Coconut milk rice recipe is an easy and quick savory dish prepared in pressure cooker. It is perfectly cooked basmati rice in coconut milk and freshly shredded coconut.
This is a vegan and glutenfree one pot rice dish.
We are going to replace some water with coconut milk and freshly grated coconut for some extra dose of crunchiness.
Its aromatic rice and flavored with whole spices. Pairs perfectly with any dal or Indian curry. There is crunchy subtle sweetness from fresh coconut gratings added to this rice.
Simply are you looking for more easy ways to cook with coconut milk, then try these recipes
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Urad dal chakli – This is a South Indian snack recipe, easy festive recipe prepared for Ganesh Chaturthi.
I always search for easy one pot rice dish for a busy day. This Indian coconut milk rice recipe is fuss free beginner’s dish.
It is the easiest and best coconut rice in pressure cooker. I absolutely love this rice as it quick to make takes 15 minutes to cook.
Check a quick video of how to make coconut milk rice in the recipe card and try this in your kitchen. If you have enjoyed the video do subscribe to Dice n Cook Youtube channel for more food videos.
Why you’ll love this coconut milk rice
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Dump-and-go rice recipe
- One pot meal
- Lunchbox recipe
- Vegan rice
- Dairy free rice recipe
- Glutenfree rice recipe
- Quick recipe
- Breakfast recipe
- Plant based vegetarian rice
- A wholesome meal
- Its no onion no garlic rice recipe
What is coconut milk rice?
Coconut milk rice is a flavorful rice with subtle taste of coconut milk. It is fluffy, light and coconutty flavour. A popular dish from many Asian countries. There are many variations of coconut milk rice in different regions of India and other Southeast Asian countries.
Coconut rice Vs Coconut milk rice
Coconut milk rice is different from coconut rice.
In Coconut rice uses only pre-cooked rice, fresh shredded coconut and seasoned with coconut oil, mustard seeds, chana dal along with curry leaves.
However, coconut milk rice is prepared by cooking rice in coconut milk and seasoned with whole spices.
The recipe I have given here uses both freshly shredded coconut and coconut milk. I have tried many versions of coconut milk rice, over time I have standardized the right amount of coconut milk required to get a perfectly cooked rice grains. I am sure you will love this recipe as much as I love cooking it!! And it will become your go-to recipe.
Using fresh coconut gratings is the secret ingredient here in this recipe. It gives more richness and crunchiness to this dish.
This rice dish can be made using basic pantry ingredients. Check below to know what goes into making this rice.
Here is what you will need to make an easy coconut milk rice
Whole spices – The whole spices I have used are bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise, marati moggu or kapok buds, cloves, shahi jeera are the whole spices used in making this coconut rice. All these spices give a blend of aroma to rice balancing the sweetness of coconut milk.
If you don’t have these whole spices, can omit few. However do not skip all of them, as these are much needed for flavors.
Coconut oil – This gives nice aroma of coconut and a preferred oil for sauteing the spices. If you do not have coconut oil, you can use any odorless oil.
Green chilies – Spicy green chilies are used in this recipe. As per spiciness required green chilies are added. If you plan to serve this rice with any curry, adjust the number of green chilies.
Cashewnuts – We can use whole cashewnuts or chopped nuts. If you are allergic to nuts, these can be skipped.
Green peas – Fresh green peas are used in this recipe. Since green peas are seasonal and not available all the time, you can alternatively use commercially available frozen peas or dry peas. If using dry peas, they need to be soaked overnight in water before use.
Freshly grated coconut – Here I have used fresh grated coconut along with coconut milk. I have used coconut grater to shred flesh from dry coconut. You can use ready to use fresh coconut gratings.
Coconut milk – It gives richness and creamy texture to rice. I have used store brought unsweetened coconut milk. You can always use homemade coconut milk. Make sure to use thick coconut milk over diluted ones.
I have used this brand coconut milk. Coconut milk comes in different brands, you can use that’s available in your city.
Basmati rice – Long grain basmati rice is used to make coconut milk rice. Its aromatic rice used in Indian style pilaf or pulao.
Water – Add water as required to cook the rice into fine fluffy grains.
Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is used to balance the flavors.
Salt – Used table salt to enhance the flavors. However, when you serve this with other Indian curry, adjust salt as required.
