Delicious and Authentic Nasi Biryani Recipe

Oh, fellow epicureans! Attend closely, for I come bearing delectable news that shall stir the appetite of even the most jaded taste buds. I am pleased to present to you a recipe that shall transport you straight to the majestic lands of Southeast Asia, where rice is king and flavors reign supreme.

Behold, Nasi Biryani – Celebration Rice! This regal dish hails from Brunei Darussalam and has been savored by its people for generations. Made with long-grain rice infused with turmeric and a myriad of aromatic spices, Nasi Biryani is served with tenderly-cooked meat, vegetables, or seafood.

Do not be intimidated by the unfamiliar mouthwatering name – I assure you that making this recipe is not as difficult as it may seem. You only need a handful of ingredients that you can easily find at any grocery store. With some patience and your trusty travel stove in tow, you will be able to conjure a magical feast fit for a globetrotter’s plate.

Join me on this gastronomic adventure, and let’s discover together the wonders of Nasi Biryani – Celebration Rice!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Nasi Biryani - Celebration Rice (Brunei)
Nasi Biryani – Celebration Rice (Brunei)

Good day, dear friends! It is my utmost pleasure to introduce to you one of the most scrumptious and tempting Southeast Asian rice dishes of all time – Nasi Biryani. This mouth-watering delicacy hails from Brunei, and I guarantee that it will definitely leave you craving for more.

Now you must be wondering, “Why should I even try this recipe?” My answer? Because this isn’t just any ordinary rice dish – it’s a Celebration Rice, also known as Biryani Celebration. The name itself suggests that this recipe is perfect for any happy occasion or celebration that calls for a special meal.

But what exactly makes Nasi Biryani so special? To begin with, its rich aroma alone is enough to stimulate your senses and leave you wanting more. The long-grain rice is cooked with fragrant spices such as turmeric, ginger, and shallots. As if that’s not enough, the addition of coconut milk and pandan leaves gives it a distinct flavor that’ll make your taste buds dance.

Moreover, Nasi Biryani is loaded with various delicious ingredients such as juicy chunks of chicken or beef in a flavorful curry gravy, crunchy cashews, fresh cilantro leaves, and tangy tomatoes. All these ingredients blend magically together while cooking, creating an explosion of flavors in every spoonful.

Not only is Nasi Biryani irresistibly tasty, but it is also healthy. It is made using simple, all-natural ingredients that are bursting with nutrients like protein and dietary fiber. Plus, the plain yogurt that comes with it helps promote good gut health.

In conclusion, my dear friends, this Brunei specialty dish called Nasi Biryani can add a touch of sophistication to any celebration or get-together. Not only does it boast an exquisite taste and aroma but it also provides numerous health benefits for you to relish. Follow along the steps in our recipe how-to and experience the magic of Celebration Rice. So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen now and get cookin’!

Ingredient List

 Aromatic blend of spices - can you smell it?
Aromatic blend of spices – can you smell it?

Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make our Nasi Biryani – Celebration Rice (Brunei) recipe:

  • Long Grain Rice: Use good quality, fragrant long-grain rice, preferably Basmati rice as it is most commonly used for biryani rice dishes.
  • Water: You will need water to cook the rice dish with, the amount of water depends on how much rice you use.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric brings rich, warm color and flavor to the biryani celebration rice which makes it more visually appealing and flavorful.
  • Salt: Enhance the flavors by adding salt to your taste preference.
  • Shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter taste than onions and are more preferred in Southeast Asian cuisine. They add flavor and aroma to your biryani celebration rice.
  • Minced Garlic Clove: Garlic has a strong, pungent aroma and flavor that can enhance the overall taste of nasi biryani.
  • Gingerroot: Ginger has a zesty and slightly spicy flavor that adds some warmth and depth to the dish.
  • Red Chili Pepper: A little bit of heat is always welcome in any rice recipe! Red chili pepper adds vibrant color and heat to your dish.
  • Tomatoes: Use fresh tomatoes as they add acidity to the dish which nicely balances the spices.
  • Cashews: Crunchy, nutty flavored cashews are added to give an irresistible texture and deliciousness in every bite.
  • Cilantro: Chopped cilantro leaves are sprinkled over the top for color, aroma, and mild citrus-like flavor.
  • Plain Yogurt: Plain yogurt adds creaminess, tanginess, and helps balance all the flavors together.

