My Maa’s version:
For the Rice
- 2 Cups White Fragrant Rice (washed)
- 2 Stalks Pandan Leave (screw pine leaves - tied in a bunch)
- 1 Packet Coconut Cream
- Salt (to taste)
For the Sambal (Spicy Chilli) - All the ingredients for Sambal to be lightly blendered
- 5 Red Bird Eye Chillies
- 5 Red Dried Chillies
- A pinch of Belachan (shrimp paste)
- 2 Medium Size Onions
- 4 Pips Garlic
- 1 Inch Ginger
- 1/4 Cup Tamarind Juice
- 1 Cup Anchovies (Ikan Bilis) (fried)
- 1 Cucumber (sliced in round pieces)
- 1 Omelette (made of 4 eggs and cut into portions x 4)
- Chicken Wings
- Ikan Kembong or Selar (fried)
- Wash the rice under running water.
- Add the coconut cream in 2 cups of water.
- Add into the rice pot.
- Lay in the pandan leaves, bury them inside the rice and add a pinch of salt.
- Heat up a kwali and fry the blended ingredients till fragrant. Add salt to taste.
- Saute the mixture for 20 minutes till you see the oil arise.
- Add in the tamarind juice and mix it up well and cook further 5 minutes. Sambal is ready.
- The rice should be cooked by now. Stir lightly with a pair of chopsticks and remove the pandan leaves.
- Fry anchovies, chicken wings, omelette as sides.
- Serve it all on 1 plate as my image.
This dish is a perfect mix of flavours: aromatic rice infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves, eaten with deep-fried fish or chicken wings, otah (grilled fish paste), fried ikan bilis (local anchovies) and peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and sambal (spicy chilli paste).
It is a hearty meal that is adored by us as we grew up in our home. People all over the world have their own version of nasi lemak. The rice is the same, although some have a greenish hue owing to the pandan leaves, but it is the side dishes that set each other apart.