Coconut Rice Recipe | Thengai Sadam

Easy to make, No Onion, No garlic South Indian Coconut Rice Recipe known as Kalavai Sadam or Variety Rice. Ideal for lunch, prasad during festivals and best way to consume excess coconut at home.

Coconut Rice Recipe | Thengai Sadam

Today’s recipe, Coconut Rice is a South Indian Classic Traditional Recipe also known as Thengai Sadam. “Thengai” refers to coconut in Tamil. It is one of those quick and easy rice recipes or Kalandha Sadam that can be made with less prep work and yet feed a crowd.

Thengai Sadam or Coconut Rice Recipe is gluten free (if hing or asafoetida is skipped), vegan, vegetarian, contains no onion, no garlic, is mildly spiced and a perfect weeknight dinner menu or quick lunch. It is extremely loved by kids as well as its less spicy so an ideal kids tiffin box option too.

It is one of my personal favourites and yes I say that about a lot of recipes on the blog but trust me, growing up, this was most loved along with some vadagams or rice crispies and mor molaga (fried sun dried chillies).

Needless to say, Ma made the most amazing Coconut rice as she did not shy away from adding either the coconut oil or the freshly grated coconut that is used for the recipe. I can still feel and taste her coconut rice, as I type this.

This is my mother’s recipe so it is 100% fool-proof and a bit different from most recipes you may find. So make sure you read all the tips that are given below. I have such fond memories of carrying this rice in my lunch box and all my friends devouring it!

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe requires minimal effort and is one of my go-to recipes when I am tired of household chores but do not want to order food from restaurant. As a South Indian, I stock freshly grated coconut in my freezer so making this rice is a matter of minutes basically.

South Indians make such rice varieties or Kalavai Sadam or Kalandha Sadam especially during summers.

How to Make South Indian Coconut Rice at home

South Indians also make Coconut Rice for neivedyam or prasadam (offering during religious festivals). During the 9 days of Navaratri, this is made along with other rice varieties and Sundal as prasadam. It is also packed for members who come to visit Golu at home.

Coconut Rice is also made for Aadi 18 or Aadi Perukku festival. Other variety rice such as Lemon Rice, Curd Rice and Tamarind Rice are also made and served as prasadam.

Basically Kalavai Sadam recipes don’t require any side dish. It is eaten with some vadagams, papad and mor molaga. However, if you want a filling side and are looking for no-fry side dishes, please check the below recommendations that make this a complete meal.

Side Dish for Coconut Rice

You can also serve Coconut Rice with Kootu, Sambar and Rasam along with a side of poriyal for lunch or dinner.

I should also add here that this recipe is one of the best ways to use excess coconut at home, which is usually the case post festivals and functions.

Before we check the detailed step-wise recipe, let’s take a look at some of my Ma’s tips (as promised) to make the most flavorful and aromatic coconut rice at home.

Tips to Make Best Coconut Rice

  • Use a short grain rice variety. White rice is preferred due to the look and feel element – “snow white”. I have used Ponni Raw Rice. You can opt for Sona Masuri, Kolam variety as available.
  • Basmati Rice can be used. Cook it on a stove top to avoid overcooking. I personally don’t suggest long grain aromatic rice as the aroma of the coconut is the key to the recipe and not the rice.
  • For soft texture, always use freshly cooked rice. Avoid leftover rice for this particular recipe. For prasad, we always cook fresh rice at home.
  • This rice tastes best when consumed immediately. Avoid reheating leftovers. Once you add fresh coconut, re-heating may cause the coconut to spoil, especially during summers.
  • Any Variety rice or Kalavai Sadam is served at room temperature. Allow the cooked rice to cool slightly before you add the grated coconut and tempering.
  • Good Quality Pure Coconut Oil – No compromise and I won’t recommend using veg oil or sesame oil for this recipe.
  • While grating coconut, ensure you only use the white part. Be careful not to add the brown bits.
  • Dessicated Coconut is not recommended. If using frozen fresh coconut, thaw it completely before using.
  • Curry Leaves and Peanuts are important to add aroma and nuttiness. You can also opt for cashews instead of peanuts. Don’t skip either unless you are allergic to nuts.

I still make Coconut Rice at home following the above steps. I am sure, once you try this at home or for Aadi and Navaratri as prasadam, your family and friends would be mighty pleased.

Let us now take a look at the pictorial recipe below.

Learn to cook Coconut Rice Recipe from Scratch

(1) Soak the Rice for 20 minutes with 1 cup of water, drain, rinse.

Soaked Raw Rice ready to be pressure cooked

(2) Now pressure cook the rice with 2 cups of water until soft. Allow it to cool.

Cooked Short Grain Rice

(3) Grate the coconut, chop the green chillies etc in the meanwhile.

Grated Coconut

(4) Now in a tempering pan, heat some coconut oil, add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.

(5) Now add chana dal, hing, roasted peanuts, finely chopped green chillies, red chillies and curry leaves.

Preparation of Tempering ready to be poured

(6) Add this tempering over the rice, add salt and grated coconut.

Tempering and salt added to warm Rice

(7) Mix everything together and drizzle a tbsp of coconut oil.

Coconut Rice is ready to serve

(8) Serve immediately with a side dish of your choice.

