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Best Indian coconut rice (thengai sadam) with basmati rice, tempering and coconut flakes.
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5 from 14 votes

Easy Coconut Rice Recipe | Thengai Sadam

Coconut rice is a healthy, easy-to-make, flavorful rice dish prepared using grated coconut, aromatic spices, and rice. This coconut rice recipe is vegan, and dairy-free. If you have leftover rice, you can make this rice recipe in less than 10 minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Indian, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Kushi



  • 1 cup Basmati Rice or any rice of your choice
  • cup Coconut fresh / dry / frozen; vary as per taste
  • 2 tablespoon Oil Coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urad Dal
  • 1 tablespoon Chana Dal
  • 8 to 10 Cashews , chopped
  • 1 Green chili , chopped (vary as per taste)
  • 1 Dry Red chili , broken (vary as per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger , chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida or Hing powder
  • 8 to 10 Curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon Cilantro or Coriander leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Salt , to taste


How to make the best coconut rice?

  • You can cook the rice in a pot, pressure cooker, or instant pot. Any preferred method of your choice. See that the rice is fluffy and not mushy
    1 cup Basmati Rice
  •  If you have leftover rice feel free to use that instead.
  • Heat oil in a pan. To this, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. When they start to splutter, add urad dal and chana dal and saute until it becomes golden in color.
    2 tablespoon Oil, 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds, 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon Urad Dal, 1 tablespoon Chana Dal, 8 to 10 Curry leaves
  • Next, add cashews, green chili, red chili, ginger, and hing, and saute for a minute or until cashews turn light golden.
    8 to 10 Cashews, 1 Green chili, 1 Dry Red chili, 1 tablespoon Ginger, ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida, 8 to 10 Curry leaves
  • Add the coconut and saute on low flame till the coconut turns light golden in color may, be for 1 or 2 minutes. This brings out a nutty flavor in the coconut. (Traditionally, coconut is added, and the next step is done. I saute it for its nutty flavor)
    ⅔ cup Coconut
  • Add cooked rice, coriander leaves, and salt and toss until everything is combined.
    2 tablespoon Cilantro, Salt
  • Serve this rice with raita, yogurt, pickle, or any Indian curry of your choice like authentic kurma, chicken curry.



  • Adjust the amount of coconut and tempering to your liking.
  • You can add salt while cooking rice or later while adding rice to the tempering.
  • To make coconut rice gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida or hing.
  • For a more intense rice flavor, you can also cook the rice in coconut milk if desired.
  • For coastal flavors, temper with coconut oil.
  • You can use peanuts instead of cashews. 

How to cook basmati rice?

  • If you are cooking the basmati rice in a pot, then bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add rice, cover, and cook on medium to low flame until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
  • If you are cooking the rice in a pressure cooker, then you add 1 ¾ cups of water and pressure cook for one whistle. Rice should be fluffy and grainy, not mushy.
  • If you are cooking basmati rice in the instant pot, add 1 ¼ cups of water. Pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes with the vent in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release the pressure manually. Fluff the rice.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg