Coconut rice is a delicious and easy side dish that goes great with curries, fish, chicken, or beef. The combination of fluffy rice, sweet coconut, and warm spices makes it a crowd-pleasing recipe. In this article, I’ll walk you through the simple steps for making perfect coconut rice at home.

1. How To Make Coconut Rice


  • 2 cups uncooked basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)


Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and prevents the grains from sticking together.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute.

Add the rinsed rice and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. This helps enhance the flavor.

Stir in the coconut milk, water, salt, turmeric, garlic powder, and ginger. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Remove pan from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Remove the whole cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

Fold in the coconut flakes (if using). The coconut flakes add great texture and more coconut flavor.

Serve the coconut rice warm alongside your favorite curries or grilled meats. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Tips When Making Coconut Rice

  • Use full-fat coconut milk for the richest flavor. Light coconut milk will work but the rice won’t be as creamy.
  • You can substitute 1 3/4 cups coconut water for the coconut milk and water.
  • For spicier rice, add 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Garnish with sliced scallions, chopped cilantro or toasted cashews.
  • For a dairy-free version, omit the butter and use coconut oil instead.

Coconut rice is an aromatic and easy way to transform a basic side of rice into something delicious. In less than 30 minutes, you can have the perfect complement to your favorite Indian or Southeast Asian dishes. The blend of flavors and textures in this coconut rice recipe will have everyone going back for seconds!

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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