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South Indian Coconut Rice

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8
Author: Vaishali Honawar


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups basmati rice , washed and drained
  • 1 14- oz can of light coconut milk plus 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal (bengalgram dal)
  • 1 tbsp udad dal (blackgram dal)
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1/4 cup cashew pieces
  • A pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add rice. Stir for a couple of minutes until opaque.
  • Add salt, coconut milk and water and let it cook until most of the water is absorbed.
  • Cover the saucepan, turn the heat to low and let the rice cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Turn off and let it stand undisturbed while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • In another pan, heat the remaining oil and add mustard, chana dal, udad dal, cashew, red chilies, asafetida and curry leaves.
  • Stir until mustard seeds splutter and the dals and nuts begin to take on a golden hue.
  • Add to the rice and mix gently with a fork, taking care not to mash the rice.
  • If you have any fresh/frozen coconut shreds on hand, toast a couple of tablespoons lightly and add as a garnish.
  • Serve hot!