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A Malay Delicacy That Is Uniquely Blue

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    nasi kerabu

    About “Nasi Kerabu” (a type of traditional rice)

    The east coast state of Kelantan is a charming destination with colorful traditions, interesting pastimes and superb handicrafts. It’s no exception to the Malay cuisine.

    One of the Malay delicacies being identified as truly Malaysian is Nasi Kerabu. Nasi is a Malay term for rice and kerabu is a salad.

    What gives “Nasi Kerabu” the bluish color

    The nasi kerabu is a dish of Kelantanese origin. Its rice is uniquely blue in color, which comes from having been soaked and cooked with the extract of the purplish blue bunga telang or butterfly pea.

    Therefore, if you have come across rice with purplish color in restaurants, don’t feel worried that artificial color has been used to colorize the dish. It’s all natural ingredients used in the making of this special dish. In fact, the extract of the purplish blue butterfly pea gives the rice a unique fragrance.

    kelantan nasi kerabu

    The bluish nasi Kerabu in which its origin is Kelantan.

    How “Nasi Kerabu” is made

    The kerabu is a salad of any vegetable or edible leaves such as daun kesum (Vietnamese mint), bean sprout, long beans, cucumber and daun kadok (betel leaf). Occasionally, nasi kerabu is served with salted fish or fried chicken.

    butterfly pea

    The purplish blue bunga telang or butterfly pea used in the coloring of the Nasi Kerabu.

    Why you must try “Nasi Kerabu”

    The nasi kerabu is a unique delicacy in Malaysia. This is a must-try dish for expats and visitors like you. Even though nasi kerabu is of Kelantan origin, it’s available throughout Malaysia. It can be found in most Malay restaurants and upscale dining places in hotels as well as resorts.

    Other heritage food in Malaysia that you might be interested

    • Rendang – Rendang is a popular dish not only among the Malays but also among all races in Malaysia. This delicious delicacy is made by stewing beef in coconut milk and mixed with spices like ginger, galangal, turmeric leaf, lemon grass and chili.
    • Nasi Tumpang – Nasi Tumpang is one of several food items identified by the Malaysian National Heritage Department as being truly Malaysian.
    • Ketupat – Ketupat is usually wrapped in a triangular shape using the leaves of the fan palm (Licuala). This sort of dumpling is usually eaten with rendang which is a type of dry beef curry.
    • Nasi Kunyit – Nasi kunyit or turmeric rice, after translated to English, is glutinous rice cooked with turmeric coloring and is usually served with coconut milk chicken curry or beef curry.
    • Lemang – The delicious lemang is made of glutinous rice that is cooked with coconut milk in hollowed bamboos.
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