Important kitchen appliance used to make this healthy recipe
Pressure cooker – Indian style pressure cook is used in the recipe. Here is the link to pressure cooker used in the recipe.
How to make quick coconut milk rice
Its quick and easy to make this aromatic coconut milk rice. Just needs 15 minutes to make it.
Preparation of rice:
Rinse the rice thoroughly with running water until the water turns clear. This is done to remove dust and extra starch. Drain the water and add some fresh clean water.
Soak it water for 30 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.
Heat a medium sized pressure cooker, add coconut oil, add other whole spices. Fry well until you get nice aroma.
Also add shahi jeera, fry well. We do not add any mustard seeds here as we do in any other Indian recipes.
For adding spiciness to rice, we sauté slit green chilies in oil.
Next add in chopped cashewnuts. Fry them well, until they become lightly golden in colour.
We will saute some green peas next.
Next is the key ingredient freshly shredded coconut. Fry well till you get nice aroma of fresh coconut.
Soaked and drained basmati rice is added, gently saute (always gently saute rice so that they don’t break into pieces before cooking).
We add thick coconut milk to the rice and gently mix the ingredients. Add salt as per taste, also add lemon juice to balance the flavor. Add water and bring it to boil (on all sides) before pressure cooking.
Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for one whistle on medium heat. Do not release the pressure immediately. Instead wait for the pressure to release slowly for perfectly cooked rice.
Open the lid and gently fluff the rice using a fork. This helps in separating the cooked grains, so go ahead and gently show some love to the perfectly cooked coconut milk rice.
What to serve with coconut milk rice?
Coconut milk rice tastes good on its own, however if you wish it can be served with any Indian side dish.
It can be served with onion and cucumber salad or choice of any Indian curry. Plain yogurt will also make a great accompaniment. Fried potato wedges also make a great combo with this rice. I have served it with tomato dal and cucumber salad.
How to store?
To get best flavors coconut milk rice can be served immediately. If you want to serve later, cool the rice completely and store in airtight container for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.
This recipe is so versatile that you can do your own versions of adding and deleting spices with basic coconut milk and long grain rice.
Vegetables can be used in coconut milk rice. Cubes of beans, carrot, cauliflower can be used along with green peas.
This dish can be made into sweet version as well by skipping green chilies and instead adding jaggery or sugar to the rice.
You can also swap basmati rice with any aromatic rice of your choice.
Toppings – Some addictive flavor toppings can be done for this rice. We can top it with some roasted pine nuts or groundnuts.
You can also add some finely chopped coriander leaves. Also, if you like finely chopped spring onion, that can be added too.
One more flavorful topping is adding crunchy roasted browned onion.
If you want a non-vegan version, then drizzle it with some hot ghee before serving.
Stovetop open vessel method:
Rice can be cooked in two ways to make this delicious coconut milk rice.
One is open method and other is pressure cooker method.
In this post I have given a detailed recipe of how to make coconut milk rice in pressure cooker.
In open stovetop method, simply use a thick bottomed deep vessel instead of pressure cooker, follow the same method as mentioned in the recipe card except that you close a lid and switch off the heat when rice is done.
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Easy Coconut Milk Rice
- Pressure cooker
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 no. Bay leaf
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 1 no. Star anise
- 1 medium Marati moggu or Kapok Buds
- 2 no Cloves
- ½ tsp Shahi jeera
- 2 no. Green chili
- 2 tbsp Cashewnuts
- ¼ cup Green peas
- ½ cup Freshly grated coconut
- ½ cup Coconut milk
- 1 cup Basmati rice soaked for 30 mins in water
- Salt – as per taste
- 1 ½ cup Water
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
Preparation of rice:
- Rinse the rice thoroughly with running water until the water turns clear. This is done to remove dust and extra starch. Drain the water and add some fresh clean water. Soak it water for 30 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.
- Heat a medium sized pressure cooker, add coconut oil, add other whole spices. Fry well until you get nice aroma.
- Also add shahi jeera, fry well. We do not add any mustard seeds here as we do in any other Indian recipes.
- For adding spiciness to rice, we sauté slit green chilies in oil. Next add in chopped cashewnuts. Fry them well, until they become lightly golden in colour.
- We will saute some green peas next.
- Next is the key ingredient freshly shredded coconut. Fry well till you get nice aroma of fresh coconut.
