Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Vegetarian Nasi Ulam/Herbs Rice: Three Unique Twists

Hey there! Have you noticed more people ditching meat and going for vegetarian diets? Are you wondering why? Well, folks are doing it for all sorts of reasons – from wanting to be kinder to the planet to boosting their health. A simple diet change can make you feel better and do good for the world at the same time. But, on the flip side, have you noticed people seem to be getting nastier, all in the name of success, fame, and fortune? Sorry for being blunt, but it's the harsh reality.


Here's a little secret: while a vegetarian diet might be great for your body, it’s your mind and soul that really count. Are you being true to yourself and others? Ouch! I won't dive deeper into how some humans are getting uglier inside, but let’s get to the fun part: a tasty recipe!

Introducing Vegetarian Nasi Ulam, or Herbs Rice. It’s a fragrant Malaysian dish that I’ve given my own twist. It's simple, aromatic, and sure to captivate your taste buds. I may not be 100% vegetarian, but I know one thing for sure - being kind is what makes us truly human. Now, let’s cook up something amazing. Did you know that all the herbs for this rice dish are sourced from our green living Zen, Nava's Zen?

And that's not all. In addition to this version, there are two more variations of Vegetarian Nasi Ulam that I've crafted before. In fact, I've made nasi ulam about 10 times already. Each offers a unique and delightful twist on a traditional favorite, sure to elevate your taste buds. Grown organically at Nava's Zen, the herbs in these Nasi Ulam offer a complete, wholesome meal for your well-being.

Vegetarian Nasi Ulam (Herbs Rice)


1 cup cooked basmati rice

1 lemongrass stalk

½ ginger torch flower (Bunga Kantan Urban Gardening)

A few Thai betel leaves

2 to 3 kaffir lime leaves

A few daun selom (water dropwort or water celery)

A few ulam raja (king salad)

1 turmeric leaf,

Red chillies as needed 

** Slice all these herbs thinly

A handful of dried black raisins

1-2 chopped shallots

Salt to taste


Into the warm or cooled cooked rice, add all the sliced herbs, raisins, and chopped shallots.

Toss everything together until well combined.

Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Vegetarian Nasi Ulam Malaysia 
3 cups rice 
One handful of pegaga (Indian pennywort) 
3 - 4 kacang botol (winged beans)
1 lemongrass stalk 
1 bunga kantan (ginger torch bud) 

1 daun kunyit (turmeric leaf) 
One handful of Thai basil leaves 
2-3 sprigs spring onion 
4 shallots 
Salt (if needed)


The preparation method remains consistent with Vegetarian Nasi Ulam. Serve alongside a vegetarian sambal for a perfect pairing.

Vegetarian Nasi Ulam Kunyit/Turmeric 
Add ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder to the rice before cooking. 

Select herbs from the options provided for Vegetarian Nasi Ulam and Nasi Ulam Malaysia. 

Follow the same cooking technique.

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