Perfect Coconut Rice Recipe – How to Make Thengai Sadam

post modified on May 10

Written by Puja

This South Indian Coconut rice recipe also known as Thengai Sadam and Kobbari Annam is a traditional mildly spiced rich recipe made with freshly grated coconut. Coconut Rice is a delicious one-pot meal, no onion, no garlic, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based recipe made with coconut and tempered with a few Indian spices. (Step by Step photos with detailed instructions).

Coconut Rice Recipe

About Coconut Rice Recipe:

Coconut rice recipe is another South Indian Dish that has lots and lots of coconut in it. For people who hate coconut, this might not be a preferred recipe. But I would still recommend that you try it once because it has all the ingredients to make you change your opinion about coconut recipes.

The best part about this coconut rice recipe is that you can have it without any side dish or curry. The coconut in this dish gives a very nice taste and aroma to the rice, that you can have it just like that. Or, if you prefer you can pair it with some raita, curry, or just some Indian pickle or papad. That is if you are feeling too lazy to prepare some curry.

But if you really want to have some curry along with coconut rice then I would recommend trying chana dal tadka, chole or, soya chunks kurma. This curry goes really well along with it. And these are my preferred combo. But you can also try sambar or any curry of your choice.

Coconut Rice Recipe

I have given this recipe a unique twist of my own by adding fried onions to it. This has two fold effect – first, it’s flavor can help you try this recipe even if you don’t like coconuts and second, the fried onions adds a sweet taste to the dish which helps you eat it just like that.

Coconut rice is often made during the festivals of Navratri and Pongal in South India. Coconut rice is also served as a prasadam or, naivedyam at temples.

And one more thing, whenever you feel lazy to prepare lunch or dinner, try this easy-to-make coconut rice.

And yes. You can make this recipe, in no time if you have leftover cooked rice.

This is also a good Lunch box recipe which I am sure your kids are going to love. So give it a try.

Coconut Rice Recipe

Why you should Make this Recipe?

If you are looking for some healthy meal plan for a lazy day, then this recipe is for you.

  • Gluten-Free
  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Can be made with leftover cooked rice
  • Delicious…

I think that’s a lot of reasons to make this recipe. Isn’t it?

Coconut Rice Recipe

Looking for some more South Indian Rice Recipes?

If you like South India rice recipes, then you would surely like some of these as well.

Curd Rice Recipe – How to Make Thayir Sadam Recipe

Lemon Rice Recipe – Lemon Flavored Rice Recipe

Coconut Mint Rice – How to Make Pudina Rice With Coconut

Coconut Rice Recipe

Basic Ingredients used to make Coconut Rice Recipe:

Rice: I have used basmati rice to make this recipe, but you can use any rice. To make it a little more healthy you can even use brown rice or red rice, but the taste will be different.

Coconut: Freshly grated coconut is the key ingredient for this recipe.

Chana Dal: I have used roasted chana dal here, but you can also use normal chana dal in two ways. Either you soak the dal for few minutes and add to the temper so you get a nice soft-cooked bite of dal in the rice or use channa dal as it is in the temper and you get a crunchy bite of dal. So it’s completely up to you, as in what kind of taste you are looking for.

Coconut Oil: I have used coconut oil to make this recipe, but you can use vegetable oil or ghee to make this recipe.

Other Items: Other than these, we will also need cashew, green chili, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, asafoetida, and of course salt. 🙂

coconut rice recipe

Coconut Rice Recipe

This South Indian Coconut rice recipe also known as Thengai Sadam and Kobbari Annam is a traditional mildly spiced rich recipe made with freshly grated coconut.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: coconut rice, coconut rice recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 1130kcal
Author: Puja


Ingredients to cook Rice:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice / normal rice
  • 2 cup Grated Coconut
  • 1.5 tbsp Coconut Oil/ vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Curry Leaves 1 sprig
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal roasted
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal broken
  • 3 tbsp Cashew Nut broken
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 nos Green Chilli slited
  • 1 inch Ginger crushed
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients to fry onion:

  • 1 Onion big, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour/ maida/ rice powder
  • Vegetable Oil to deep fry


Method to fry Onion:

  • Take a bowl add the sliced onion and add corn flour and mix well.
    coconut rice
  • Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the onions until they are golden brown. Drain it onto a tissue paper.
  • Your fried onions are ready. Set aside.
    coconut rice

Method to Make Coconut Rice:

  • Cook the rice along with 1/2 tsp salt.
    coconut rice
  • Once done drain the water from the rice and set aside. Let it cool down.
  • Now add coconut oil in a pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Once it starts spluttering add jeera, curry leaves, roasted chana dal, broken urad dal, cashews, asafoetida, green chilli, ginger and salt one by one.
    coconut rice
  • Now saute everything on a low flame until golden brown.
  • Add the grated coconut and saute for between 1-2 minutes and turn off the flame.
    coconut rice
  • Add the cooked rice and mix well.
  • Now finally add the fried onion and mix thoroughly.
    coconut rice
  • You can add more salt if needed.
  • And the coconut rice is ready to serve.
  • This can be served along with chole, chana dal tadka, any pickle or you can have it just like that.
    coconut rice


Fried onion is optional in this recipe, so if you want you can skip that step.
Do not cook rice too much, it will look good if all grains are separated.


Nutrition Facts
Coconut Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1130 Calories from Fat 657
% Daily Value*
Fat 73g112%
Saturated Fat 59g369%
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 790mg23%
Carbohydrates 111g37%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 7IU0%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Post a picture to Instagram & Mention @thetastesofindia or tag #thetastesofindia!

My Recommended Product:

When it comes to grating coconut we still use the traditional coconut grater because that gives better control over grating the coconut.

We have also used some of the modern ones which are easier to use but they aren’t as durable as these olden days traditional coconut graters.

If you are really looking for a coconut grater, I would recommend the below one because it has that traditional touch to it with a slight modern styling.

And incase you are looking for something different then you might want to try these two product:

MDT India Real Teak Wood Stainless Steel Coconut Scraper Table Top Grater

Wazdorf Latest Stainless Steel Coconut Scraper with Vacuum Base, Coconut Grater Machine

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I am an independent blogger and the reviews are done based on my own opinions. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Rice Recipe:

Do I need fresh coconut to make this recipe?

Yes, of course, for an authentic South Indian flavor, you have to use freshly grated coconut. Nothing can beat the taste and aroma of freshly grated coconut!
But if you cannot find fresh coconuts, frozen will work just fine; unfreeze and use.  You can find it, in the frozen section in all Indian stores.

Can we use normal rice?

Yes, absolutely. In case of unavailability of basmati rice, any normal rice can be used.
You can even use red rice, or brown rice as a healthier alternative.

Is it ok to cook the rice in thin coconut milk instead of water?

Yes, you can do so, for a more profound coconut taste.

Can we store the leftover coconut rice?

Coconut rice can be frozen in a freezer-safe container. And it is advisable to consume by the next day.

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A lot of time, effort and passion goes into each post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you really liked this post and found helpful to you, please take a minute of your time to leave a comment and share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all for your support.  :)

A self-proclaimed Champion Cook, who gets the confidence from the love and praises showered upon me by my family consisting of a Cute little Daughter and a husband who loves the Internet more than me (LoL..) and who incidentally happens to be the man behind the technical aspects of this blog.
I love working from home and the benefits that come from it and that is why I started this blog where I document all my adventures with cooking.
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