Nasi Briyani – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

Nasi Briyani is a rice-based dish prepared with spices. Nasi means rice in Malaysian, and the dish is usually made with basmati rice accompanied by a type of meat, with eggs and vegetables. Its aromatic flavours and rich taste make it an extremely popular meal.

Its origins lie in Iranian/Persian cuisine: the name “briyani” is derived from the Persian word birian, which means fried or roasted. The dish was brought to India from Iran, reaching the Malabar coast in the 1500s with the invasion of the Mughal Empire. When Indian traders and merchants settled in Malaysia and Singapore, they brought the dish with them.

Malaysian nasi briyani is different to its cousins in the rest of Southeast Asia, as the rice is not cooked with yoghurt. The main ingredients include spices and herbs such as nutmeg, mace, cumin, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions and garlic, and ghee for cooking.

The hearty meat version is more popular than the vegetarian, with beef, chicken, mutton, fish, or prawns as the proteins of choice. The meat and rice are served separately.

Nasi briyani in Malaysia and Singapore is served with a chutney, a dish of eggplant, a boiled egg, and a salad. Acar, a pickled combination of cucumber, onions, red chilies and pineapple, is also a must. There’s often a crisp papadum on the side.

Nasi Biryani is a staple on the streets of Malaysia, and you’ll find it served at most Malay or Mamak (Indian Muslim) hawker stalls.

Shop name:
Biryani Muar Legend
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Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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