For those who prefer alcoholic options, a light lager beer or a sparkling water with a wedge of lime can complement the richness and spiciness of the dish.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • Nasi Kandar is best enjoyed fresh, as the flavors of the curries and side dishes are at their peak right after preparation.
  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat the rice and curries separately to maintain their individual flavors and textures.
  • Leftover Nasi Kandar can also be repurposed creatively. Use the curries as a flavorful sauce for noodles or as a filling for wraps. The rice can be transformed into fried rice with vegetables and protein of your choice.
Keywords: Nasi Kandar, Malaysian cuisine, Malaysian recipes, curry rice, Malaysian curries, Malaysian spices, Penang food.

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