Some Recipes using Coconut –

Thengai Podi – Can be used for breakfast recipes like Idli, Dosa, Uttapam and Upma.

Eggless Coconut Cake – Moist Whole Wheat Cake recipe using fresh coconut.

How to Make Coconut Rice at home

Coconut Rice Recipe | Thengai Sadam

Vidya Narayan
Coconut Rice is a South Indian Variety Rice Recipe made with Rice and freshly grated coconut. Also, known as Thengai Sadam, this is made for all religious festivals like Aadi Perukku, Navaratri and even served as temple prasadam. Recipe with steps and tips to make best coconut rice at home.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Ponni Raw Rice 1 cup is 250 ml measurement
  • 3 cups Water (1 cup for soaking + 2 cups for cooking rice)
  • 1 cup Grated Coconut
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 3 tbsp Roasted Peanuts
  • 2-3 nos Whole Red chillies
  • 1-2 nos Green Chillies (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil (2 tbsp for cooking + 1 for drizzling before serving)
  • a pinch of asafoetida or hing
  • Few sprigs of curry leaves as required
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Soak the Rice for 20 minutes with 1 cup of water, drain, rinse.
  • Now pressure cook the rice with 2 cups of water until soft. Allow it to cool
  • Grate the coconut, chop the green chillies etc in the meanwhile
  • Now in a tempering pan, heat some coconut oil, add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle
  • Now add chana dal, hing, roasted peanuts, finely chopped green chillies, red chillies and curry leaves.
  • Add this tempering over the rice, add salt and grated coconut
  • Mix everything together and drizzle a tblsp of coconut oil.
  • Serve immediately with a side dish of your choice

Notes

Tips to Make Best Coconut Rice at home
  • Use a short grain rice variety. White rice is preferred due to the look and feel element – “snow white”. I have used Ponni Raw Rice. You can opt for Sona Masuri, Kolam variety as available.
  • Basmati Rice can be used. Cook it on a stove top to avoid overcooking. I personally don’t suggest long grain aromatic rice as the aroma of the coconut is the key to the recipe and not the rice.
  • For soft texture, always use freshly cooked rice. Avoid leftover rice for this particular recipe. For prasad, we always cook fresh rice at home.
  • This rice tastes best when consumed immediately. Avoid reheating leftovers. Once you add fresh coconut, re-heating may cause the coconut to spoil, especially during summers.
  • Any Variety rice or Kalavai Sadam is served at room temperature. Allow the cooked rice to cool slightly before you add the grated coconut and tempering.
  • Good Quality Pure Coconut Oil – No compromise and I won’t recommend using veg oil or sesame oil for this recipe.
  • While grating coconut, ensure you only use the white part. Be careful not to add the brown bits.
  • Dessicated Coconut is not recommended. If using frozen fresh coconut, thaw it completely before using.
  • Curry Leaves and Peanuts are important to add aroma and nuttiness. You can also opt for cashews instead of peanuts. Don’t skip either unless you are allergic to nuts.
Keyword Aadi Perukku Recipe, Coconut Rice Recipe, kalavai sadam, No Onion No Garlic Recipe, Prasad recipes, South Indian Rice Variety, Thengai sadam, Variety Rice
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We will be back again with yet another exciting recipe .. Until then, stay healthy and happy!

Vidya Narayan

Views: 3658

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. InspiresN

    hmmm delicious, love drizzling the coconut oil in it!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Isn’t it Nisha? The coconut oil does so much more to the taste and aroma!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Haha.. Thank you!

  2. Vandana Mathur

    Perfect rice recipe. Delicious and light on stomach. I often make lemon rice and curd rice. Now I will try this recipe too.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      thank you and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks Bernice

  3. Kelly Anthony

    5 stars
    This will make a perfect side dish for a meal for my family or a great afternoon snack.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Glad you liked it Kelly!

  4. Sophie

    5 stars
    My Tamil friend introduced this reicpe to me and am glad she did. It’s a family favorite now.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Glad to know this Sophie. We can’t get enough of this dish either. Cheers!

  5. Stine Mari

    5 stars
    Delicious! I’ve usually made coconut rice using coconut milk, but freshly grated coconut and all these spices sound absolutely divine. Saving this recipe for later!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Stine.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      That’s great Cathleen!

  6. Erika

    5 stars
    I can tell how flavorful this rice is just by looking at the pictures. I can’t wait to try this out!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Erika, they are my favourite.

  7. Dee

    5 stars
    What an amazing dish! Love that you added some chill pepper and peanuts, it makes the dish so festive. Perfect for when hosting, can’t wait to try!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks Dee, We love our chillies!

  8. April

    5 stars
    Perfect rice to serve as a side to so many dishes! I love all the detailed steps – they make this recipe a breeze!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks April!

  9. Jenni LeBaron

    5 stars
    This South Indian coconut rice recipe looks and sounds so delicious. I love the idea of adding green chilis and mustard seeds to this for a bit of heat and texture. Delicious!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Jenni

  10. 5 stars
    Such a lovely tradition to give food during festivals. We don’t really do that so much here in Italy! I love the sound of this coconut rice! I’m not sure I can find the curry leaves and hing but am going to see if I can order them online. I’d love to try this!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you for going through the post Jacqueline and glad you loved the traditions. I hope you love the dish.

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