Coconut Milk Rice

Gluten FreeVeganVegetarian

This coconut rice recipe brings coconut milk’s rich and soothing taste to perfectly cooked rice. It’s rich and creamy with the sweetness of freshly churned coconut milk, this coconut milk rice recipe is an excellent side dish to spicy Asian gravies.

This might not be an authentic coconut rice recipe but this coconut milk rice side dish is one of our family favorites. All you need is a coconut and some high-quality basmati rice to bring together a super aromatic recipe for rice using coconut milk. You can also use canned coconut milk for this recipe.

Coconut Rice recipe using Coconut Milk served on a ceramic platter

Coconut Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • Basmati Rice
  • Fresh Coconut – see below for steps to extract fresh coconut milk. Alternate would be canned coconut milk
  • Whole Spices like Bay Leaf, Green Cardamom
  • Onion – thinly sliced
  • Seasonings – Salt, Sugar

Coconut Milk Rice Recipe Instructions

  • Preparing Coconut Milk – In case you are using fresh coconut, then crack it open and grate it using a coconut scraper. You can also carve out the flesh using a pairing knife.
    Extract the milk by blending grated coconut (or chopped) with water and straining the mixture. Ensure a smooth and creamy consistency.
    You may also use canned coconut milk instead of fresh coconuts.
  • Rinsing the Rice – In my opinion, Indian long-grained Basmati rice is the best rice for coconut rice recipe. It gives you perfectly fluffy and non-starchy textured coconut milk rice.
    Start by rinsing the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This may take 2-3 rinse cycles. This helps remove all the excess starch from the surface of the rice.
  • Cooking Rice with Coconut Milk – We are going to follow the universal ratio of rice to water here. That is, for every 1 cup of rice, we will use 2 cups of liquid. To get the perfectly fluffy coconut milk pulao, I prefer diluting the coconut milk by adding an equal part of water. So, for this coconut rice coconut milk I am using has 1 cup of fresh or canned coconut milk diluted with another 1 cup of water.
  • In a thick-bottomed pan, heat some ghee or neutral-flavored oil and drop the aromatics like bay leaf and green cardamom. As they start sizzling, add the thinly sliced onion. Saute till they turn translucent. We are looking to cook them and not turn them brown.
  • Once the onions are ready, add the washed rice and give it a gentle stir. Now add the diluted coconut milk to the rice along with some salt and sugar. Give it a gentle stir turn the heat on low and put the lid on.
  • Let the rice cook on low heat for the next 8-10 minutes. Once you see that the liquid has been absorbed completely, turn off the heat. Check if the rice is cooked. If yes, then remove the lid and give it a fluff using a chopstick or fork.
    If not, then put back the lid and let it steam for the next 4-5 minutes. Fluff the rice once it has cooked. Do not cover the pan with the lid after fluffing the rice or they will turn mushy and lumpy.
  • Serve the basmati coconut milk rice hot with a side of spicy curry.

Serving Suggestions:

The best way to serve this Asian coconut rice would be a traditional banana leaf as the plate. I often sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander leaves for a touch of freshness. It’s not the authentic way but I love it. If you want to keep it real and traditional then you can top it with ghee fried cashews.

You can pair it with spicy curries such as dry Mutton Curry or Chicken Curry. It tastes equally good as a meal on its own when served with salad and pickles.

More Rice Recipes

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it.
Tag me on Instagram @priyankabhattacharya.sa or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

Coconut Milk Rice
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

This coconut rice recipe brings coconut milk's rich and soothing taste to perfectly cooked rice. It's rich and creamy with the sweetness of freshly churned coconut milk, this coconut milk rice recipe is an excellent side dish to spicy Asian gravies.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Diet: Hindu
Keyword: Coconut Milk Rice Recipe, Coconut Recipes, Coconut Rice Recipe, Rice Dishes
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Basmatic Rice
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 1 Onion Large. thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Oil or Ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Sugar
Instructions
  1. Extract the milk by blending grated coconut (or chopped) with water and straining the mixture. Ensure a smooth and creamy consistency.You may also use canned coconut milk instead of fresh coconuts.

  2. Rince Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

  3. In a thick-bottomed pan, heat some ghee or neutral-flavored oil and drop the aromatics like bay leaf and green cardamom. As they start sizzling, add the thinly sliced onion. Saute till they turn translucent. We are looking to cook them and not turn them brown.

  4. Once the onions are ready, add the washed rice and give it a gentle stir. Now add the diluted coconut milk to the rice along with some salt and sugar. Give it a gentle stir turn the heat on low and put the lid on.

  5. Let the rice cook on low heat for the next 8-10 minutes. Once you see that the liquid has been absorbed completely, turn off the heat. Fluff the rice once it has cooked

  6. Serve hot

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I use brown rice instead of Basmati?

While Basmati rice is the traditional choice, you can experiment with brown rice for a nuttier flavor and added nutritional benefits such as additional dietary fiber, etc.

How can I make this dish vegan?

Replace ghee with coconut oil, and you have delicious vegan Coconut Milk Rice.

Can we use Desiccated Coconut?

In case you are using packaged desiccated coconut, then we need to rehydrate them first by soaking them in lukewarm water first. Then we can extract coconut milk by passing it through a fine mesh sieve.

Does coconut rice contain dairy?

No. Coconut Milk is a naturally dairy-free milk alternative. By replacing ghee with coconut oil or any other neutral-flavored oil, we can make this coconut rice recipe 100% dairy-free and vegan.

Why is my coconut rice mushy?

There can be several reasons for your coconut rice to turn mushy and lumpy. The most common cause is the quality of rice. Glutinous rice will give you mushy coconut rice. So, prefer non-glutinous long-grained rice varieties for this recipe.
Second is the consistency of coconut milk. Too thick and it will make your coconut milk rice sticky. Hence I add water and dilute the coconut milk for this dish.

Which coconut milk is best for rice?

I feel that freshly extracted coconut milk is the best for this coconut rice recipe. There is absolutely no substitute for fresh ingredients to get the best recipe for coconut rice. However, busy lives often mean we have to rely on pre-packed ingredients for easier and hassle-free cooking. I have made this rice using coconut milk from cartons and it has come equally delicious. So, feel free to use tinned or canned coconut milk.


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Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.

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