- Add soaked and drained basmati rice, gently saute (always gently saute rice so that they don’t break into pieces before cooking).
- Add thick coconut milk to the rice and gently mix the ingredients. Add salt as per taste, also add lemon juice to balance the flavor. Add water and bring it to boil (on all sides) before pressure cooking.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for one whistle on medium heat. Do not release the pressure immediately. Instead wait for the pressure to release slowly for perfectly cooked coconut milk rice.
- Open the lid and gently fluff the rice using a fork. This helps in separating the cooked grains, so go ahead and gently show some love to the perfectly cooked coconut milk rice.
- Coconut milk rice tastes good on its own, however if you wish can be served with any Indian side dish.
- It can be served with onion and cucumber salad, choice of Indian curry. Plain yogurt will also make a great accompaniment. Fried potato wedges also make a great combo with this rice. I have served it with tomato dal and cucumber salad.
Follow these tips to get a fluffy and non mushy coconut rice.
Washing and draining the rice thoroughly is important to remove the extra starch and dust. Approximately 4 to 5 times washing rice is preferred. Wash until you get a clear running water.
Since rice has starch, its equally important to soak rice before pressure cooking it. This prevents cooked rice from becoming mushy and sticky.
Do not add too much of spices, it will over power the flavours.
Proper ratio of coconut milk and water is important to get non sticky rice. It is not necessary to use more coconut milk to get coconut flavor. Since coconut milk is sticky in nature, if added in large, we end up making a mushy gluey rice. I prefer to use half cup of coconut milk for every 1½ cup water (this ratio is for 1 cup rice). We get extra flavor from our secret ingredient that is grated coconut!!
Do not be tempted to add more water, otherwise you will end up making gluey coconut milk rice. Basmati rice requires less water compared to other long grain rice.
Always bring the liquid to boil and then close the pressure cooker lid to get perfectly cooked rice.
Pressure cook the rice on medium heat for proper cooking of rice.
Do not pressure cook for more than one whistle. If you do so will end up burning the cooked rice at the bottom of pressure cooker. Indian style basmati rice requires less time to cook in a pressure cooker.
Another important point is release the pressure slowly rather than quick release of pressure.
Always fluff rice using fork after opening the pressure cooker lid. With a fork fluff the rice means, gently mix the rice with fork to separate the grains. This removes any lumps in cooked rice without crushing them.
Frequently asked questions
What kind of rice is used for coconut milk rice?
You can use any mild flavored rice to make this recipe. Any non-sticky variety of white rice or brown rice can be used.
Even local sona masuri rice can be used. However, check with rice to water ratio before cooking the rice.
Can we use homemade coconut milk?
Yes we can use homemade coconut milk, always use thick coconut milk for this recipe.
Can we use brown rice?
Brown rice can be used in this recipe, however rice to water and coconut milk ratio varies, which needs to be tested as per preference.
Can I add only coconut milk instead of milk?
No, since coconut milk is thick, for rice to cook properly and absorb the flavours, it needs water.
Can we make it in advance?
Yes it can be made in advance, may be 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Can we reheat this rice?
Yes it can be reheated on stove top for 4 to 5 minutes before serving it. Simply pour the cooked coconut milk rice in small bowl, keep this pressure cooker with water steaming. Cook for 5 minutes and serve immediately.
It can be reheated in microwave for approximately 1 minute in microwave safe bowl.
Can I use dry peas?
Yes we can use dry peas. However, we have to soak it in water overnight and use it in the rice.
Can we skip green peas?
Yes we can skip green peas in this recipe. Its completely optional.
Can we use frozen coconut?
I recommend using fresh coconut gratings as the freshness from coconut elevates taste of rice to next level. However, if you do not find fresh coconut, can use frozen coconut or desiccated coconut.
Can we make this with pre-cooked rice?
No, we cannot use pre-cooked rice. In this recipe rice should be cooked in coconut milk and freshly shredded coconut to get the best flavors.
Can we refrigerate this rice?
I usually do not recommend freezing or refrigerating rice. We prefer to serve and enjoy fresh coconut rice instead of refrigerated rice.
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Pavithra M Adiga
I am a passionate foodie and food photographer with love to document easy, simple to follow, healthy vegetarian recipes in Dice n Cook.