curried coconut rice

Okay, so one of my favourite things to eat in life is coconut rice. A few years a go, I discovered the dish whilst on holiday in Key Largo. As I sat in a restaurant, looking out onto the clear blue waters beneath the tropical haze of the sunset in the sky, I tried my first bite of coconut rice. It’s flavour was creamy, mellow and so delicious. I’d never tried a savoury rice dish before that made the rice both creamy and fluffy at the same time. Made with just coconut milk, water, salt and rice, I was amazed by how such a simple combination of ingredients could make a dish that was so blissful and indulgent to eat.

The incredible taste of this dish, combined with the beauty of my surroundings instantly transported me to a food paradise. Luckily, I knew this was something I could recreate at home, help me to prolong my joyous memories, and fill me with a true sense of nostalgia from my trip. And that’s what I did. It’s surprising just how powerful a recipe can be.

I took this trip a few years ago now, and you can read it about it here. Since then, I’ve recreated it many times and even began to add my own creative twists on it. One of my favourite, most recent versions of it has to be for this. As the rice has quite a Thai feel about it, I decided to merge it with another of my favourite cuisines, Indian, to create a fusion dish. I’ve always added Indian curry spices to my recipes for flavour and heat, so I knew that trying them with a coconut rice had the potential to make a really great recipe.

So for my fusion, I used the coconut rice and an addition of bean sprouts for it’s Thai element. Then, for the Indian feel, I added lots of chilli, cumin, curry powder and other spices. Together, I was really pleased with the final hot and flavoursome result, and it instantly gave me a new way to enjoy my beloved coconut rice and even create some new memories to go alongside it.

I hope you enjoy the recipe.

curried coconut rice

serves 3-4


for the coconut rice:

1 cup (195g) white basmati rice

1 400ml tin light coconut milk

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp water 195ml

1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil – I used Coconut Merchant

1 tsp salt

for the curried vegetables:

2 tsp raw virgin coconut oil – I used Coconut Merchant

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium red chilli, finely chopped and de-seeded

1 medium onion, finely sliced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium carrot, finely cubed/chopped

1/2 cup (65g) sweetcorn

1/2 cup (65g) peas

1/2 cup (45g) beansprouts

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp medium curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli purée (I recommend 1/4 tsp if you don’t like it too hot)

ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 10 twists of the pepper grinder)


1. Firstly, prepare the coconut rice. Add the water, coconut oil, coconut milk and salt into a pan and bring to a boil on a medium heat. When the mixture begins to boil, add in the rice, stir together and cover the pan.  Cook the rice for 15 minutes, checking and stirring every 30 seconds or so to avoid it burning and sticking to the bottom.
2. Then, when there are about 5 minutes left for the rice to cook, begin to cook the other ingredients. Add the coconut oil, onion, cumin seeds, chilli, and garlic into a large wok/frying pan and place onto a medium heat. Stir together and fry for about 1 minute. Then add in the carrots and continue for 3 more minutes. When this is done, add the turmeric, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, ground cumin, chilli paste, sweetcorn, peas, bean sprouts and pepper. Reduce to a low heat, and stir everything together until the rice is done.
3. When the rice has finished cooking, it should be cooked through and looks fluffy. The liquids should have been soaked up. When this is complete, remove the rice from the heat, and pour it into the wok with the other ingredients. Then, stir everything together until it is well mixed and serve. You can enjoy this as a side dish with a curry or enjoy it alone as a main meal!
curried coconut rice curried coconut rice curried coconut rice

43 thoughts on “curried coconut rice

  1. Alright, it’s settled. I’m making this this weekend for my friend! <3 We love curry and coconut! To me, the best kind of curry's gotta have some coconut milk in it! :]!

    1. Thank you so much Farrah!! I really hope you enjoy it!! 😀

  2. Hi Harriet,
    Wow, this is truly awesome. Looks so exotic, delicious and full of awesome flavors. Thanks for sharing one more excellent recipe. I am going to pin it right now. This recipe is going to be must try recipe, will surely revert back tp you..

