Skip to main content

Pulut Kuning (Malaysian Turmeric Glutinous Rice)


I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

Turmeric glutinous rice, or pulut kuning, is a very popular and tradtional Malay dish. It's usually served with beef or chicken rendang.

Turmeric glutinous rice, or pulut kuning, is a very popular and tradtional Malay dish. It's usually served with beef or chicken rendang.

What Is Pulut Kuning?

Pulut kuning, or steamed turmeric glutinous rice, is one of my favorite traditional Malay dishes. This dish is often served at special occasions like weddings and religious events, and it is often served with beef or chicken rendang.

Coming from a traditional Malay family, my mother has cooked pulut kuning for more than 50 years. The recipe is a bit time-consuming to make, but the results are most certainly worth it.

Why Soak the Rice Overnight?

The first step to making this dish is to wash the rice and soak it overnight with ground turmeric. The main reason we soak the rice overnight is to speed up the steaming process the next day. We also want the rice to absorb the turmeric, which is what gives the dish its characteristic yellow color.

The dish also calls for coconut milk, pandan leaves, and salt. I like to make beef or chicken rendang to serve with the rice.

My Mother's Recipe

This exquisite recipe was my mother's. I got the recipe by watching her cook the dish in her kitchen many years ago. I'm proud to say that pulut kuning is one of my mother's signature dishes, as she often makes it when we all gather at my parents' house. I was lucky to have my mother teach me about Malay cuisine. Now I can share what I've learned with others, some of whom may never have heard of or tried these dishes before. I hope you will try this recipe and love it as much as we do!

Let's take a look at the ingredients.


  • 2 1/2 cup glutinous rice
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 10 pandan leaves, washed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric ground
  • Water for soaking


  1. Soak the rice: In a large bowl, combine the rice, water, and ground turmeric. Mix well with a spoon or spatula. Set aside on a counter overnight. (You don't want to use your hand because the turmeric will stain your hands yellow.)
  2. The next day: Drain the water from the rice completely.
  3. Steam the rice: Prepare the food steamer with boiling water. Take the container and lay the pandan leaves flat on the bottom.
  4. Transfer the rice to the container. Steam the rice for 10 minutes.
  5. Open the lid and use a spatula to stir the rice. Close the lid and continue to steam for 5 more minutes.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the coconut milk. In a pitcher, combine the coconut milk and salt. Mix well until the salt dissolves.
  7. Transfer the rice in a large bowl. Add the coconut milk little by little. Mix well and transfer the rice back to the steamer.
  8. Continue to steam for 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer the rice to the bowl. Smooth the rice with a spatula. Cover the bowl with tin foil for 30 minutes. Set aside.
  10. When it's ready to serve, place the turmeric rice on a plate and serve with beef or chicken rendang. Enjoy while it is warm.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is the cup measurement for the rice a baking cup (240ml/8oz) or the cup measurement that comes with the rice cooker?

Answer: Good question. I used the rice cooker cup.

© 2020 Liza


Liza (author) from USA on August 17, 2020:

Peggy, after I moved to the US, I was worried about finding some of the authentic ingredients for cooking my traditional Malay cuisine. However, I feel relieved after founding pandan leaves, coconut, curry leaves, lemongrass, and much more at the Asian store. Perhaps you can try to find them at the Asian store near your house? Thank you for commenting!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 16, 2020:

I had to look up the ingredient pandan leaves because I had never heard of them. It might be a problem finding that ingredient, but your rice with turmeric and coconut milk sounds delicious. Thanks for your recipe. Your photography is top-notch!

Liza (author) from USA on July 18, 2020:

Read More From Delishably

Hi Rajan, my husband had turmeric rice for the first time, and he loves it very much! Yes, coconut milk is one of the best ingredients for the recipe as it gives a rich flavor to the rice. The pandan leaf is essential for the recipe as it brings the aroma to the rice. I wish you could find pandan leaves there, Rajan. Thank you for commenting.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 17, 2020:

The rice looks so lovely and I'm sure cooked in the coconut milk would taste heavenly. Would love to try out this recipe if possible as getting pandan leaves would be a problem here.

Liza (author) from USA on May 12, 2020:

Hi Noora, I used the cup that comes with the rice cooker. I hope that's helpful.

Noora on May 12, 2020:

Hello! Just wondering if the cup measurement you use is the baking cup (240ml/8oz) or is the cup that comes with the rice cooker? Thanks!

Liza (author) from USA on April 09, 2020:

Yes, me too, Linda. The bright yellow color just mesmerizing, and it comes from real turmeric ground, not artificial color. Thanks for your comment, Linda. I really appreciated it.

Liza (author) from USA on April 09, 2020:

Thank you for your lovely comment!

Liza (author) from USA on April 09, 2020:

I love sticky rice, Liz. My mother used to make it a lot when I was in Malaysia. The turmeric rice is almost identical sticky rice but, it has turmeric flavor in it. It was delicious!

Liz Westwood from UK on April 09, 2020:

I had sticky rice in a restaurant a few weeks ago, but I have not eaten this before.

Aini on April 08, 2020:

Delicious food. Keep it up.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 08, 2020:

I love the color of turmeric. Your recipe sounds like a very nice way to prepare rice.

Related Articles