nasi minyak

Nasi Minyak: Exploring the Flavors of Palembang

Welcome to another great nasi recipe! Nasi minyak is an amazing rice dish that is prepared using ghee, or clarified butter and spices.

To make nasi minyak, simply heat up some ghee to fry the raw rice, mix with spices and add water to bring to a boil. Once cooked, rest the rice for at least 15 minutes and that’s it!

What is nasi minyak?

Nasi Minyak, with its distinctive aromas and rich flavors, stands as a beacon of the culinary traditions found in the heart of Palembang, Indonesia.

The word ‘minyak’, which means oil, may make you think it’s just about the greasiness, but there’s a subtle and delicate aspect to using ghee and the carefully chosen spices that tell a more interesting story.

Nasi Minyak’s roots are intertwined with Palembang’s history, representing the region’s diverse past shaped by cultural trade.

Let’s get started with the recipe!

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

nasi minyak

Nasi minyak

Nasi minyak! This amazing fragrant rice dish will leave you addicted! Definitely try this one out if you're into more exotic rice dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Rice dish
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 205 kcal


  • 200 g (Basmati) rice
  • 1 or 2 tbsp ghee


  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 cloves


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Cook nasi minyak
  • Serve and conserve nasi minyak
Keyword Nasi minyak

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

Spices form the essence of Nasi Minyak, giving it its color, aroma, and flavor. Cumin seed powder, curry powder, cinnamon, garlic flakes, and cloves dance together in the ghee-infused rice, each contributing a distinct note.

Ghee, or clarified butter, is the ‘oil’ in Nasi Minyak. Its use is not only functional but adds a rich, nutty undertone to the dish. Ghee’s high smoke point allows for the frying of the rice and spices without adding burnt flavors.

Long-grain rice, with its ability to stay separate and not clump, is preferred for Nasi Minyak. Basmati rice, renowned for its fragrance, is an excellent choice.

nasi minyak ingredients

Step 2: Cooking nasi minyak

Start by washing the rice properly, use a lot of water to flush out the starch from the rice. Next, heat a boiling pot on medium heat and add the ghee.

frying rice in ghee
adding spices

Once, the ghee is hot, add the rice to lightly fry before adding the spices. Lightly fry them while stirring to integrate the taste, add enough water to cover the rice with about the height of a finger tip.

fried rice and spices
adding water

Bring this to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and set the heat to low. You want a small simmer to evaporate all of the water. This should take about 15 minutes, depending on the type of pot, type or rice, temperature. I recommend perfecting this for your setup.

Once the water has evaporated, turn off the heat. Take out the cloves from the rice and stir gently. Do this as quick as possible to cover the pot straight after.

Let the rice rest for at least 15 minutes, overnight would be best. This step is crucial to get the best end result.

If you need more information of how to perfectly cook rice, read about the best pot to cook rice in or what rice cookers to use (Australian readers here).

Step 3: Serve and conserve nasi minyak

Serve nasi minyak with various side dishes. This rice dish has wonderful flavors on it’s own, you don’t need very complex sides to go with it!

I recommend serving nasi minyak with the following:

Various sambals:

nasi minyak served

And consider trying out some other nasi dishes:

Conserve the dish in the fridge for up to a day, alternatively freeze it for a much longer time! I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe, please let me know what you think and leave a rating!


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