Nasi dagang (Jawi: ناسي داڬڠ) is a Malaysian and Southern Thai dish consisting of rice steamed in coconut milk, fish curry and extra ingredients such as fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable pickles. Nasi Dagang literally means "Trading Rice". It is a well-known breakfast food in the states on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, such as Terengganu and Kelantan and Southern Thailand territory of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. The most famous Nasi dagang of Terengganu comes from Kampung Ladang, an area within the Kuala Terengganu district. Nasi Dagang can also be considered as a festive dish in Kelantan and Terengganu because it is prepared at home for the morning of Eid ul-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, to be eaten as a breakfast before or after the Eid prayers in the mosque.
Apart from the basic combination of rice and curry, Nasi Dagang usually comes with its different components which can be combined to suit the diner's taste. From a simple serving of the steamed rice and tuna curry usually found at roadside stalls, the complete home-made version may include a sliced hard-boiled egg, fried coconut, vegetable pickle and sambal.
The combination of fenugreek seeds and coconut milk gives Nasi Dagang its unique flavour and fragrance. The rice may first be soaked in water for several hours to soften it. It is then mixed with thick coconut milk, sliced shallots, lemon grass and fenugreek seeds. The rice is steamed until cooked. It may also be steamed twice, where more coconut milk is added when it is half-cooked. Then the rice is steamed again until cooked. This method ensures a more creamy finish to the rice.
This accompanying dish is only specially prepared for nasi dagang and is sometimes locally called gulai darat. This curry the fish is cooked in is not an Indian-style curry powder but a Malay-style curry, i.e., coconut milk mixed with traditional Malay spices such as lemon grass, galangal, chilli paste, and turmeric.
Coconut is freshly shaved, mixed with sliced shallots and fried until golden brown.
Hard boiled eggs are cut into four or eight slices.
The vegetable is pickled in rice vinegar and sugar. The vegetables commonly used are cucumber, chilli and carrots.
Chilli sambal can sometimes be included.
The Terengganu version uses the normal white rice, while the Kelantan variety uses a type of rice locally called 'beras nasi dagang', which is a type of wild rice that has a light purple colour and a little glutinous. The Terengganu version is also much simpler, eaten only with the fish curry (sometimes with belimbing buluh 'averrhoa bilimbi' added) and pickles.
Some people from the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia claim that Nasi Dagang is the 'Nasi Lemak' of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the states of Terengganu and Kelantan. This claim is actually unheard of in either place as both dishes can commonly be found sold side by side for breakfast.
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