Khao Yum, a unique dish from Thailand’s southern region, was a royal dish born in the reign of the Kingdom of Phraya Nakhon during the fasting month. Following the yearly period of abstinence, many palace residents suffered from stomach aches and diarrhea when they broke the fast. When Phraya Nakhon heard about it, he ordered the palace doctor to come up with a solution and after 2 days, the doctor suggested a dish comprised of rice, finely chopped vegetables and savoury elements. From then on, everyone fasted together and ate the recipe that the doctor had invented, which came to be known as “Khao Yum”. It proved a successful cure but also pleased the palates of the palace dwellers and people continued to enjoy it, even at time when they weren’t fasting.
Khao Yum can be found from Prachuap Khiri Khan, down to Chumphon, Yala and Narathiwat, and all the way into various states of Malaysia around the Malay Peninsula as well as the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. In the Malay tongue, it is known as is Nasi Kerabu, ‘Nasi’ meaning rice and ‘Kerabu’ being the equivalent to ‘yum’ in Thai.