Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trader Rice - Nasi Dagang Terengganu

Terengganu is part of the northern Malay states in Malaysia. The major difference between the northern states with the central and southern states, aside from the dialect, are their cookings. I cannot think of a more perfect dish coming from the northern states in Malaysia than Nasi Dagang, literally translates as Trader Rice.

Nasi Dagang is as ubiquitous as Nasi Lemak is to the central part of Malaysia as a breakfast staple. Unlike nasi lemak which requires multitude of condiments, Nasi Dagang is eaten only with fish curry. I know, some of you may question the logic behind curry for breakfast. Well, I don't have one. It is just what we eat in Malaysia, period.

The process of making Nasi Dagang is relatively simple. The difficult part if trying to find fenugreek or methi in the States. Thank God I finally found it one fine day in an India grocery store. I like to serve mine with either fish curry, dry chicken curry or beef kurma. The mix of shallots, ginger, coconut milk and fenugreek works very well with the rice. The best part about Nasi Dagang is the combination of sticky rice and regular long grain rice. It has all the aroma and texture of good sticky rice without being too heavy. Give this a try.

Nasi Dagang
3/4 cup regular rice
1/2 cup sticky rice
 3/4 cup thin coconut milk
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1-inch ginger, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp fenugreek or methi
1 tsp salt


Step 1: Soak the rice with enough water for six hours or overnight. Drain well.

Step 2: In a steamer lined with banana leaves, steam the rice for 25 mins. Combine the rice with 3/4 cup of thin coconut milk. Steam for another 15 minutes.
Step 3: Dish the rice out in a big bowl and combine with the sliced shallots, garlic, onion, methi, salt and thick coconut milk. Stir to combine. Steam the rice for another 15 minutes till cooked.

Step 4: Serve Nasi Dagang with your favorite curry dish.

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