Tamarind and Coconut Pulao Rice

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe

More silk road cooking. My current offering is this hot and sour rice dish that will not fail to please. I don't often cook with raisins, but in this case, they complemented the cashews and the rice perfectly. Serve with a vegetable soup, such as this Indian tamarind, carrot and coconut soup, and your diners won't ask for much more, except for maybe a piece of fine dark chocolate for dessert.

Tamarind and Coconut Pulao RiceTamarind and Coconut Pulao Rice
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 5, 2011

Hot, sour and hearty rice cooked with tamarind and spices and mixed with fried cashews and raisins

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  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, broken into bits
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tamarind paste, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup dried unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • Rinse the rice well in a strainer. Transfer to a bowl and soak for at least an hour. Drain and let air dry in the strainer for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

  • Add the rice to a medium saucepan and pour in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the cashews and raisins and stir for a few minutes until the cashews begin to turn golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. When hot, add the asafetida, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds and sesame seeds, and stir for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the chilies and stir for another 30 seconds.

  • Now add the tamarind paste, sugar and sea salt, and stir well to combine. Add the cooked rice and coconut, and stir to combine. Cover and gently cook for another 5 minutes. Toss in the fried cashews and raisins and the parsley or cilantro. and gently fluff with a fork. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

More rice dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Curried Rice and Fruit Salad with Fresh Mango Dressing
Wild Rice Chowder with Fresh Coconut and Mushrooms
Arborio Rice Pudding
Black Mustard Seed Rice

On the top of the reading stack: Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

Audio Accompaniment: a meowing cat


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Fenugreek seeds, tamarinf paste..I can make this Lisa!!!!

Unknown said...

wow, looks super delicious Lisa :)

Ivy said...

The rice looks delicious. I have only used coconut in desserts and never used it in savory dishes.

Dave said...

I made this last weekend and it is a very lovely dish. My only question has to do with cooking the rice. Two cups of water to one cup of rice is way more than I would normally use, particularly after soaking, and gave a very sticky texture to the dish. Is this intended? I usually use about 1 1/3 cups water to 1 cup rice to keep the fluffy , slightly dry texture tht I associate with basmati rice.

Lisa Turner said...

I am glad you enjoyed it Dave. I cook rice in different ways. My usual is to soak the rice in about 1 3/4 cups of water, drain and reserve the soaking liquid, air dry the rice for a bit and then simmer until the liquid is absorbed. I enjoyed the texture of the dish but you can of course experiment to suit your preferences.