Coconut Rice

Let me ask you something… can the absence of any particular ingredient make you feel handicapped in the kitchen? Is there any one ingredient that you just find impossible to replace in your kitchen? I can list out a few basic things like onion, tomato, ginger, garlic etc; But apart from these basic ones, do you've any other ingredient?

I've one and I'm pretty sure that you already know my partiality towards that ingredient. I believe I'm not alone when it comes to a dependant relationship with this particular ingredient. Well, if you are a Malayali, you are tied to this ingredient by an invisible umbilical cord.

Yes, I'm talking about our very own “Coconut”. If you are a regular visitor here on the site, you might know that I use coconut lavishly in my cooking, be it in the form of grated coconut, coconut milk or oil.

However, people tend to have varied opinions when it comes to coconut's impact on health. Some say, coconut is not good for your cholesterol, whereas others propagate it as the new “in” thing when it comes to healthy living. Theoretically, I'd like to take a middle stand and say everything in moderation is the way to go. But, practically when it comes to coconut, I'm all for it!

Coconut rice is something that I make regularly. It pairs well with so many side dishes and it's easy to put together. It's something that you can try when you are bored of your everyday rice and curry. I think there are different ways of making coconut rice, like cooking rice in coconut milk or adding grated coconut to cooked rice. I follow a very simple straight forward recipe.

Recommended Side dishes: Egg Roast, Potato Mezhukkupuratty, Chena Mezhukkupuratty, Dal Fry, Beef Fry, Mutton Pepper Fry, Restaurant Style Chicken Curry, Fish Roast, Prawns Pollichathu, Pork Roast, the list is kinda endless ;)

Here is the recipe…

Coconut Rice 1
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Coconut Rice

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Servings: 2 -3
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (refer notes)
  • 15 Small onion / Pearl onion (sliced)
  • 1.5 cups Coconut (heaped)
  • 2-3 Dry red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp Pottukadala (Roasted Gram Dal ) ( optional, refer notes)
  • 8-10 Cashew nuts
  • Salt
  • Oil (I used sesame oil)
  • Curry leaves


  • Cook the rice and keep aside.
  • In a wide pan, heat oil. Crackle the mustard seeds. Add pottukadala (if using) and cashew. Add sliced small onions. When it begins to brown, add dry red chilli. Fry it for a min. 
  • Add grated coconut, curry leaves and salt. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add cooked rice and gently mix it, till everything is combined. Cook for a min or two and remove from fire.


I use regular white rice like Sona Masuri also to make this dish. Though Pottukadala gives a nice texture to the dish, you can skip it, if you dont have it.
You can also add roasted peanuts, instead of cashew.
The amount of coconut can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. I'm not quite sure why I started using sesame oil for this recipe, but I like that combo.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by...mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu



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8 thoughts on “Coconut Rice”

    • Thank you! You can have potato stir fry or any dal curry or any non veg curry (without coconut) as a side dish. Hope you get to try this soon and like it too.

  1. What about making it with basmati rice? What other herbs may be added to this dish? Looks superb, can’t wait to try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Yes, you can make it with Basmati rice, in the picture you see here, I’ve used Basmati rice. I usually use only curry leaves, but I guess you can try it with mint or coriander leaves.

      Hope you get to try this out soon and like it too..

  2. Hi Maria what is Pottukadala?? in English. Im going to try this dish. I have tried many of your dishes and it had come out awesome

    • Hi,

      It’s Roasted Gram Dal. I’ve added it in the recipe now, thanks for pointing it out. Hope you get to try this soon. Good to know that you’ve liked the recipes from here :)


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