Nasi Lemak| Balinese Coconut Rice

Busy Goddess

I love this Thai Buddhist Goddess. She reminds me of how I feel at times, doing so many things, needing to have a million arms all active and engaged at once. Sometimes I just want her in my house, smoothing the paths, getting rid of obstacles and negative energies, and blasting her way through all tasks. Jai to this beautiful Buddhist Goddess.

Bali and Food

Ages and ages ago I went to Bali for 2.5 weeks, and for five of those days did a magnificent Balinese cooking class. It was great – half a day spent out in the community being exposed to all sorts of food things, then back into an outdoor tropical kitchen. Here we learnt about spices and herbs, the many many varieties of rice in Bali, how to mash and grind with volcanic rock grinders, and the wonder of Balinese food. Thank you Matt, Executive Chef and key presenter of the course.

We saw salt being harvested, tofu and tempeh being made using traditional methods, 4am markets, coffee being picked and roasted. We went snorkelling with fish, had high tea on a Balinese pavillion on the side of a mountain, were served moonlight dinners, saw a traditional closed village (recently opened) and watched traditional fabrics being woven. We visited families in compounds and saw how they lived.

It was such a fabulous time, a great experience, a great memory. I came back with a swathe of recipes which I supplemented with a CD full of Balinese food from a local Balinese restaurant.

Coconut Rice

Two years ago:    Peppered Rice
Three years ago:
Makhana Palak – Lotus Seeds in Spinach Gravy
Four years ago:   Ghee Whiz – Making Ghee

Balinese Coconut Rice – Nasi Lemak


Source : inspired by my cooking class in Bali
Cuisine: Balinese
Prep time: 4 hours soaking plus 10 mins prep.
Cooking time: 20 – 25 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

300g rice
2 shallots, chopped very finely
1 clove garlic, chopped very finely, or minced
0.75 – 1 tspn finely chopped or minced ginger root
300 ml santan (coconut cream – fresh if you have that luxury, or tinned if you don’t)
salt to taste
black pepper, freshly ground

for garnish (optional)
cucumber slices
fresh pineapple chunks

Wash the rice and let it soak for four hours or more, then drain thoroughly.

Half cook the rice, perhaps a little more. My rice cooker usually takes 20 minutes, so I let it cook for around 10. If you usually cook your rice for 15 minutes, cook it for about 9 mins, and so on. Then drain it thoroughly.

Meanwhile, bring the coconut cream to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped shallot, garlic and ginger, and season with a little salt and some black pepper.

Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Then add teh partially cooked rice and stir to blend thoroughly.

Cook over a good heat, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cover with a tight fitting lid (important that it is tight fitting), turn off the heat and without disturbing, leave to finish cooking for 7 – 10 minutes.

Stir and serve, garnished with slices of cucumber and chunks of pineapple.  Or strew with chopped green shallots (spring onions in Australia). It also forms a wonderful base for a dal or wet vegetable curry.

The Rice Series


About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 08 Late Winter, Balinese, Lentils - Grains - Rice - Nuts, Vegan, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Nasi Lemak| Balinese Coconut Rice

  1. Anita Menon says:

    You seemed to have been on some wonderful adventures. I wish I could do that some time.

    The rice recipe seems wonderful. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Kalyn says:

    It does sound heavenly. I’d love to go to Bali someday!


  3. Amanda says:

    I’ve been to Bali (too!), but not for ages! It is a wonderful spot and the people are a delight.
    I can’t wait to try this rice – it sounds divine.


  4. Ganga108 says:

    Thank you beautiful ones for your comments. Let’s all meet up in Bali one day!!


  5. marlie says:

    I came accross your site today for the 1st. time, I was looking for a recipe for comquats. My friend gave me a big bag from her tree yesterday.
    I was thrilled to read you had been to Bali, my favourite place in the world , been there so many times and truely love the people & their culture, could eat their food daily.
    so was excited to read the recipe for coconut rice. going to cook it today.
    do you think you will put a Nasi Goring on here also nasi Goring cam pur.?
    going to the kitchen now to do the rice, also the cauliflower cream soup.
    Oops…also the comquats. will be back often to gather more recipes.
    thank you for your thoughts & words, they are wonderful to read.


    • Ganga108 says:

      Oh Marlie, I am so overcome by your kind comments. I am so very thankful that you have found something useful in my little jottings. You sure have picked some great recipes to try.

      You will notice that this site has only vegetarian recipes, also no eggs are used. So I wont be doing a traditional Nasi Goring. But one day, perhaps a modified one :) .


  6. Lucy says:

    oh, ganga…yes! let’s meet in bali.

    we did a cooking class, too. being there, in a balinese kitchen, with two balinese women who loved food, going to the market with them, grinding, smelling…eating! wonderful. we shared stories about our favourite food plants – they were excited about my cherries and blueberries. i love the balinese people.

    well, i know what i’ll be having for my dinner then, thank you!!!!


  7. reneegough says:

    Ganga, I have recently discovered your site(s). I want to BE you when I grow up! :)))

    Lovely, beautiful, breathtaking.



  8. kankana says:

    Oh I soo want to visit Bali. I agree with you .. looking at the goddess I too feel i wish I have that many hands .. may be not always .. but if only they could like pop out when i need them LOL LOL … how crazy do i sound here ?
    The coconut rice looks lovely and delicious.


  9. reneegough says:

    Ganga, I wrote about you in my column today. It will post this Friday. I simply wrote about how your site, photos and recipes inspired me to create a lovely chickpea salad! I will try to remember to post it here (If I can figure out how to get here again. I am a tech dud!) Do not be surprised if you get any abundance of suburban Chicago parents perusing your gorgeous creations! (Or not. Who knows; maybe no one reads me!)


  10. Oh Ganga, this is glorious. I cook a coconut rice pudding occasionally, with lemongrass and lime zest, which I love. But never thought to make it more savoury. Lovely with the ginger, shallots and garlic.


  11. What an awesome treat!


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  21. Bali Tour says:

    Nice article
    Thanks for the recipe :)


  22. Sarah says:

    I’ve made coconut rice with plain long grain rice and a can of coconut milk before but I think the addition of onion, garlic and those lovely spices will be delicious. Thanks a bunch!!


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