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.