Coconut rice recipe – Coconut rice is a easy and flavorful rice dish made using fresh grated coconut, tempering spices and rice. It is one of the most basic South Indian foods made for a meal during festivals and occasions. The aroma & taste of this simple coconut rice comes from the key ingredients like curry leaves, fresh coconut, ginger and hing. Thengai sadam and kobbari annam are the other south Indian regional names of coconut rice.
It can be served without any side or accompaniment. However any curry goes really well with this coconut rice. Vegetable kurma or Mix veg curry, some papad, veg salad & plain yogurt will make a complete meal. Making coconut rice is one of the easiest if you have some precooked rice and fresh grated coconut.
Coconut rice is made in 2 ways. The other version is to use coconut milk & mild spices. You can find that version here – Coconut milk rice.
The recipe shared here is a simple one made with basic ingredients. Sometimes I also like adding a handful of grated carrot or little grated raw mango or a tbsp of lemon juice, mint leaves or coriander leaves.
Coconut rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for coconut rice
- 1 cup rice (any kind of rice)
- 1 to 1½ cup coconut grated (fresh or frozen) (adjust to suit your taste)
- salt as needed
- 1 to 2 green chili (slit or chopped)
- 1 red chili broken (optional)
- 1 to 2 tbsp oil or ghee
- ½ tsp mustard or rai
- ½ tsp cumin or jeera (optional)
- 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
- 1 tbsp chana dal
- ½ tbsp urad dal
- 1 tsp ginger chopped
- 12 to 15 cashewnuts or peanuts as needed
How to make the recipe
Preparation for coconut rice
- Wash rice at least thrice and soak it for 20 to 30 mins.
- Drain it after 30 mins and either cook in a pot of boiling water or pressure cook for 2 whistles if using ponni or masuri rice. if using basmati rice then cook just for 1 whistle. The rice must be grainy and not mushy.
- When the pressure goes off, fluff up the rice with a fork and cool completely.
- Optional – You can also soak the chana dal and urad dal for 30 mins in little hot water. This helps the dal from turning hard when added to the tempering. Drain them completely and use.
- You can use either freshly grated coconut or frozen one. You can use more or less as desired.
Making coconut rice
- Heat ghee or oil in a pan, add mustard, dals and cashews. When the dal turns golden, add ginger, green chili, curry leaves and red chili. Sprinkle hing.
- Add coconut and sprinkle salt on it. Then add rice. Off the heat. Stir everything well. Coconut can also be fried first and then rice added.
- Serve coconut rice with a simple curry or yogurt.
Preparation for coconut rice
You can skip the preparation section if you have precooked and cooled rice that is grainy. I have shown below how to cook it perfectly to make coconut rice.
1. You can use any kind of rice. Usually in south India ponni or sona masuri is used.
2. Cook the rice in what ever way you like. I usually wash rice thrice and then soak for sometime.
3. Drain the water and cook al dente. Rice must be fully cooked but firm and grainy.
4. You can also pressure cook in your preferred method. I pressure cook for 2 whistles if using ponni or sona masuri aged rice. If using basmati then i cook in a pot, then drain off the water.
5. Once fully cooked, fluff it up with a fork and cool completely.
How to make coconut rice
6. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, cumin, chana dal, urad dal, peanuts or cashews and red chilli. When the cashews or peanuts are golden, then add in curry leaves, green chilies and ginger.
7. On a low flame fry until the leaves turn crisp, then add hing. I had some bits of coconut left over, I chopped it and added as well. I fried until it turned aromatic and golden.
8. Add coconut and rice. Sprinkle salt and mix. If you like fried coconut, you can fry the coconut first till it begins to smell good. Then add rice and salt. We do not prefer to fry the coconut as the heat in the pan is good enough to partially warm it up.
9. Switch off the stove immediately and mix everything well.
Serve coconut rice with a simple curry or yogurt and a veg salad.