Creamy Coconut Rice

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, maybe you’ve noticed that I LOVE rice! If I was going to be stranded on an island (and didn’t care about gaining weight) rice would easily be my food of choice. Luckily, you don’t have to be stranded on an island to enjoy this creamy and satisfying coconut rice.

 

The Origins of Coconut Rice

Although most Assyrians will argue that they were the first ones to make baklava, dolma, hareesa, and even beer, they don’t claim coconut rice as their own. No, the credit most likely goes to places like India, Thailand, and Africa. But no matter who was the first to combine these two ingredients, rice and coconut milk, I’m just grateful that they did. The countries mentioned, and many others, all have their own version of coconut rice. Some add onions, garlic, and raisins. While others mix in tomato paste, for a totally different taste. Puerto Rican’s serve it as a dessert, sweetened with sugar, shredded coconut, vanilla, and rum. Can you say YUM?

 

My Take on Coconut Rice

This creamy coconut rice recipe has twists and turns of it’s own. To add a Middle Eastern twist, I’ve included some of my favorite spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. I prefer to use jasmine rice in this recipe, it just seems to turn out perfectly every time. I’m also partial to recipes that intertwine both sweet and spicy flavors. To accomplish this, I cook the rice with a few spicy chilis mixed in, and top it with sweet raisins. If you want to take it to the next level, add toasted nuts along with the raisins. Not sure what to serve this rice with? Try serving it with barbecued sumac chicken.



Print Recipe
Coconut Rice
coconut rice
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
coconut rice
Instructions
  1. Gather your ingredients. There's nothing worse than thinking you have everything needed for the recipe, then finding out you're missing an ingredient half way through. Disregard the oil in the picture. I was going to use it to toast the peanuts, but decided it wasn't necessary.
    coconut rice
  2. Side note: I have all kinds of things in my kitchen that remind me of my wonderful mom. Her wooden spoon, her ibrik and Turkish coffee cups, the tray she used to serve tea, and other items. One of those things was a small Sanka coffee jar that she used to hold spices. Like most of the women of her generation, she re-used everything! I've been using it as my cardamom jar. While I was gathering my ingredients for this recipe, I accidentally dropped the jar and shattered it. Not only was I sad about breaking mom's jar, I was bummed that my freshly-ground cardamom was all over my kitchen floor (insert sad face). In the end, I substituted five cardamom pods for the powder. If you decide to do the same, just make sure you remove the pods before serving the rice.
    trash
  3. Getting back to the recipe, rinse rice and add to a medium-sized saucepan. Add water, and the remaining spices.
    coconut rice
  4. When I opened up the can of coconut milk, it was solid on top and liquid on the bottom. In other words, it had separated. I poured it in a cup, and microwaved it for 30 seconds. It made blending it with the other ingredients a lot easier.
  5. Stir the contents of the saucepan as you bring them to a boil. You'll notice I added a few chilis, feel free to leave them out if you don't like your food extra spicy.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the lid and stir the rice.
    coconut rice
  7. After stirring, cover and cook for 10 additional minutes.
    coconut rice
  8. Meanwhile, toast almonds or peanuts in a hot pan and set aside. If you decide to use raisins, toast them along with the nuts.
    coconut rice
  9. Fluff rice with a fork before serving. Don't forget to remove those cardamom pods if you used them!
  10. Serve coconut rice topped with nuts, raisins (if using), and chopped cilantro. As mentioned earlier, sumac chicken goes great with this recipe, but on this particular night, I served it with slow cooked pork.
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