[Penang, Malaysia] Nasi kunyit & chicken curry, Bayan Baru Market Food Court

Mdm Looi Szu Hoay aka “Ah Hoay” currently runs this 40-year-old nasi kunyit stall, taking over from her mother, Madam Sim Chai Heok aka “Ah Heok”, in a business started by her grandfather back in the late-1970s.

Despite its name, the traditional Penang-Nyonya “nasi kunyit” is actually steamed glutinous rice (“pulut”), and not rice (“nasi”), tinted yellow using fresh turmeric (“kunyit”), and enriched with coconut milk. It’s a dish of Malay origins (where it’s known as “pulut kuning”), but has been fully adopted into Penang’s Nyonya-Chinese food culture. Nasi kunyit is usually cooked for auspicious occasions: a baby’s one-month-old ceremony/celebratory meal, or served at the celebration of a minor god or deity’s birthday. It’s traditionally served with chicken curry.

Mdm Looi serves her “nasi kunyit” with chicken and potato curry (RM7/US$1.60 for a standard portion). She opens 7am till she sells out , usually by late morning/11-ish, Thu to Sun only (she takes a break Mon, Tue & Wed).

For me, the umami factor of her delicious coconut milk-rich glutinous rice with her slightly spicy chicken-and-potato curry is off the charts!

Nasi Kunyit & Chicken Curry
11 Kompleks Sri Selera Bayan Baru (Bayan Baru Market Food Court)
Lintang Mayang Pasir 4
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6016 427 7349
Opening hours: 7am to 12 noon (unless sold out earlier)

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold