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.
Coconut rice is a mild rice dish that’s so good you can enjoy it on its own, or with a pickle.
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.
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?
- 1 cup basmati rice soaked for 15-30 minutes (this is the brand of basmati I love)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon split chickpeas (chana dal)
- 1 tablespoon split and skinless black lentils (split and skinless urad dal)
- 15 curry leaves
- 15 cashews split in half
- 1 Serrano pepper or green chili slit but still intact
- 2 cups frozen, grated coconut*
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 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.