A Staple at Malayan Weddings
Ghee Meets Saffron and Vanilla
Nasi Minyak, or Savory Rice, is a version of Rice cooked in or with Ghee, with an addition of spices and is a key dish in Malayan cuisine.
The name Nasi Minyak comes from Malay and literally means “Rice cooked with Oil,” referring to the Ghee which is a key ingredient in this preparation.
Nasi Minyak is commonly served at Malayan wedding banquets. Here is a recipe obtained from one of the Chefs at the legendary Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore.
The proportions and measurements are as originally received from the Goodwood Park Chef, but have been updated somewhat and converted where possible to contemporary standards — catties, for example, are not a very reliable unit of measurement.
This dish makes enough to serve 8 to 10 people, depending on what other dishes are served. At the Goodwood Park, it appears as part of a rather elaborate Indonesian-style buffet.
2 catties of Rice, approximately 1 kilogram
2 small Onions
2 tablespoons Almonds
2 tablespoons Raisins
1 small can of Evaporated Milk, about 12 ounces
2 cloves Garlic, minced
10 whole Allspice, or 1 teaspoon ground Allspice
½ teaspoon Saffron
1 stick Cinnamon
1 fingerf o fresh Ginger Root, about 2 inches long, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 tablespoons crushed whole Cardamom
2 teaspoons whole Black Peppercorns
½ pound Ghee
4 cups Water
2 teaspoons Salt
Fried Onion Rings for garnish
Begin by washing the Rice well, draining it and set aside to dry well. This should be done several hours beforehand, so the Rice is fully dried before we proceed to the cooking.
Next, slice the Onions, and also sliver the Almonds for use in the garnish, and also set aside the Raisins for the garnish.
Organize the arrange the other spices and ingredients to be used for cooking, laid out essentially in the order they will be used.
Next, melt the Ghee in a large cooking pot. Sauté the Onions in the fat until nicely brown and a little crisp and set aside. If Ghee is not available, you may substitute Margarine (but not as taste)(. Add the Cinnamon stick, the Cardamoms, the Cloves and the Allspice.
Add two teaspoons of Salt.
Next add 4 cups Water and bring to a boil.
Next add the Evaporated Milk, Ginger and Garlic, Black Pepper and Saffron.
Then add the Rice, cover and cook until down, stirring occasionally.
When the rice is done, serve garnished with the fried Onion rings, Almond sliveers and Raisins.
This serves 8 – 10 people.