Fluffy Coconut Basmati Rice


5 from 3 votes
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The fluffiest basmati rice cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with curry spices. This complex carbohydrate choice is the perfect accompaniment to your lunch or dinner and perfect for those following a Vegan or Gluten free diet. 

Super Fluffy Turmeric Golden Milk Basmati Rice- Fragrant, easy and LOADED with nutrients and flavor! {vegan, gluten free, dairy free recipe}- thebigmansworld.com


New Years Eve in New York City had always been one of my biggest dreams. 

It was a combination of American movies, tv shows and news features growing up which made this event even more monumental. The idea of watching an epic count down in the city that never sleeps was just that much more exciting and something I really wanted to experience. 

In 2012, I was nearing the end of my semester abroad in New York and purposely extended my trip to head back to Australia on the 2nd of January. Come New Years Eve, I remember waking up at 6am in the cheap hotel on the lower east side so excited to be part of the masses ready to ring in the new year. 


That day, it was snowing and I thought would only add to the beauty of the whole event. I remember that night like it was yesterday.

6pm- Consider getting a meal at Katz Deli before heading to Times Square. 

7pm- Get to Times Square and realise people must have gotten here at 12pm to get a good ‘spot’. 

7.15pm- Realise Katz Deli was a stupid idea and go to Duane Reade and grab a chicken salad sandwich on raisin walnut bread. Cringe internally that I find this generic sandwich so delicious. 

8pm- Hanging out with the masses in Times Square waiting for the ball the drop.

8pm-11.55pm- Go from cold to freezing to ice block status.

Midnight- The crowds are screaming to ring in the new year.

I, however, am screaming because I am so cold. 

So much for ringing in the new year with style. 


That particular new years was a stark contrast to the one’s growing up. Coming from a mixed race background, I experience three different ‘New Year’ festivities- The traditional one on January 1st, Persian New Year and Chinese New Year. My dad’s side of the family always had a tradition of ringing in the new year with a simple meal where the highlight of it was rice. The basis behind this was because this grain was seen as such an integral part of their diet through generations.

My sister and I would wish we were part of other families for this one day. 

While my dad’s side would use a steamed jasmine rice as the base, my mum would put her classic twist on it and one which to this day is my ‘go to’ way of cooking and enjoying rice. She’d use white basmati rice and instead of cooking it in water and salt, would use light coconut milk. Depending on the dish, she’d flavour it simply with salt or sometimes, turmeric or curry. My favourite is the curry route which goes to well with many dishes and the version I’m sharing below. 

Now that I am older, my new year’s eve won’t feature rice (well I will not go out of my way to eat it). It also won’t see me screaming like a loony because I’m cold. 

Fluffy Coconut Basmati Rice- You'll never go back to standard rice after this method, which is perfect with any dish! {vegan + gluten free}

Fluffy Coconut Basmati Rice

5 from 3 votes
The fluffiest basmati rice cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with curry spices. This complex carbohydrate choice is the perfect accompaniment to your lunch or dinner.
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup basmati rice white or brown
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water can sub for chicken stock if not Vegan/Vegetarian
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup corns/peas/chickpeas/onions cooked


  • In a small/medium sized pot, combine the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.
  • One boiling, add the rice to the boiling water and stir several times. Add the turmeric, sea salt, cumin and garam masala and stir once more and cover.
  • Once bubbles start to appear, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove rice from the pot and using a fork, fluff the rice for 30 seconds. Add the corn/peas/diced vegetables of choice and stir once more. Serve immediately.


This is the curry version. For the basic version, omit the turmeric, cumin, garam masala and added vegetables.
For the Persian version, omit the cumin and garam marsala and add 1/2 tsp saffron and mix through onions.
This rice can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Does your family have any New Years traditions?

How many different New Years do you celebrate? 

Have you ever wanted to experience the ball drop in NYC? If you do, rug up. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. There’s no way I could survive the NYE crowd in NYC. I’d need my personal space. My family’s tradition is to make the most horrible meal ever, one that includes sauerkraut. I haven’t been home for that meal in years, and I will maintain my exodus as long as they continue to prepare it. Also, once midnight hits, Dad fires a few rounds of his shotgun because we are proper Tennessee rednecks.

    1. Dude, sauerkraut is delicious- especially if it’s extra salty and you wake up with a puffy face the next day.

      And no WAY. Add hanging with you on NYE to the list. After crossfit.

  2. coconut milk and rice sound like an awesome combo! Especially with all of those spices in there too! Hope you have a great new year!

  3. Notgonnalie, the thought of NYC on NYE scares me a wee bit. Can we go there together and eat matzo ball soup at Katz Deli puh-leeeeease?! This rice…I need it…on chickpeas.

    1. YES. Well, we shall go to KATZ but to eat their pastrami sandwich. SO. MUCH. MEAT. (You can eat the pickle).

  4. What you need to do is put this in a blender with 80 packets of stevia, then toss some sprinkles on top – Boom! Ice cream! Or whatever the f we want to call it.

  5. I’m pretty sure I could eat this by the bowl, Arman! It looks delicious. In fact, if the clock hits midnight and you can’t find me, then look in the kitchen…I may or may not be housing some of this awesome coconut rice. Happy (early) New Year!

  6. The idea of standing outside in the cold on NYE is SO not appealing to me, so I’ve always avoided it. But I’m getting roped into it this year in Niagara Falls. I think we’ll only be outside for less than an hour though, so hopefully it won’t be totally unbearable.

    Love coconut basmati rice and your twist on it!

    1. Ohhhh wow. I need to be filled in on this, I LOVE Niagara Falls (I had an obsession with them when I was 8….).

  7. I can’t even tell you how many NYE I’ve had where I couldn’t feel my feet because of the cold. Canada is no joke! I did always want to experience it in NYC, though… I imagine it’s a lot less cold.

    And you know I’m all over the coconut basmati rice, so this is right up my alley. I appreciate it a lot more than the black eyed peas NYE tradition that is apparently a thing. I think I’ll pass on that and just listen to some BEP music instead…

    1. Compared to Canada, I bet the NYC location would be like Summer!

      YES- I totally had you in mind with this- Now we need you to try curry!

  8. I don’t have any NYE tradition except trying to make myself stay awake, failing and then waking up at like 1:30AM, wishing myself a happy New Year, knocking back some alcohol and going back to sleep. Cheers!

  9. Oh god, I hate NYE events like fireworks etc. All that queueing up for hours for a few minutes of excitements. Blergh. I’m hopefully going to NYC in July – I can’t wait!!

  10. Love the addition of the curry seasonings and the coconut milk. It reminds me of when I eat Middle Eastern cooking, except they have some slivered and toasted almonds in there. The added crunch is just perfect. This looks fantastic as is though. Great idea, and beautiful pictures.

    1. Oh man, another recipe I need to share from mum’s kitchen- ‘Addas pollo’ (google it!)- It’s a vegetarian basmati rice with lentils, raisins and slivered almonds in it!

  11. Hey Arman, this looks like a top notch yummy rice dish. We are both looking at this and saying “awesome – let’s make it!”. Saved!

  12. as much as I *LOVE* NYC – I do, I really REALLY do – I do not ever wish to be there for NYE. massive crowds concentrated in one place, not moving, in the cold, have never been my thing. ha!

    coconut rice is best. I sometimes cook quinoa in coconut milk. oatmeal too. this looks SO GOOD.