Coconut Rice

This classic South Indian rice made with fresh coconut, curry leaves and spices is a favored rice among many families. Coconut rice is so easy to make that it is one of those go-to rice dishes to whip up in just minutes. Very often coconut rice is a common picnic item as it holds up well and tastes great at room temperature. Usually served with some crunchy potato chips coconut rice makes a great rice dish to have for lunch or dinner with a side of any vegetable dish.


I had the most delicious coconut rice made by my cousin Gowri at a family gathering that was pure white in color, spicy, sweet and savory. When I asked Gowri for her recipe I found out that what made her coconut rice so delicious was the over 1 1/2 cups of fresh grated coconut and a generous amount of asafetida. Between the large quantity of coconut and my favorite spice asafetida, this makes for one delicious coconut rice!

Coconut Rice
recipe contributed by Gowri
makes 3 -4 cups of coconut rice


  • 3 cups cooked Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened frozen or fresh shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp asafetida powder
  • 1 tbsp urad daal also known as black gram or black lentils. These add a smoky nutty texture and flavor when lightly fried in oil.
  • 1 green chili cut into half – remove the seeds if you want a milder spicy heat of the chili or 1 dried red chili
  • Salt
  • Oil preferably coconut oil if you have


  • Cool the cooked Basmati rice, add salt and set aside.
  • In a pan heat 3 tbsp oil.  Add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Lower the heat and add the urad daal and toast in oil for a few seconds until they turn brown (3-4 seconds).  Immediately add the asafetida powder, green chili, and curry leaves and toast in oil for 2-3 seconds. Add the shredded coconut and mix it all together. Toast the coconut for a couple of minutes.  Add the coconut mixture to the cooled rice.  Taste and adjust for salt according to your taste. Coconut rice is ready.
  • Serve with a side of vegetable curry, yogurt raita and potato chips.




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