Friday, July 8, 2011

Turmeric Rice @ Pulut Kuning - Full Moon #3

I'm sure this is a true local practice for Full Moon. Not a Chinese way, but more of  Malaysian.

Here, there are a few foods used to celebrate full moon of the baby. Some serve or giveaway Pork Trotters in Vinegar, while some will prefer turmeric rice. If I'm not mistaken (pls correct me if I am wrong), the Malays use this for celebrations. For weddings, for giving thanks, for birthdays.. and sometimes shaped like a cake for the event. So, the Chinese who settled here took on the practice of using this to celebrate joyous occasions, specifically for Full Moon. Instead of serving this with rendang, the Chinese serves this with curry chicken. I cooked creamy curry chicken to go with mine.

This is my first time doing this, and I'm not sure when will I be cooking this again. I hope it's not to celebrate my own kid's full moon again (Oh please, no more, LOL), but maybe for friends and family. I might cook this for personal consumption, but no! no! no! Not my own baby's full moon in the future. No more!

For Reuben's Full Moon party, I planned my menu carefully, trying to save work, trying to utilize all the cooking aparatus in my kitchen to speed up work. The oven and the microwave will be used so that not everything will be over the stove. Foods can be cooked simultaneously with all 3 apparatus as I only have so little time. Steaming will take too long if I'm cooking 2kg of rice.

I googled up to get a rough idea on how to do it and tried to do it my way, with guidance from my MIL, who always cooks sticky rice with the microwave.

Turmeric Rice @ Pulut Kuning with the Microwave
Recipe source: Wendyywy
Yields: 50servings in 4oz containers or 25 rice bowls of turmeric rice (fluffed, not packed)

2 kg glutinous rice / sweet sticky rice
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp lemon/lime juice or some white vinegar (just need something lightly acidic)
6 cups water
Few blades of pandan leaves
2 tsp salt
500ml thick coconut milk (not too cold)

1. The night before cooking (Or 5 hours before cooking), wash glutinous rice thoroughly. Soak rice in water. Make sure water is double the height of the rice because the rice will expand about 50%. Put in turmeric powder and lemon juice. Stir the rice well so that the turmeric powder is well dispersed.
2. When it's almost time to cook the rice (Give yourself 1 hour minimum in advance before serving time, but I did it 5 hours ahead), drain the rice properly. Rinse the rice to wash off turmeric powder. Rice will still be stained "lemon yellow", don't worry.
3. Bring 6 cups water and pandan leaf to boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes to bring out the pandan's fragrance.
*this point forward, instructions are based on half the rice*.
4. Place half the rice into a microwavable vessel (I use a 5L Corningware vessel). Pour half the pandan infusion over rice. The infusion should be at the same level with the rice, not too much. Put in 1 tsp salt and stir.
5. Place lid over or cover with plastic wrap and zap on high for 10 minutes. Let the rice rest for 10 minutes so that it will cook with the residual heat.
6.  Remove rice from microwave and stir it gently. Zap rice on high for another 5 minutes. While rice is zapping, prepare 250ml of thick coconut milk.
7. When the microwave buzzer sounds, remove rice from the microwave oven and look through the lid. The rice should look fully translucent, with not a white tinge in sight. Do not remove lid unless you are sure the rice is cooked.
8. If the rice is not cooked, return to the microwave and zap it for a few more minutes. If it is fully cooked, then remove the lid and quickly pour in the thick coconut milk. Stir it with a pair of chopsticks so that the coconut milk will be coating every grain of the rice. Do not stir too long so that you won't lose too much of the heat.
9. Put the lid back on and let the rice sit for 30 minutes for the coconut milk to be fully absorbed into the rice.
10. Repeat step 4-9 with balance of rice.

If you are daring enough to cook all 2kg at one one, you may. I'm not that brave.

*If you intend to steam the rice, there is no need to use the pandan infusion. Just place the rice over an oiled net/fine colander and steam it. Line the base of the colander with pandan leaves if you want. When the rice is cooked, just pour the rice into a big bowl, add salt and coconut milk and mix until all the milk is absorbed.