You can easily find most of these ingredients from your local grocery store. If you don’t have some of them on hand or would like to change it up, see our substitutions section for alternative ingredient ideas!

The Recipe How-To

 Layers of flavors in every spoonful.
Layers of flavors in every spoonful.

Once you have all your ingredients, it is time to cook! Here is how to make Nasi Biryani:

  1. Cooking the Rice: Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Then soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. In a rice cooker, combine 3 cups of rice with 3 ½ cups of water, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. Frying the Shallots: Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot. Fry thinly sliced shallots over medium heat until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, leaving the oil in the pot.

  3. Cooking the Spices: Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of gingerroot, and 1 finely chopped shallot to the pot with remaining oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.

  4. Adding Ingredients: Add 2 diced tomatoes, ½ cup of plain yogurt, ½ cup of cashews, ¼ cup of cilantro, and 1 diced red chili pepper to the pot. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  5. Cooking Rice with Spices: Mix well and add cooked rice to spice mixture. Stir gently and heat through.

  6. Serving: Garnish with fried shallots before serving.

Enjoy your delicious Nasi Biriyani Celebration Rice!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect balance between savory and sweet.
The perfect balance between savory and sweet.

If you’re looking to switch things up with this nasi biryani recipe, there are several ingredient substitutions and variations you can try.

– Rice: While we recommend using long-grain rice for this recipe, feel free to experiment with other types of rice such as jasmine or basmati. Just keep in mind that different types of rice may require varying amounts of liquid and cooking times.

– Vegetables: You can easily add more vegetables to this dish or swap out some of the ingredients listed in the recipe for ones you prefer. For example, you could replace the tomatoes with bell peppers or add some peas and carrots.

– Protein: This dish is traditionally made with chicken, but you can also use beef, lamb, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.

– Spiciness: If you prefer your food less spicy, reduce or omit the amount of red chili pepper in the recipe. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some extra heat, add more chili pepper or even a pinch of cayenne pepper.

– Garnishes: While cilantro and cashews are the recommended garnishes for this dish, feel free to get creative! Try topping your nasi biryani with toasted coconut flakes, sliced scallions, or even a dollop of plain yogurt.

No matter which substitutions or variations you choose to try, nasi biryani is a versatile and flavorful dish that can be customized to suit any taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 A colorful and festive dish, perfect for a celebration.
A colorful and festive dish, perfect for a celebration.

My dearest reader, as we approach the serving and pairing section of this Nasi Biryani recipe, let me remind you of the sheer delight that awaits you. Behold, the pièce de résistance – a beautiful pot filled to the brim with warmly spiced and tenderly cooked long-grain rice, punctuated by slivers of red chili pepper and roasted cashews. The fragrance alone is enough to make one’s mouth water! But what pairs well with this biryani celebration rice, you ask?

Firstly, it may be served alongside chicken curry or even a juicy kachin chicken biryani for a heartier meal. If you’re looking for a lighter option, I suggest pairing it with a simple cucumber raita or yogurt-based dip to cut through the rich flavors of the rice. Alternatively, you could serve it with a fresh tomato and cilantro salad for some added acidity.

For drinks, I recommend pairing this dish with a refreshing iced tea or even a zesty limeade to balance out the warmth of the spices. For those who dabble in adult beverages, a crisp rosé or sparkling wine would make for an excellent accompaniment.

But dear reader, regardless of how you choose to serve and pair this nasi biryani celebration rice, do remember to savor every bite and relish in the joy that good food brings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take your taste buds on a journey to Brunei with this Nasi Biryani.
Take your taste buds on a journey to Brunei with this Nasi Biryani.

Good sirs and ladies, do not fret if thou have leftover Nasi Biryani Celebration Rice! Fear not, for this dish can be easily stored and reheated with delightful results.

To make ahead, you can cook the rice and keep it separate from the chicken curry until you plan on serving it. This will prevent the rice from getting too soggy. You can also cook and fry the shallots ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

When reheating, simply place your desired amount of Nasi Biryani Celebration Rice in a microwave-safe container and heat for 2-3 minutes until hot. Another option is to reheat in a pan with a splash of water or coconut milk for added moisture.

