Indonesian Rice Cone (Nasi Tumpeng)

Prep Time
Cook Time
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"Not just about the recipe, but rather a technique. This makes an impressive presentation when serving Thai or Indonesian food on a buffet. Or even at table! In Indonesia, this dish is traditionally served to celebrate a special occasion. The height of the cone symbolizes the greatness of God, and the food at the base of the cone symbolizes nature’s abundance. The yellow tinge in the rice symbolizes wealth and high morals. NOTE: the Tumpeng molds are hard to find in the U.S.. You can easily find substitutes, from a stainless steel chinois (they come in so many sizes!), down to conical party hats from the dollar store! Just line them with banana leaves so the rice is easy to unmold. Surround your cone-shaped tower with various food items and voila - you'll bask in the ooh's and aah's! And don't assume it's only for savory foods - you can also make sweet rice and use it for desserts. This recipe is made with yellow rice. From Instructables, as posted by Klinong. Recipe for yellow rice is from The Asian Grandmother's Cookbook dot com. Take a look at that website to see some really awesome photos of what you can do with this!"

Original recipe yields 5 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (510.7 g)
  • Calories 660.1
  • Total Fat - 22.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 19.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 812.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 112.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 7.5 g
  • Sugars - 5.5 g
  • Protein - 7.2 g
  • Calcium - 81.2 mg
  • Iron - 3.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 50.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Dissolve the turmeric and salt in the warm water.

Step 2

In a large pot, bring the coconut milk, lemongrass, salam leaf, and kaffir lime leaves to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the turmeric water. Tip the rice into the pot and add the water. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Simmer uncovered until all the liquid has just been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender but not mushy; the rice grains should still be separated. If the rice is still hard, make a well in the center of the pot, add a little water, and cook a few more minutes.

Step 4

Halfway through the estimated cooking time, gently fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks.

Step 5

Fish out the lemongrass, salam leaf, and lime leaves and discard.

Step 6

Molding the rice should be done when the rice is still hot. Line the inside of your mold with clean banana leaf (wash and pat dry), lining into the shape of the mold

Step 7

A rice spoon at a time, press the rice into the mold, pressing very tightly. Fill up the mold to the rim.

Step 8

Leave the mold upside down (with the opening on top) for 30 minutes before unmolding.

Step 9

Meanwhile, prepare the banana leaf for the serving plate: With a scissor, cut the leaf to the size of your serving plate. You can also decorate the banana leaf by cutting into square/rectangular portions, then roll each into cone shape as for piping bag, then flatten it, so you would create triangles. Secure these triangles with tooth picks.

Step 10

Also make a cone shape to fit over the top of the rice cone. Rolling a banana leaf square and cutting to the length you want (depending on how high the tower is). Secure with a toothpick so it doesn't come unrolled. It will look like a little banana leaf dunce cap sitting on top of the rice cone!You can also make vegetable flowers to decorate the top and in between the food items surrounding.

Step 11

Unmold onto the prepared serving dish, then peel off the banana leaf. Place your various food items surrounding the impressive cone!

NOTE: for dessert tumpeng, use sweetened glutinous rice, or perhaps mashed sweetened cassava.

Tips & Variations

  • Chinois, or other conical container (to shape)