coconut rice

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Coconut rice recipe with step by step pics – light, tasty and mild South Indian coconut rice made with fresh grated coconut. It is also known as thengai sadam. Gluten-free (skip asafoetida) and vegan.

coconut rice recipe, thengai sadam

In south India, coconut rice is a favorite and is made during festivals like Pongal and Navratri. Some of the naivedyam or prasad, we were served in South Indian temples were sweet Pongal, Curd rice and coconut rice. The Pongal and curd rice were so good that till today I have not been able to recreate the same magical taste and flavor. Still trying and I hope that with goddess annapurna’s blessings, I shall be able to get that taste.

There are some variations of coconut rice in the South Indian states. the recipe I am sharing today is made with freshly grated coconut. if you have grated the coconut already, then it is easy to prepare this rice. Tastes best with freshly grated coconut. But you can use frozen coconut too.

I make such easy rice dishes when I want to cook something easy. Coconut rice also goes very well in the tiffin box lunch. For a gluten-free rice, skip the asafoetida. 

You can serve coconut rice as it is or pair with gravy or curry like veg kuzhambu, veg stew or even plain homemade fresh curd. I had made a spicy South Indian potato curry with it. i would suggest pairing with gravy or curry as the coconut rice is a bit dry. also, accompany some papads or appalams.

How to make coconut rice

1. Soak 1 cup regular rice or basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes.

rice for coconut rice recipe

2. Also soak ½ tbsp urad dal and ½ tbsp chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes. Later drain the water very well and keep the dals aside. You can add the dals directly also, but soaking them and then adding them, improves the texture of the dals and gives a good taste to the rice.

chana dal for coconut rice recipe

3. after 30 minutes, drain the water and pressure cook the rice with 1.75 to 2 cups water for 2 whistles. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and fluff the rice. For a softer texture in the rice, pressure cook for 3 whistles.

rice for coconut rice recipe

4. take the rice in a plate/tray and allow to cool grains completely. You can also cool the rice in the cooker itself. If there are lumps in the rice, then break the lumps once the rice is cooled.

rice for coconut rice recipe

Making tempering for coconut rice

5. Heat 1.5 tbsp coconut oil in a pan. You can also use sesame oil or any other oil. Crackle 1 tsp mustard seeds.

coconut oil for coconut rice recipe

6. Add the chana dal and urad dal. Stir and saute for a minute.

chana dal for coconut rice recipe

7. Then add chopped cashews.

cashews for coconut rice recipe

8. Stir and saute till the cashews turn golden. The dals would also turn golden by then.

masala for coconut rice recipe

9. Add 1 or 2 dry red chilies, 10 to 12 curry leaves and 1 or 2 chopped green chilies along with a pinch of asafoetida/hing.

chilies for coconut rice recipe

10. Stir and saute till the red chilies change color.

masala for coconut rice recipe

Making coconut rice

11. Next add 1.5 cups of tightly packed grated coconut.

coconut for coconut rice recipe

12. Stir very well.

making coconut rice recipe

13. Saute the coconut for 3 to 4 minutes. The coconut can be sauteed till a creamish color or a faint light brown color.

making coconut rice recipe

14. lastly add the steamed rice and salt.

rice for coconut rice recipe

15. Stir the rice well and switch off the flame.

coconut rice recipe, coconut rice

16. Serve coconut rice topped with a bit of ghee or some coriander leaves. Accompaniments can be curd, or kuzhambu or veg stew or potato roast.

South Indian coconut rice recipe

Few more rice recipes for you !

  • Carrot rice – this carrot rice is mildly spiced and goes well with kids.
  • Tomato rice – easy and delicious South Indian style tomato rice recipe.
  • Pudina rice – a spicy and tasty one pot fragrant mint rice recipe.
  • Sambar rice – an easy to prepare delicious one pot meal made with rice, dal and mix veggies.
  • Coconut milk rice – mild, fragrant rice dish made with coconut milk and mixed veggies.

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coconut rice recipe, thengai sadam recipe

Coconut Rice

5 from 8 votes
This is a light, mild South Indian coconut rice made with freshly grated coconut. It is also known as thengai sadam.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

for cooking rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice or any regular rice or 4 to 4.5 cups cooked rice
  • 1.75 to 2 cups water

for tempering

  • 1.5 tablespoon coconut oil or any oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ tablespoon urad dal (split and husked black gram)
  • ½ tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram)
  • 10 to 12 cashews - chopped
  • 1 or 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 or 2 green chilies - chopped
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1.5 cups tightly packed grated fresh coconut
  • salt as required

Instructions

preparation

  • Soak 1 cup regular rice or basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
  • Also soak 1/2 tbsp urad dal and 1/2 tbsp chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes. Later drain the water very well and keep the dals aside. You can add the dals directly also, but soaking them and then adding gives a good taste to the coconut rice.
  • Grate half of a medium to large coconut and keep aside. You should be able to get about 1.5 cups tightly packed grated coconut.

cooking rice

  • After 30 minutes, drain the water and pressure cook the rice with 1.75 to 2 cups water for 2 whistles. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and fluff the rice. For a softer texture in the rice, pressure cook for 3 whistles
  • Take the rice in a plate/tray and allow to cool grains completely. You can also cool the rice in the cooker itself. If there are lumps in the rice, then break the lumps once the rice is cooled.

making tempering for coconut rice

  • Heat 1.5 tbsp coconut oil in a pan. You can also use sesame oil or any other oil. Crackle 1 tsp mustard seeds.
  • Add the chana dal and urad dal. Stir and saute for about a minute.
  • Then add chopped cashews.
  • Stir and saute till the cashews turn golden. The dals would also turn golden by then.
  • Add 1 or 2 dry red chilies, 10 to 12 curry leaves and 1 or 2 chopped green chilies along with a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Stir and saute till the red chilies change color.

making coconut rice

  • Next add grated coconut. Stir very well.
  • Saute the coconut for 3 to 4 minutes. The coconut can be sauteed till a creamish color or a faint light brown color.
  • Lastly add the steamed rice and salt.
  • Stir the rice well and switch off the flame.
  • Serve coconut rice topped with a bit of ghee or some coriander leaves. Accompaniments can be curd, or kuzhambu or potato roast. 
  • I served thengai sadam with a spiced south indian potato curry.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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