Coconut + Rice = Coconut Rice

You have probably eaten rice on many occasions, and you know that it is delicious with vegetables, meat or fish. You have also probably tried coconut in various forms —ice cream, biscuits, cakes or soft drinks. And quite possibly, you have eaten rice and coconut in the same meal— first the rice, as a side dish or main course, and then a dessert made of coconut. But did you know that you can combine coconut and rice in the same dish, and that the result is surprisingly tasty?

A typical tropical dish


Basically, coconut rice is rice cooked with coconut milk. It is a typical dish in many tropical regions, especially in Southeast Asia, and in the Pacific and Caribbean islands. Each country in these regions has its own recipes for coconut rice, with many variations. If you would like to enjoy several of these recipes, you can view

In some countries, it is even customary to add pieces of coconut or shredded coconut to the rice, either during cooking or when it is already cooked.

Have you decided to prepare coconut rice yourself? Then you have to replace part of the water needed for cooking with coconut milk. The proportion will vary according to the recipe you have chosen. However, if you do not have coconut milk at your disposal, you can substitute the vegetable oil (corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc.) you normally use to cook rice with coconut oil, more or less in the same proportion. The result may not be as creamy, but it will have that delicious tropical touch that will make your meal special.

Coconut rice is an excellent garnish for chicken stew, and in coastal zones it is often used to accompany fish and seafood. Coconut can even be used as an ingredient in meat or fish main courses.

Sweetened coconut rice


Although the best known versions of coconut rice outside the tropics are savory dishes (in fact, they are salted in their preparation), sweetened coconut rice is also often eaten as a dessert or snack in tropical countries.

Would you like to cook it and try it? Here is a very easy and simple homemade recipe.


  • One cup of white rice.
  • One cup of water.
  • Two cups of coconut milk.
  • A few cinnamon sticks.
  • A can of sweetened condensed milk.

Follow this procedure:

  1. Put a saucepan on the cooker, light the fire and pour in the water. Wait for it to boil.
  2. When the water boils, add the cinnamon sticks. Wait a few minutes, until the water turns a little reddish.
  3. Pour in the rice and coconut milk. Stir the mixture a little until the water boils again.
  4. Once the water starts boiling, remove the cinnamon sticks, cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Uncover the saucepan and pour in the condensed milk. Stir for five minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand until it is cool enough.

Do not worry if your rice becomes lumpy. This is what the dish should be. If you wish, you can garnish by sprinkling a little cinnamon powder on top.

Sweetened coconut rice can be eaten hot or cold. If eaten hot, the flavor is certainly more intense, but cold it is also delicious. Some people leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours before bringing it to the table. Anyway, it does not matter how you prefer to eat it—as the old and wise saying goes, “there is no accounting for taste”.

A delicious drink


Believe it or not, the same sweetened coconut rice you just made can be turned into a delicious tropical drink.

Proceed as follows:

  1. Pour three heaping tablespoons of sweetened coconut rice into a blender.
  2. Add half a cup of coconut milk. If you are out of coconut milk, you can use the cow’s milk you buy every day.
  3. Now, turn on the blender and blend the ingredients well. You will probably have to check and re-blend the mixture more than once until the texture is to your liking.

Now it is ready! Just pour the liquid into a glass and add some ice if you prefer to drink it cold. You can garnish by sprinkling some cinnamon powder on top.

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