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Thengaipal Saadham (Rice in Coconut Milk)

October 20, 2013

Thengai Pal Saadham (Rice in Coconut Milk) (‘Nariyal ka doodh-baath’ in Hindi) – a rich rice fare


Basmati Rice/Plain rice – 3 cups

Coconut Milk:  atleast 2 cups

About Coconut milk – From one coconut (Note:  this is not tender coconut milk), coconut milk is obtained by grinding grated coconut in a blender with water and straining the same for extract.  the first extract will be very thick milk.  the process can be repeated to get one or two more cups of diluted extract next.  it is possible to get atleast 2 cups of coconut milk from an average sized coconut – with medium thickness like the consistency of pasteurized milk we get in sachets).  What we have here is FRESH COCONUT MILK.  Alternately, coconut milk can be bought off store shelves.

Onion – 1

Tomato – 1/2

Garlic flakes – 10-12

Ginger –  a dash

Green chili – 7 or 8

Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp – broken

For tempering:  Bay leaf, saunf, cloves 1-2, cinnamon stick

Oil – 1 tbsp


NOTE:  STRICTLY NO PUDHINA/MINT LEAVES OR CORIANDER LEAVES PLEASE.   THIS WOULD MAKE THE RICE TASTE LIKE VEGETABLE BIRYANI AND ROB IT OFF THE ESSENTIAL COCONUT FLAVOUR.  Non-inclusion of pudhina and garam masala and red chili/dhania powder gives this dish a unique and fresh and intriguing taste which makes it a hit with my family and friends.



Wash and soak the basmati rice for atleast 30 minutes.  Drain the water and keep aside.

Grate the onion, tomato, slice the green chilis and grate the ginger fine.  Do not crush the garlic.

Get the fresh coconut milk as stated in ingredients.  Or use a carton of coconut milk from store shelf.

Take a wok/karai/shallow pan and heat it a tbsp of oil in it.  When the oil is hot enough, add the spices for tempering:  bay leaf, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick.  Add the cashewnuts next and roast to golden brown.  Add onion and keep stirring.  Add the ginger-garlic and green chili next and finally the tomato.  Keep stirring throughout.   Add the washed and soaked rice and stir fry for a few more minutes.  Switch off the flame.  Add 5 to 6 cups of coconut milk plus water to this rice.  Suppose there is 2 cups of coconut milk, add 3 to 3.5 cups of water with it to the rice.  Transfer the contents into electric rice cooker.  Add salt.

When the rice is done, mix evenly taking care not to break the cooked rice.

Steaming hot ‘Thengai Pal Saadham’ or Rice in Coconut Milk (Nariyal ka Doodh bath) is ready to serve.  This serves about 4 people.  Can be had with any gravy or dry side dish/subzi or just papads/potato chips.  This is a very rich rice, very sumptuous and yummy, with a potent and distinct flavour of coconut which is full of good cholesterol.  Good for lunch/dinner.  Will fit in any feast – light or heavy – for guests.


From → Vegetarian

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