South indian Coconut Rice

Spicy South indian rice recipe

South Indian coconut rice recipe is a an easy rice recipe. It is known as 'Tengai sadam' in Tamil.

Kind of rice to use for this coconut rice recipe.

You may use any kind of rice that you normally use. Rice should not be cooked too soft that it turns mushy when mixed.

You can use long grained basmati rice or any other rice of your choice. Basmati rice adds a flavor of it's own to this rice.

Any other short grain rice which does not get mushy after cooking is ok.

You may use leftover plain rice for this coconut rice.

Kind of Coconut for this rice recipe:

This recipe uses grated fresh coconut.

If fresh coconut is not available, you may use desiccated coconut. Soak it in a little warm water 10-15 minutes before using.

How to make South indian Coconut Rice

Ingredients for spicy south Indian coconut rice - 2-3 servings

  • Cooked plain rice - 2 cups
  • Fresh grated coconut - 3/4 cups
  • Dry red chilies - 2, broken into pieces, more or less according to taste
  • Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp, about 8-10, whole or broken into pieces
  • Ghee or vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - 5-6
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds(rai) - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera) - 1/4 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida) powder - a pinch
grated fresh coconutgrated fresh coconut

Preparation, if you are using desiccated coconut:

If you are using desiccated coconut, soak that in warm water. Squeeze out water after 10 minutes and then use.

Cooking south Indian coconut rice

  • Heat ghee/oil in a deep pan. Reduce heat to minimum.
  • Add cashew nut pieces and fry a little. Remove and keep aside to add later.
  • Add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  • Add urad dal and fry for a few seconds till it is lightly brown.
  • Add red chili pieces and hing. Fry for a few seconds. Do not let the chilies turn black.
  • Add curry leaves. Add grated coconut and fry till you get a light aroma, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice and salt. Mix well.
  • Switch off the flame.
  • Add cashew nut pieces as garnish.

Serve coconut rice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It may be packed as a lunch to school or office.


  • When you cook plain rice do not add too much water and let it become too soft and mushy. Let the grains be separate.
  • You may cook rice on stove top or in the pressure cooker.
  • Coconut rice can be served at the room temperature. So you can make it in advance for a party dish too.
  • Add green chilies too for more color and taste if you like it more spicy.
  • This coconut rice can be made as less or more spicy as you want. If making for kid's lunch box, reduce the number of chilies.
  • Using ghee gives good flavor and taste. If vegan, you may use coconut oil or any other vegetable oil 


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