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Coconut Rice

August 9, 2010 | 20 Comments

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice, is white rice cooked in coconut milk and occasionally, sweetened coconut flakes. This recipe is a mix of coconut milk and coconut flakes. It’s easy to make and you should have no cause for concern if you’ve never made it before.

It’s easy to think ‘Oh my, Coconut Rice is probably a tad complicated!,’ when it really isn’t. It might be if you decide to use an actual coconut, since you’d have to break it (all the while keeping the coconut water intact), scoop out the coconut meat and then proceed to grate and then blend! Whew! You can cut out the extraneous steps and just use coconut milk in a can, you could purchase the ‘whole’ or ‘lite’ version; both taste equally good, the lite version is just that, lite, as it has reduced fat content and calories. You can get either version from the ethnic section of most grocery stores and in Nigeria, you should be able to get it from supermarkets. (Coconut milk looks just like regular milk!)

Coconut Rice by itself (with just water and coconut milk) tastes decent (and coconutty!), but is not as sweet as you would expect. To make coconut rice sweet, you could add brown sugar or use sweetened coconut flakes, I opted for the latter. If you want Spicy Coconut Rice, you could slice some scotch bonnet peppers or rodo into it along with some onion slices.

To make Coconut Rice, here’s what you’ll need:

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 35 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Serves: 4-6

Ingredients for Coconut Rice

1. Rinse rice to remove excess starch

2. Add enough water to cover rice, parboil over medium heat for 5 mins

3. Rinse again till water runs clear, drain

4. Add coconut milk, water and salt

5. Cover pot, let boil over low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes (no flash in photo)

6. When it’s almost done, turn off heat, leave covered & let stand for 10 minutes

7. Heat a dry fry pan over low-medium heat. Add sweetened coconut flakes to pan

Sweetened Coconut Flakes

8. Toast coconut flakes, stirring frequently to prevent burning

Toasted Coconut Flakes

9. Rice should be fluffy at this point, serve rice with flakes as a garnish

Coconut Rice

OR mix toasted flakes into rice

Close Up Texture Shot

Coconut Rice Texture Shot

And it’s a wrap!


  1. The toasted coconut flakes are not too crunchy, because they soften up once you add them to the hot rice, but still maintain their sweetness.
  2. If you would rather not have the coconut flakes, you could always add a tablespoon of light or dark brown sugar to the coconut milk and water, so it all cooks together.
  3. Coconut milk should not be used by itself in cooking coconut rice, it has to be diluted (since it’s too thick to use by itself), otherwise your rice will turn out clumpy. You want an equal coconut milk to water ratio.
  4. You could eat Coconut Rice with stew, I wouldn’t, because I imagine it would take away from the delicate coconut taste as stew has an often overwhelming flavor with its peppers and spices. It’s best eaten like you would Fried Rice, with some fried chicken or something that won’t overwhelm the taste of the coconut.
  5. Once you’re done eating and serving your coconut rice, don’t forget to refrigerate as it does contain milk and will go rancid if it stays out longer than necessary.
  6. You could also use coconut milk (plus or minus coconut flakes) to make Coconut Jollof Rice. Just add the coconut milk to your blended peppers along with some water to thin out the consistency OR you could mix the coconut milk with water from the beginning before adding it to the blended peppers.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with Turkey Wings…

Coconut Rice serving suggestion

The flavors complement each other nicely


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this recipe!
Rating: 8.4/10 (16 votes cast)
Coconut Rice, 8.4 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

20 Responses to "Coconut Rice"

  1. onyinye osigwe says:

    how do I make coconut flakes?

    • Yetunde says:

      Hi Onyinye!

      You have mainly two options to make coconut flakes: either you purchase pre-packaged sweetened flakes or you make them yourself. To make coconut flakes from an actual coconut, you’d have to break it (keeping the water or throwing it away, up to you), using a spoon or knife, gently remove the coconut meat from the shell and grate the coconut meat using the finest/smallest side of your grater.

      Once you’ve grated it, squeeze out any excess coconut water and leave the grated coconut to dry on a plate or clean paper. Once it dries, you can then toast it in a dry frying pan (sprinkle some sugar if you like) or bake it in the oven till it turns golden brown. Keep an eye on it though, because it changes color quickly!

      Hope that helps :)

  2. onyinye osigwe says:

    do you know any recipe that my picky luv will like

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      Lol, you’d have to start from what your significant other likes and go from there. So, for instance, if he likes very spicy/hot food, you can make very spicy jollof rice or chicken/meat stew. Also, if he’s a proper Naija man that likes pounded yam, eba and all that, egusi is always a good starting point. (the recipes for those I mentioned can be found under the visual recipe index)

      If you give me an idea of his taste in food (likes and dislikes), I might be able to recommend more dishes for you to make for him.

  3. Aysha says:

    what a nice recipe it’s lovely, like it.

    • Yetunde says:


      Glad you like ;)

  4. Nafeesa says:

    Hi! U re making many families stronger. I wil realy be happy if u can add more nijer food recipes.thanks

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nafeesa!

      Aww, thank you! I try :) More recipes to come as soon as this week!

  5. Rahmat says:

    Wow! Like it.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Rahmat!

      Try to make some!

  6. busola says:

    nice cooking skills you have. pls, how can i get coconut oil from coconut myself? thankyou.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Busola!

      Thank you! You know, it’s not something I’ve ever done before, so I really don’t know. I do know it’s possible, and a quick google search came up with this

      Hope that helps!

  7. olumide says:

    I tried your coconut rice recipe and I just had to write you a note. my family had the coconut rice with stewed plantains and gizzards for dinner last night and everyone raved about it. I have cooked coconut rice many times in the past, but your recipe added a touch to the rice. in my opinion what makes this recipe stand out is the idea of roasting the coconut flakes before adding it to the rice.

    Thank you Yetunde.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Olumide!

      Aww, wow, I’m so flattered! Just glad it turned out extremely well for you and your family :)

      You’re most welcome!

  8. Olori Adegbite says:

    I’l definitely try ds out. I’v tried puff n it turnd out gud. Lol

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Olori!

      Keep me posted!

  9. GREG says:

    Hi, tanks 4 sharing dose wondafu tips…i want 2start a catering service,one f my goals is 2serv regular meals per day 2meet a particular people@#200.do u fink coconut rice is k?hw much do u fink i can use 2kuk 4 100 people witot runin loses…pls i nid more tips.THANKS

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Greg!

      You’re most welcome! I think coconut rice will be a great addition to your catering menu. I’m not sure of the cost of ingredients where you’re located, so it would hard for me to give you an estimate. If you can find a store you can purchase from wholesale or in bulk, that would save you more money in the long run than purchasing bits and pieces, here and there. It might be more expensive initially, but at least you won’t need to keep re-purchasing items.

      Hope that helps <3

  10. GREG says:

    Thanks!u’v bin most helpful.GOD BLESS U.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Greg!

      Glad to be of help! Good luck with your new venture :)

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