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 pongal, curd rice and coconut rice.
there are some variations of coconut rice in the south indian states. the coconut recipe i am sharing today is made with freshly grated coconut. if you have grated the coconut already, then its easy to prepare this rice. tastes best with freshly grated coconut. but you can use frozen coconut too.
for cooking rice:
- 1 cup basmati rice or any regular rice, 4 to 4.5 cups cooked rice
- 1.75 to 2 cups water
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil or any oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
- ½ tbsp urad dal/split and husked black gram
- ½ tbsp chana dal/bengal gram
- 10 to 12 cashews/kaju, chopped
- 1 or 2 dry red chilies/sookhi lal mirch
- 1 or 2 green chilies/hari mirch, choppped
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)
- 10 to 12 curry leaves/kadi patta
- 1.5 cups tightly packed grated fresh coconut
- salt as required
how to make the recipe:
- soak 1 cup regular rice or basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 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.