Recipe Nasi Kandar

Nasi Kandar is a beloved dish from Penang, Malaysia, renowned for its rich flavors and aromatic spices. This dish, influenced by Indian-Muslim cuisine, combines fragrant rice with various curries and side dishes, resulting in a symphony of taste and texture. Here's a comprehensive guide on preparing authentic Nasi Kandar at home, with ingredients, preparation steps, suggestions, tips, variations, and nutritional insights.


  1. Steamed Rice: 2 cups
  2. Assorted Curries: Choose from chicken, beef, or fish curry according to preference
  3. Side Dishes: Examples include fried chicken, fried fish, fried prawns, or boiled eggs
  4. Condiments: Sambal (chili paste), pickled vegetables, and sliced cucumbers
  5. Garnishes: Chopped cilantro and fried shallots for added flavor


  1. Cook the Rice: Prepare steamed rice using your preferred method and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Curries: Cook your chosen curries separately, ensuring they are rich and flavorful. Adjust the spice level according to your preference.
  3. Fry the Side Dishes: If using fried chicken, fish, or prawns, fry them until golden and crispy. Alternatively, boil eggs until they are cooked to your liking.
  4. Prepare Condiments: Arrange sambal, pickled vegetables, and sliced cucumbers in separate serving bowls.
  5. Garnish: Fry shallots until crispy and cook cilantro for garnishing.

Assembly and Serving:

  1. Start with Rice: Place a generous portion of steamed rice in the center of a plate or serving dish.
  2. Add Curries: Ladle various curries over the rice, ensuring distinct flavor.
  3. Include Side Dishes: Arrange the fried chicken, fish, prawns, or boiled eggs around the rice.
  4. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle fried shallots and chopped cilantro over the curries for added aroma and flavor. Serve hot alongside condiments.

Tips for Perfect Nasi Kandar:

  1. Balance of Flavors: Aim for spicy, savory, and aromatic flavors in your curries.
  2. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh herbs and spices for the most vibrant flavors.
  3. Customize the dish with your favorite proteins and side dishes.
  4. Adjust Spice Level: Adjust the spice level of the curries and condiments to suit your taste preferences.
  5. Serve Hot: When served hot, Nasi Kandar is best enjoyed, so time your cooking accordingly.


  1. Vegetarian Option: Substitute meat curries with vegetable curries or tofu for a vegetarian version.
  2. Seafood Variation: Experiment with seafood curries such as prawn or fish curry for a coastal twist.
  3. Regional Flavors: Explore regional variations of Nasi Kandar, each with its unique blend of spices and ingredients.

Nutritional Insights:

The nutritional content of Nasi Kandar varies depending on the choice of curries and side dishes. Generally, it is a rich and hearty meal, providing a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, using rich sauces and fried items may be high in calories and sodium. For a healthier option, choose grilled or boiled side dishes and control the portion size of rice and curries.


Nasi Kandar is not just a meal; it's a culinary experience that reflects Malaysia's diverse cultural heritage. With its tantalizing flavors and aromatic spices, this dish has won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. By following this recipe and adding your creative touches, you can recreate the magic of Nasi Kandar in your kitchen, transporting your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Penang.


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