Bubur Lambuk – Malaysian Porridge


Today, we are heading to Malaysia for a signature Ramadan Iftar (Berpuasa) recipe – Bubur Lambuk. It is a delicious rice porridge enhanced by lemongrass and whole spices, and will leave you feeling healthy and satisfied after a day of fasting. Read on to see how to cook Bubur Lambuk.

For recipe steps, please watch the video linked at the end of post.

As mentioned in my last post, I got remnants of my Jeddah Ramadan days at the Mamaks lining the streets in Malaysia. Mamaks had massive spreads of Iftar dishes to choose from, and you got to savour many of the best Malaysian dishes around this time. From Murtabak to Roti Canai to fried banana fritters to Bubur Lambuk. And Bubur Lambuk is what I want to share with you.

It’s not an exciting dish – it’s a rice porridge after all. But add some lemongrass and whole spices, and you have a porridge that invigorates your senses. It’s light on the stomach, it’s healthy (yes, white rice in moderation is not bad for you) and it’s comforting. Goldilocks would enjoy this too, I bet.

Throughout Asia, fried foods are a big part of Iftar meals. It’s not usually healthy, can leave you feeling bloated and tired afterwards. While I won’t ask anyone to swear off their Ramadan delicacies, I would suggest this porridge for those days when you want your tummy to have it easy. Malaysians know “lah”, fried foods are king. So they invented this porridge so your tummy could say “terimah kasi” (thank you).

Bubur Lambuk is a rice porridge dish that is often made with some kind of meat. It could be beef or chicken, but I like to use minced beef or lamb. It’s easier to bite into and chew – just what you want after a day of fasting! Traditional recipes often use pandan leaves, I didn’t have any so I left it out.

But you MUST use some lemongrass, that’s where the refreshing fragrance comes from! I’m not a super fan of lemongrass but it works for me in this recipe, and helps feed my sense of smell as well. Also necessary are some whole spices like aniseed, cardamom and cinnamon. There aren’t many other ingredients.

I like my porridge less soupy, so I add less water. But if you prefer a soupy porridge, feel free to add more water or milk for the consistency of your liking. I advise adding half cup of additional water (excluding the recipe amount) at a time to assess the consistency. You can use any type of rice you have at home, be it Jasmine or Basmati or any other.

You can also make a large batch in advance, the porridge will last in the fridge for a week. It’s a straightforward recipe and will leave you feeling full and NOT bloated for the rest of the night, freeing time to do other things, going for prayers, preparing for the next day, etc.

Hope you enjoy this healthy recipe during Ramadan!


Bubur Lambuk - Malaysian Rice Porridge
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Bubur Lambuk is a Malaysian rice porridge enriched by lemongrass and whole spices, traditionally enjoyed during Ramadan.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Malaysian
Servings: 4
Author: Tamara at Foodieverse
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 250 grams beef (or chicken) mince
  • 1/2 chicken stock (bullion) cube
  • 1 cup white rice (pre-soaked in water for 15 minutes)
  • 2 1/2 cups water (plus extra if you want it soupier)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bruised and white part only)
  • 2 aniseed (whole)
  • 2 cardmamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots (or onions)
  • extra fried shallots for garnish
  1. Heat oil in pan and add garlic. Brown.

  2. Add ginger paste (careful it may spatter). Saute for 30 seconds.

  3. Brown beef (or chicken) mince, 2 minutes.

  4. Add chicken bullion (only half). Stir 1 minute.

  5. Add rice followed by water. 

  6. Add lemongrass, the whole spices (aniseed, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon) and salt.

  7. Add coconut milk. Mix well.

  8. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 

  9. remove lid and add fried shallots (or onions). Simmer 2 more minutes and serve with extra fried shallots on top. 


Watch how to make Bubur Lambuk

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  • Reply
    Lisa Ho
    May 30, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Hi Tamara,
    You take me back to my Malaysia with this lovely dish.
    I love bubur lambuk and my late dad used to bring them home from mosque, where they served bubur lambuk after teraweh prayer.

    I must make a point to make some this Ramadan (but I now my kids will frown looking at them… but mom will not care ;P )

    I chanced upon your page from Rachel’s Fb page 😀

    • Reply
      Tamara at Foodieverse
      May 31, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Hi Lisa, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I miss my brief time in Malaysia and can relate to your fond childhood memories given I also live away from my home country. If mother loves it, the children may love it too – maybe add some ayam goreng to entice them 😉
      I hope to share an Opor Ayam recipe for Eid ul Fitr, stay tuned! Would also love to know some traditional dishes you grew up with that I may be able to try. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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