Simple and easy South Indian Coconut Rice. This vegan and gluten-free rice dish is ideal for those busy days when you want something quick on the table!
Making lunch or dinner can be challenging. It’s hard to come up with options! I know I am a food blogger but even then I have those days when I have no clue what to cook for dinner. Sometimes you are just tired of eating the same old stuff and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to cook. On those days, it helps if you have pre-cooked rice or quinoa in the fridge. Using these grains, you can whip up a quick meal in no time.
For example if you have some cooked quinoa on hand, just add in some veggies, squeeze lemon juice, salt and pepper and you are done. Similarly having pre-cooked rice opens so many possibilities. You can make lemon rice, pineapple fried rice, bell pepper rice and this South Indian Coconut Rice which I am sharing today! This recipe is really easy and you only need 10 minutes to make this.
As the name suggests, this South Indian Coconut Rice is popular in the southern parts of the country. Actually most recipes involving coconut are from down south and that’s obviously because coconut grows in abundance there. It’s used in curries, chutneys, you name it! This coconut rice has a simple tempering and it gets most of its flavor from fresh coconut.
Using fresh coconut really makes all the difference in this recipe. I have tried making this rice using frozen coconut and while it tasted okay, the fresh coconut just took it to another level, so I highly recommend using it. This south indian coconut rice has a very simple tempering of curry leaves, cashews, mustard seeds and lentils. These ingredients are most commonly used in a lot of recipes from south India and so this is no different.
Once you have pre-cooked rice read to go, it’s just a matter of few minutes to put it all together. There’s also not much prep work involved. The only prep work I do it to soak the dals for 15-20 minutes prior to making the rice. This is optional but recommended, the dals have better texture once they are soaked and then used.
This South Indian Coconut Rice is vegan and gluten-free. You may use ghee in this recipe if you like but to keep it vegan stick to the oil. Hope you guys like this recipe, it’s really ideal for those busy days.
*Soak the urad and chana dal for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a wok/pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds let it crackle.
Add ginger and green chili and cook till ginger starts changing it’s color to golden brown. You may also add a pinch of hing (asafetida) at this point.
Then add the cashews, urad dal, chana dal and cook till they turn golden brown. Also add the curry leaves and mix.
Add the freshly grated coconut and mix.
Cook the coconut for a minute or two.
Finally add the cooked rice, also add the salt and mix everything together and remove pan from heat.
Serve this South Indian Coconut Rice with yogurt for a simple meal. You may also serve it along with any curry.
* Adjust spice levels to taste. Use more of the green chili for a spicier rice.
* You may also use peanuts in the recipe if you don’t have cashews.
South Indian Coconut Rice
- 3-4 cups cooked rice I used basmati rice
- 1.5 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6-7 curry leaves
- 15-20 raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons urad dal soaked for 15 mins
- 2 teaspoons chana dal soaked
- 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
- hing a pinch (optional), also known as asafetida
- salt to taste
- Soak the urad and chana dal for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok/pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds let it crackle.
- Add ginger and green chili and cook till ginger starts changing it's color to golden brown. You may also add a pinch of hing (asafetida) at this point.
- Then add the cashews, urad dal, chana dal and cook till they turn golden brown.
- Also add the curry leaves and mix.
- Add the freshly grated coconut and mix. Cook the coconut for a minute or two.
- Finally add the cooked rice, also add the salt and mix everything together and remove pan from heat.
- Serve the coconut rice with any curry, yogurt or pickle.
20 thoughts on “South Indian Coconut Rice”
Coconut rice is one of my favorites. Definitely trying this dish! I love Indian food.
Hope you like it! 🙂
This rice sounds delicious! I love that you used freshly grated coconut.
Thank you Sabrina!
Anything with rice + anything with curry leaves = something I will love. Put together = bliss! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
This rice looks perfect Manali! Need to try it! I never know what to cook, need different, delicious ideas like this!
I feel like I never know what to make for dinner and am always rotating through the same things. The food blogger struggle is real! This rice looks delicious, Manali! I love coconut, so I must try this! Cheers!
I know right? Thanks Cheyanne!
Oh yum! This coconut rice looks so nice and flavourful, Manali.
Haha…this looks delicious, my coconut rice loving friend! 🙂 I really like the mustard seeds + ginger that you included. I’ll have to try that next time we make coconut rice! Yum!
yes to coconut rice! 🙂 Thanks David!
What a pretty bowl of rice! Sounds like an easy comfort food dish!
indeed! Thanks Gayle!
Oh gosh, this rice looks SO flavorful and amazing, Manali! I’m totally adding this winner to the dinner menu!
Thank you Sarah!
Love anything with coconut! I think I would go for the combo of coconut and quinoa!
rice and coconut is good too and rice isn’t that bad you know, just saying 😉