    1. Thank you so much Deepa, and thank you for pinning!!! 🙂

  3. AWESOME recipe, Harriet! I too love coconut rice, and this one look so damn delish and full of yummy flavors! I know what’s for dinner tonight! YUMMYLICIOUS! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Anu! I hope you like it!! 😀

  4. Now, I could eat a BIG bowl of this. I think I had coconut rice every day in Thailand, but it wasn’t as colourful as this.

    1. Thank you so much Dannii! Ahhh that sounds amazing. I could definitely eat it every day!

  5. This recipe looks so delicious! What a fabulous way to prepare rice. I’m a big fan of coconut as it reminds me of vacationing in the tropics. Thanks for sharing this inspirational dish!

    1. Thank you so much Denay!

  6. Coconut rice is so good. I love this curried version. It looks delicious, Harriet.

    1. Thank you so much Linda 🙂

  7. O gosh, yes! Coconut rice is my favorite way to cook and make it! But add in curried veggies and you made the best rice dish possible!

    1. Same here, Rebecca!! Thank you so much!!!

  8. The rice is so perfectly cooked and I love anything with coconut. Can’t wait to give this a try!

    1. Thank you Angie!! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  9. This rice looks SO good. I can just imagine the creamy and fluffy combination you described…wow! I love basmati rice, and I love all the additions you’ve added here…I must try this!!

    1. Thank you so much Beeta, same here! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  10. Ah, your beautiful photos always make me so hungry! This is another winning recipe, Harriet! What can be better than the combo of rice, curry, and coconut?! I must make this soon!

    1. Ahh thank you Joscelyn!! It’s definitely my favourite combo!

  11. Woaaah!! An Indian Thai rice curry fusion? Sounds really really good! I also like the wooden plate, I want one too! 😀

    1. Thank you so much Howie! It’s my favourite plate!

  12. You are a curry lover girlfriend! This looks so fluffy and so incredibly full of flavor, I can almost smell it! I love all the veggies and spices you used here, so it is full of goodness and textures. I am a huge fan of rice and really love to add different flavors to it. I love this recipe!

    1. I’m such a curry lover! Thank you so much Brandi!! 🙂

  13. I love coconut rice and yours looks beyond amazing! Love all the spices you added to this! I can just imagine how incredibly flavorful and delicious this is! It sounds perfect!

    1. It’s my favourite! Thank you so much Kelly 🙂

  14. You’re right, it’s surprising how powerful a recipe can be, the memories it can trigger, the sense of a better time and place it can relay. . I think I’m missing out, I have to try coconut rice again.

    1. Thank you Mary! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  15. You might have just created the best rice dish I’ve ever seen! Such a great fusion of flavors and veggies and spices and I just want this in front of me right now! I could never have come up with this, Indian and Thai spices completely confuse me, so thank you so much for sharing <3

    1. Thank you so much Natalie!! I’m so glad you like it 🙂

  16. I LOVE coconut rice! This looks fabulous Harriet! My perfect meal!

    1. Me too! Thank you Jessica!

  17. I’ve never had coconut rice, but all of these flavors are shouting my name. 😀 Can you share some with me?!

    1. Thank you so much Erin! I’ll send some over!!

  18. love it! looks like a perfectly cooked India pulao! (pilaf) 🙂

  19. You had great food photography skills! Seriously, this rice looks amazing — makes me want to make it 🙂

  20. Mmm…this looks delicious! I’m from Florida but I’ve never had coconut rice. But I didn’t live anywhere near Key Largo. Apparently I need to go visit because I’m missing out! I’m thinking your version of it is probably better though. I love that you fused Thai and Indian flavors into it!

  21. Coconut rice is So.Delish! Love your addition of curry and bean sprouts – this sounds like rice fusion heaven! I’m a FL baby and key largo is such a beautiful island (or key), glad you were inspired and decided to share the yum! ♡Cheers!

  22. I’ve never tried coconut rice before, but it looks amazing! Such a fun twist to regular rice. I think I could make a meal out of this dish!

  23. This looks simply yum! I could happily eat this everyday! And people say vegetarian dishes are boring, what!!

  24. im Burmese and love all coconut dishes specially coconut curry with any seafood in it, and this rice looks sooooo delicious so thanx for Recipe. I definitely will make soon.

  25. Just made this! Sooo yummy and soo much flavor! Thanks :))

    1. Thank you sooooo much for making my recipe! I am so glad you enjoyed it! <3

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