Instant Pot Coconut Rice


South Indian coconut rice is flavorful and delicious! It’s also easy to make in an instant pot. Grated coconut makes this pulao fluffy and filling, and the curry leaves add great aroma and flavor. 

instant pot coconut rice

Coconut rice is a mild rice dish that’s so good you can enjoy it on its own, or with a pickle.

Everyone in my family loves this rice. It’s a nice change from our everyday plain basmati rice. Whenever I make instant pot coconut rice or my lemon rice, our meals feel a little more special.

What is Coconut Rice?

If you’re new to coconut rice, this is a popular dish from South India, where coconuts and rice are aplenty. It’s eaten as both an everyday meal and it’s also a dish served during festivals and special occasions.

instant pot south indian coconut pulao

While this is a dish that can be eaten alone, you can always serve it with raita or dal or a simple veggie dish to make it a more filling meal. I love pairing it with this coconut lentil dal and my beet thoran.

While freshly grated coconut would taste amazing in this dish, I always use frozen grated coconut (unsweetened), available in the frozen section of your local Indian grocery store. 

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this coconut rice!

Want More Rice Recipes?

Instant Pot Coconut Rice

instant pot coconut rice

Instant Pot Coconut Rice

This is one of my favorite ways to make rice. The grated coconut makes this dish so fluffy and the curry leaves add great flavor. While freshly grated coconut would taste amazing in this dish, I always use frozen grated coconut (unsweetened), available in the frozen section of your local Indian grocery store.
5 from 7 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indian



  • Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button, and add the coconut oil. Once it melts, add the mustard seeds, split chickpeas, split/skinless black lentils. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop and the lentils turn golden in color, add the curry leaves, cashews and Serrano pepper. Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add the coconut and stir for another 30 seconds, then add the rice, water and salt. Mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.


  • *Find frozen unsweetened grated coconut at your local Indian grocery store.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Sarah says

    HI! I’m looking forward to making this for a group this weekend, along with a bunch of other dishes. If I double the quantity, does the cook time stay the same? Also, if I make it slightly ahead of dinner time (say, an hour or so,) and keep it on the warm function, will it make it soggy or ruin the texture? Thank you so much for the recipe and for your help! I’ve never made rice in my instant pot before 🙂

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sarah! I haven’t tried doubling this but think it’ll be fine. And yes, you can leave it on warm for a bit – the coconut helps absorb extra liquid so it shouldn’t get soggy. Let me know how the party goes – would love to hear!

  2. Colleen says

    5 stars
    Yummy, yummy, yummy. I love your recipes! I used brown basmati rice and soaked it for 30 mins and then pressure cooked it for 22 mins and it came out excellent.

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