If storing leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The dish may dry out when refrigerated so add additional water or coconut milk before reheating as needed.

In conclusion, this rice dish not only keeps its flavors but also its textures even after storing and reheating. Thou shalt surely not waste any morsel of this fine dish!

Tips for Perfect Results

 It's not just rice, it's a symphony of ingredients.
It’s not just rice, it’s a symphony of ingredients.

To create the perfect Nasi Biryani, it’s essential to keep in mind a few tips and tricks that will take your dish to the next level.

Firstly, opt for long grain rice as it is less starchy compared to other types of rice. Basmati rice, in particular, is a great option as it has a subtle fragrance that complements the aromatic spices used in this recipe.

Secondly, to add more depth of flavor to your biryani, fry your sliced shallots until they turn golden brown before removing them with a slotted spoon and draining them on paper towels. Then use the same oil from the frying process to cook your rice. The shallot-infused oil will give your rice a delicious taste and aroma that takes this dish to another level.

Thirdly, when cooking the chicken curry that goes along with the nasi biryani, make sure you use bone-in chicken pieces rather than boneless chicken which can dry out quickly when cooked.

Fourthly, when cooking the rice in a rice cooker or on a stove-top ensure that you use water and coconut milk in equal amounts, along with pandan leaves. This ensures that your rice is fluffy without being too dry or too moist.

Lastly, once you have cooked your nasi biryani, garnish it with some freshly fried shallots, roasted cashews, sliced tomatoes and cilantro. For an added kick of spice, serve it with some red chili pepper on the side.

By following these tips and recommendations, you can create a mouthwatering nasi biryani that everyone will love!


Before concluding our adventure through the tasty Brunei dish, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about nasi biryani. These answers will help you understand this recipe more deeply and cook it in your own unique way. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips and tricks that will elevate your celebration rice to the next level!

How to make biryani fragrant?

To add some aromatic flair to our biryani rice, we begin by boiling it in water along with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, fennel seeds, and a hint of lemon. This brings a delightful fragrance to the dish.

Is nasi briyani Indian food?

Biryani, whether spelled biryani, briyani or biriyani, is a popular rice dish that emerges from the Indian subcontinent. The dish contains a variety of ingredients, but it always includes meat such as mutton, beef or chicken along with a blend of whole spices, mint and coriander leaves, fried onions, as well as yogurt.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Nasi Biryani aka Celebration Rice is a true delight to prepare and indulge in. The combination of spices and flavors truly set this dish apart as a standout recipe in Southeast Asian cuisine. With its versatile ingredients, it can be enjoyed with chicken curry, kachin chicken, or even on its own for a vegetarian option. It can also be made ahead of time and stored for a quick meal or snack throughout the week.

I urge you to give this recipe a try and experience the wonderful flavors that Brunei has to offer. The fusion of different cultures and ingredients creates an explosion of taste that is sure to impress your taste buds. From the sliced shallots to the minced garlic clove and gingerroot, every ingredient comes together seamlessly to create a dish that is worth making time and time again.

So go ahead and gather your ingredients, follow the steps carefully, and get ready to transport your tastebuds across continents with this amazing nasi biryani recipe. Happy cooking!

Nasi Biryani - Celebration Rice (Brunei)

Nasi Biryani - Celebration Rice (Brunei) Recipe

This recipe was featured on week 39 of my food blog, "Travel by Stove." I am attempting to cook one meal from every nation on Earth, and Brunei is my 39th stop. Unless otherwise noted, my Travel by Stove recipes are taken from authentic or traditional sources, and this recipe has been posted without any alternations or additions to the ingredients. This recipe originally appeared in "Southeast Asian Cooking" by Barbara Hansen.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bruneian
Calories 216.3 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 small fresh red chili pepper


  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pot and fry the sliced shallots until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, leaving the oil in the pot.
  • Add the minced shallots, ginger and garlic. Saute for two minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil, then add the rice and yogurt. Stir until well blended.
  • Now add the tomato, cilantro, nuts and chile. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer over a very low flame for 40 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Garnish with the fried shallots.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 170gCalories: 216.3kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 4.1gFat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 1.3mgSodium: 606.9mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Healthy, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Rice
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