My mom and MIL helped pack the rice into 4 oz aluminium muffin liners and covered with paper liners.
 It's rather not covenient to have people trying to dig their portion of the sticky rice. It's better to have it neat and tidy in individual servings.


  1. I love this. Used to cook it once too but not for fullmoon la..haha! Just that I was craving with it...;p Mine was with Padang Chicken Rendang.
    And now you remind me to make this again..hehe!

  2. I never made this before and I would like to give it a try some day. Hope it is not too tedious to do.

  3. I love this rice too especially with a good curry on the side, like yours! So yummy!

  4. Great idea to have them placed in aluminum muffin liners for individual serving. Neat and after one can't eat alot at one go. Thanks for sharing the idea here....

  5. I love this rice serve with salted fish and rendang.Oh, and I love your pickled papaya too, will try it one day.Thanks for sharing.:)

  6. Oooo, I love full moon celebration...the smell of turmeric rice, curry chicken, angku, hard boil eggs, pickled ginger.....mmmmm, delicious!

  7. if i do this, i guess i just have to steam that, average how long does it take to steam around 500gm of rice?

  8. I love this, especially with spicy curry. I like the way you serving it also, very convenient for the guests :)

  9. I didnt know about this till when my son's fullmoon. MIL ordered angku and the nasi kunyit to be distributed with the cakes.

  10. Reese,
    LOL.. make it then.

    I sounded long winded, but it's actually very easy.

    Me too

    Yeah, the rice will be left "untouched" if no one's eating.

    Oh with salted fish? intersting

    have more kids then :)

    I'm not really sure, but with the usual experience, 30 mins should be sufficient
    I steam my white rice for 30 mins usually. I don't own a rice cooker.


    Small Kucing,

  11. I'm making this for saturday dinner!

  12. So thoughtful of you to put these into individual portions and as always, thks for the tip on microwaving this rice... thumbs up and cannot wait to make these...

  13. Hi Wendy,
    Actually, is there any difference between your turmeric rice and Indian turmeric rice (Nasi biryani) If I'm just cooking 500g glutinous rice, does the cooking time remain the same, using microwave? Thanks!


  14. Lyn,
    it is totally different. Biryani is full of spices light and fluffy made with basmathi rice. This pulut kuning is Malay in origin. It is coconutty and sticky. You can reduce the first zapping to 5 mins. That is with hot liquid. The second zapping 4 mins should be enough.

  15. Thanks Wendy for your clarification. In order words, I'm able to complete the cooking in total of 9 mins?

  16. Lyn,
    Yes should be about that.
    But you should look at the rice and make judgement as my wattage and ur microwave's wattage could differ.
    The rice should taste cooked before you add the coconut milk.

  17. Lyn,
    Not continous 9 mins, if cooked continuous, it will be longer than 9.

  18. Wendy,
    When you said not continuous 9 mins, do you mean
    after cooking for 5mins, I should let it rest for 10mins, so that it will continue cooking with residual heat, and then cook again for another 4mins?

    Also, can I prepare this several hours before serving? I would like to prepare them into individual portion, like what you did? Or it has to be served warm? Thanks heaps!

  19. Lyn,
    You can cook it way in advance. Can be easily reheated. But it's not a must to be served warm. Just not fridge cold. We kept the leftovers in fridge and ate them over a few days. Steaming as needed.

    Yes cook and wait for the residual heat as said in the post.

  20. Thanks Wendy for your good advice....I guess, if I were to reheat the individual portions (in foil), using microwave, the microwave will explode...haha...So we have to steam to reheat them, rite? I'm loving your blog so much...:)

  21. Lyn,
    you can place the rice on your plate then only zap it. But moisten the surface a bit before zapping. You have never eaten this before?

  22. Wendy,
    I've eaten before but it was long long, time ago...I've cooked savoury glutinuous rice but using steamed method. I'm excited now to try this recipe using microwave..:)

  23. Ashley,
    I think you better steam it.
    Cooking it direct in the rice cooker might you you raw rice because not much water is used and rice cooker usually goes off when the water evaporates.
    You can steam it in the rice cooker, but not direct in the rice cooker, unless you have the type of rice cooker that says, can cook glutinous rice.


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