Cilantro Coconut Rice

This rice was simple to make and was a perfect accompaniment to my date night meal of spice-rubbed chicken, mango salsa, and roasted asparagus.

Some of the reviewers noted they kicked up the coconut flavor by replacing half the water with light coconut milk. I think that would be very good, but it would definitely make this quite a bit sweeter. I enjoyed the very subtle sweetness from the coconut. I doubled the amount of jalapeno and ginger and thought it gave just the right amount of punch without making any of the flavors overwhelming. I will definitely be hanging on to this recipe as a side dish for any Indian or tropical meals.

*Note–The original recipe serves ten. I halved it with a few adjustments. If you’d like to see the original recipe, follow the link to
Cilantro Coconut Rice
adapted from recipe originally in Gourmet, April 2004
found on

1 1/2 c. basmati rice (10 oz.)
scant 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 TBSP finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh jalapeño including seeds
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 c. packed fresh cilantro sprigs
3 scallions, chopped

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear. Soak rice in cold water 30 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.

3. Spread coconut in a shallow baking pan and toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to watch coconut carefully, as it burns easily. Cool completely.

4. Cook ginger and jalapeño in 1 tablespoon oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until chile is softened, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Stir in water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

7. While rice cooks, pulse together coconut, cilantro, scallions, and remaining tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add cilantro mixture to cooked rice and stir gently until combined well.

One year ago:Giada’s Classic Marinara, my go-to sauce recipe

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  1. Anonymous
    April 17, 2009 / 4:33 pm

    This all looks great, I’m glad he liked it too!

  2. KMAYS
    April 18, 2009 / 8:07 pm

    That looks delicious. So many of my favorite things!

  3. Joelen
    April 20, 2009 / 3:28 pm

    Mmmm – what a great rice recipe!!

  4. Brady
    April 27, 2009 / 4:21 pm

    Oh what a wonderful side dish.

  5. The Tipsy Hostess
    May 18, 2009 / 9:03 pm

    I blogged about this recipe today, the flavors are fantastic! I mentioned your blog in my post because I saw it here first. Thanks for sharing, we enjoyed it!

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