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Traditional South Indian Coconut Rice

🌱 Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly | Time: 30m | Gluten-Free

We were in the beautiful town of Courtallam in Tamil Nadu visiting Sam's relatives, and we have Sam's sister-in-law, Shanti Anni (Anni = sister-in-law in tamil), who showed us how to make a simple and easy coconut rice for (at least) TEN people!


10 to 15 servings


Time breakup by activity

TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes


  • Grated Coconut (2 full coconuts)

  • Soaked Urad Dal (about 120g - or to taste)

  • 50g Cashew Nuts (fried in ghee or added as they are)

  • Fresh Green Chillies (about 20g, or to taste - roughly 6 to 8 pieces, sliced in half, down the middle)

  • Dried Red Chillies (about 20g, or to taste - roughly 6 to 8 pieces)

  • Curry Leaves (2 to 3 sprigs, or to taste)

  • Salt - 3 teaspoons, or to taste

  • Rice - 600g

  • Coconut Oil - 5 to 8 tablespoons, or to taste

  • Mustard seeds - 2 to 3 teaspoons, or to taste


  • Boil and cook the plain rice as you'd normally cook rice, and keep aside. While rice is cooking, start the following process:

  • Step 1: In a kadai, on high flame (or medium, depending on the strength of your burner) add 5 to 8 tablespoons of Coconut oil.

  • Step 2: Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to start spluttering.

  • Step 3: Next, add in the green chillies, followed by the curry leaves, and then the red chillies. Sautee well.

  • Step 4: Add in the soaked urad dal, and keep sauteeing till the urad dal gets fried in the oil and turns a light brown color (about 2 to 3 minutes).

  • Step 5: Add in the grated coconut and mix well. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Step 6: Add 3 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)

  • Step 7: Add in the cashew nuts and mix well

  • Step 8: Turn off the stove, and add the mix into the plain rice. Mix well.

Your delicious coconut rice is ready!

You can alter this proportion down for a smaller quantity by simply reducing the size of the portions used in this recipe.

Check out the step-by-step video guide below!

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