Fluffy and never mushy, this is the perfect coconut rice recipe for those who like to keep it simple with their side dishes.
Why you’ll love this coconut milk rice recipe
This classic rice recipe features aromatic basmati rice cooked in coconut milk with a small amount of sugar to enhance the subtle sweetness of the dish.
- Only 5 ingredients. You need five ingredients for this coconut rice recipe. No spices, onion, garlic, or oil are needed to make it.
- Takes 30 minutes to cook. It takes around half an hour to cook a delicious side dish that works well for both lunch and dinner.
- Perfect for meal prep. Rice can be eaten multiple times a week and with any protein of your choice. This makes rice recipes great for meal prep.
- Basmati rice. Rinse the rice and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes if you have time.
- Coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is the type of milk you should use to cook rice.
- Sugar. To give the rice a mildly sweet flavor.
- Salt. A pinch of salt to balance all flavors.
- Water. As coconut milk is too thick, mixing it with water helps cook the rice grains evenly.
How to make coconut milk rice
- Make the base. Stir together the canned coconut milk and water in a saucepan and add salt and sugar. Put the pan over medium heat and mix for a minute to dissolve the sugar.
- Add rice. Add the rice and bring it to a boil. Once bubbling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed.
- Rest and fluff. Let the rice rest for 10 minutes, covered, before fluffing with a fork.
You can change the flavor of coconut rice by using different spice blends and ingredients. Omit the sugar when using the following savory combinations:
- Chili flakes, turmeric, and fresh ginger
- Cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and cardamom
- Garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper
- Lime zest, lime juice, and fresh cilantro
What to serve with this grain
Coconut rice is the perfect side dish for hearty curries, such as lamb vindaloo, lamb rogan josh, and shrimp curry. Vegans can pair this rice with vegetable korma, while vegetarians also have the option of serving it with paneer tikka masala.
To store. Store leftover coconut rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat. The easiest and best way to reheat leftover rice is in the microwave. Transfer the rice into a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with food wrap, and reheat at 20-second intervals until the rice is heated through. You can also reheat leftover rice on the stove over low heat by adding a splash of water to it.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Saucepan. A durable and slightly larger saucepan to cook the rice perfectly.
- Spatula. Always stir the rice with a spatula- no forks or spoons!
Recipe tips and tricks
- Use canned coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is richer and creamer than fresh or carton milk. Also, avoid using low-fat or fat-reduced milk for the best flavor.
- Rinse the rice lightly. Avoid over-rinsing the rice, as this can yield gluey and thick rice. A simple rinse is fine.
- Do not stir. As tempting as it may be, do not stir the rice throughout the cooking process. When made correctly, no rice will stick to the pan’s bottom.
- Let it rest. The secret trick to perfectly fluffy rice is not to remove the lid once removed from the heat. Keep the lid on for 10 minutes, then fluff the rice.
Coconut Milk Rice
- Lightly rinse the rice.
- In a saucepan, add the coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt, and give it a stir. Add the rice.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat. Once bubbles start to appear around the sides, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let everything simmer for 15 minutes.
- Take the saucepan off the heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork.
Frequently asked questions
While coconut rice contains more calories than white rice, it has more vitamins and a lower glycemic index. The latter means that it is digested slower and doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes.
Coconut rice only has a mild coconut flavor coming from coconut milk.
You can use brown basmati rice, as well as brown or white jasmine rice for this recipe. Make sure you adjust the amount of coconut milk and water when using brown rice as it does absorb more liquid than white rice.
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