Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Types of Kelantan's Nasi Kerabu

Kelantan, birth place of the famous Nasi Kerabu - a blue-colored rice set that comes with ulam (local salad), crackers, percik chicken, fried fish, smoked beef, solok lada (stuffed peppers) and salted egg. This is top with homemade chili sauce, budu sauce (pickled anchovies sauce) and tumis (stir-fry chili paste) for gravy. 

It is said that Nasi Kerabu originated from Pattani during the Sultanate of Patani reign, now the modern Thailand provinces ie Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat as well as part of the modern-day Kelantan, Malaysia. It was during this reign, under successor Raja Kuning (The Yellow Queen) was at war with Singgora (modern-day Songkhla) when Pattani armies were having food shortage that lead to the military cook ration and invent Nasi Kerabu. Nasi Kerabu then was rice mixed with budu and serunding (grated coconut) and ulam. 

Many might not known that there are few types of nasi kerabu such as Nasi Kerabu Bunga Telang/Biru , Nasi Kerabu Kunyit/Kuning, Nasi Kerabu Putih, Nasi Kerabu Hijau/Ulam and Nasi Kerabu Hitam/Daun Mengkudu. There's is also Nasi Kerabu Tumis whereby the tumis is being added and usually onto Nasi Kerabu Putih and Nasi Kerabu Kuning/Kunyit. Nasi Kerabu has evolved to what it is today. 

Photo credit : Google

Nasi Kerabu Bunga Telang/Blue
The blue colour of the rice came from comes from the petals of bunga telang, what us locals call or butterfly-pea flowers. It is a natural food colouring used by our forefathers.

Nasi Kerabu Kuning/Yellow Kerabu Rice
Apparently Nasi Kerabu Kuning or Kunyit is not easily found in Kelantan, some said that it is common in Bachok area. Nasi Kerabu Kuning's rice is cooked with tumeric (hence the colour) and some even added pandan leave. Because of this 2 key ingredient, the rice is more aromatic and tasted nicer. The dishes and sauce are the same as Nasi Kerabu Bunga Telang with exception of the Tumis.

Nasi Kerabu Putih/White
This is the easiest to make as it uses the normal white rice with Tumis as the differentiator, salad and budu is a must for Nasi Kerabu.

Nasi Kerabu Hijau/Green (Peranakan Cina Kelantan)
Nasi Kerabu Hijau is rare as it is part of the Peranakan Cina Kelantan delicacy, and it is available at Popo Kitchen 1.0 in Kota Bharu. What makes this Nasi Kerabu unique is that it is made with 23 types of herba (herbs) and ulam blended and cook it with the rice. And that is not it, out of this 23 types of ulam, 10 of it is from the jungle. It is served with juicy ayam percik together with ulam such as bunga kantan (wild ginger), tauge (beansprout), kobis merah (purple cabbage), timun (cucumber) and kacang panjang (long bean), and of course Kelantan signature budu.

Nasi Kerabu Hitam/Black 
The rice is made by cooking it with daun mengkudu (indian mulberry leaf) and kaffir lime leaf - most rare type of Nasi Kerabu. The side dishes and sauce are again similar just that the taste of the rice is more herb-ish and the kaffir lime leaf creates the nice frangrant.

To be honest, Nasi Kerabu Hitam is the only one that I have yet to sample. If you know where I can get this, please ping as I plan to revisit Kelantan very very soon. 

#JejakWarisanBachok and #JejakAdiguru 2023 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia Wilayah Timur in partnership with all its sponsors.
#TourismMalaysiaWilayahTimur #CutiCutiMalaysia

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