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…
- 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
- 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.