Sunday, April 1, 2012
Herbed Rice ( Nasi Ulam)
This is my second time cooking nasi ulam ( herbed rice). The first time i did this was several months back, i didnt blog about that becos i think my nasi ulam that time didnt come with a lot of ulam (vegetables/herbs) Just like the westerners have their western herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano..etc ..over her in malaysia we also have our locally grown herbs like ulam raja, kemangi, daun pegaga and lots more. Nasi ulam is a malay rice dish..quite an authentic malay cuisine. It is cooked rice mixed with shredded herbs and toasted coconut , can be spicy or non spicy and as i looked thru some of the cooking books i own, I see that it also comes with vegetarian or non vegetarian version. A non vegetarian version would include some shredded fried fish or salted fish. I see a lot of nasi ulam pictures in the internet and all are heavily loaded with ulam, therefore this time i added more of the vegetables so that it looks more like the real thing. Well, putting more of the herbs also means that the flavour of the herbs is more heavy in the dish.
Initially what i wanted to put in were turmeric leaves, mint leaves, basil leaves, laksa leaves cos these are the leaves that i'm more familiar with but on that day, when i was searching for turmeric leaves at the stall, the malay lady asked me,' what am i looking for.?' Daun kunyit ( turmeric leaves) i told her and that i wanted to make nasi ulam. She then said, " nasi ulam, angkatlah ini, ini, ini..ini ( in english means take this, this, this, this ) as she pointed and grabbed those leaves for me. As she handed those leaves to me, i took a smell of the leaves because some of it i never heard of , one or two smell quite plain to me though, some are pleasant and some are really fragrant. I can tell you that when all these leaves come together, it really gives a very nice aroma to the dish. I was also told that some traditional nasi ulam can used up to 50-60 different types of herbs and leaves. I cant promise that if you make it ,you will love it but if you intend to make nasi ulam one day, just go to the market , see the variety of leaves and ulam and if you are unfamiliar with those ulam like me, can always ask the seller to recommend, you can always select those that you think you like them in your dish , i'm sure that they will be very kind enough to help.
Here are the ingredients that i used for my nasi ulam
the stalks or sprigs of each herbs are quite thin, that i never counted some of it . It's not necessary to follow, just a few sprigs of each.
enough for 3-4 persons
4 bowls of cooked rice
daun selom, 10 sprigs, cut into shreds
daun ulam raja, 14 sprigs, cut into shreds
daun pegaga 25gms, cut into shreds
daun kemangi (lemon basil)40gms, cut into shreds
daun selasih ( thai basil leaves) 8 sprigs, cut into shreds
daun cabang tiga 8 sprigs, cut into shreds
daun gajus (cashew leaves)8 sprigs, cut into shreds
kacang botol (four angled beans) 4 pieces, sliced
small onions 30gms, sliced
lemongrass 2 stalks ( mainly white and a little green part, sliced)
bunga kanthan ( torch gingerbud ) 2
2 1/2 tbsp kerisik or more or less( pounded toasted coconut) - i got mine from the wet market
fried salted fish 30gm, shredded or cut into small pieces (optional)
salt to taste
1. Once rice cooled down, put in the pounded toasted coconut, stir till well mixed with rice, add in all the shredded herbs and leaves and the rest of the ingredients followed by pinches of salt to taste.
Thought this dish looks quite green to me so off this goes to the Saint-Patrick Challenge organised by Very Good Recipes