Coconut Rice with Cashews and Spices

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
When I have the luxury of spending a few hours in the kitchen, I like to dress up my grains. There is no reason why legumes should get all the attention. A definite staple in my kitchen, rice is delightful with a dab or two of butter, some lemon or lime juice, perhaps a sprinkling of fried mustard seeds, asafoetida and methi leaves. With a little more focus, the flavour of this treasured fluffy grain can be transformed into a winning dish that will assert its presence as more than just a side.

This coconut rice dish comes from Dakshin, a favoured cookbook featuring traditional South Indian creations. I've written about and cooked from this indispensable book on more than one occasion in this space, and it most certainly won't be the last time. I served this with spicy Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal and the dish tempered the heat perfectly.

This is my contribution to Meeta's Monthly Mingle hosted this time by the Edible Garden. The theme is Ravishing Rice.

Coconut Rice

1 cup of basmati rice
2 tablespoons of ghee or sesame oil
3 tablespoons of cashews, halved
3/4 cup of dried coconut
2 - 3 green chilies, finely chopped or cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon of sea salt

For Tempering:

2 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal, rinsed
1 teaspoon of chana dal, rinsed
1 dried red chili, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida powder
a small handful of dried curry leaves

Rinse the rice well in a fine strainer. Transfer to bowl, cover with water, swish it around a few times, drain and repeat until the water is relatively clear and no longer cloudy. Drain, cover with water and soak the rice for about 20 minutes or longer. Drain and set aside to air dry for 15 minutes or so. Transfer to a small pot along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed - roughly 15 minutes. Let sit for five minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or sesame oil in a large wok over medium heat. When hot, saute the cashew pieces until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the coconut until it turns a reddish brown colour. Remove from the wok and set aside.

For the tempering, again in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad and chana dal, red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop and then add the green chilies, cooked rice, salt and coconut. Stir until well combined and then serve with the fried cashews as a garnish.

Serves 6.

Other Indian rice dishes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Lime Flavoured Rice with Split Peas
Lemon Rice with Toasted Cashews
Mushroom Pulao Rice


bee said...

that sounds like a great meal. i have the book and have been meaning to try this recipe.

Unknown said...

wow delicious rice and my favorite too I like to have this with some potato curry yummmy entry Lisa.

Vidya said...

Coconut rice looks yummmmy Lisa. Your recipe looks exactly like how my mom made it. I remember having it 3 days a week (out of 5) for lunch during my elementary school years. I used to ask my mom to make it for me during weekends too :)

Pooja said...

Coconut rice looks delicious Lisa :)

Ricki said...

I agree, grains need some love, too! And this rice dish would make a great meal on its own.

Alka said...

I won't even ask for dal or poriyal, i will happily eat this with just curd or am i invited?

Indhu said...

this looks soo yummy... am eagerly waiting for the green bean poriyal :)

Red Chillies said...

I am yet to buy that book. I have it in my shopping cart for a long time now :-)
The coconut rice reminds me a lot of lemon rice minus the turmeric and lemon of course.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Love different spices in my rice. I'll have to try this beautiful recipe.

Suparna said...

hi Lisa,
coconut flavoured rice with tasty tempering is a treat evn without any accompaniment :) u've dressed it up so gorgeously with nuts!

Parita said...

thats delicious coconut rice the pic :)

eatme_delicious said...

Mmmm what a wonderful way to dress up rice!

Soma said...

I have never made rice with toasted or sauteed coconut. I have to do this sometimes.. looks delish.

TBC said...

Though rice and coconut are staples here, this is something I've never made.

Sounds like a wonderful meal.:)

Anirtak said...

I made this rice in the weekend and it was excellent - thanks for the great recipe. Cheers!

Rumela said...

Thanks a lot. This is an interesting recipe. At last I have found something interesting and unique to serve to my guests during the holidays. I am sure that they'll love this coconut rice.