Coconut Rice – Thengai Sadam

There are so many ways to flavor rice and today we’re featuring coconut! This Coconut Rice recipe (Thengai Sadam in Tamil) can be made with fresh rice or is a perfect way to use of leftover rice. Give yourself a break after the big holiday weekend and make simple, delicious Coconut Rice!

Prep Time: 20 mins to make rice
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4


Rice – 1 cup cooked with 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt
Coconut Oil – 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Chana Daal – 1 Tbsp
Cashews – 1/4 cup, whole or broken
Urad Daal – 1 Tbsp
Dry Red Chilies – to taste, broken
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Fresh Coconut – 1/2 cup, finely shredded


1. If making fresh rice, spread out rice on a plate immediately after cooking to prevent clumping.
2. Heat Coconut Oil in a pan on medium heat.
3. Add Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop.
4. Add Chana Daal and cook for 30 seconds.
5. Add Cashews and cook until they turn a light golden color.
6. Add Urad Daal, Dry Red Chilies, Curry Leaves and Asafoetida. Mix.
7. Add Coconut and cook until it changes to light golden color.
8. Add cooked rice and toss until well coated and heated through.
9. Serve hot with yogurt or pickle.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

47 thoughts on “Coconut Rice – Thengai Sadam

  1. I made this dish yesterday with aloo gobi and muhrg chicken, my boyfriend who is an executive chef was blown away! It really was a spectacular dinner. Thank you both for the best recipes out there! You’ve never let me down! I am forever your faithful fan.

  2. Hi,
    I just wanted to know if I can soak coconut powder in water as a substitute for fresh grated coconut.Can I do the same with shredded coconut ? Is it better if I add milk to soak it in,or does it depend on the recipe ?

    1. Hi synuae,

      Coconut powder in water may be a good substitute for coconut milk. Dried shredded coconut can be substituted for the fresh one but just soaking it in water will not produce the same taste as the fresh one. I have not tried soaking coconut in milk…sorry.

  3. Wow this turned out gr8! But I did it with some varioations had to add green chillies instead of red coz I did not have them in my pantry.
    I also had a quarter lemon lying in my fridge so I just squeezed it whie serving…it was awesome.
    Thank you ladies. Your website is such a life saver.
    I have decided to cook 2 new recepies every week. This place is a nice inspiration for me to go o with my otherwise mundane life.

    Thank you so much,


  4. You’re so lovely! Even if your recipes were bad i’d love to make theme anyway 😀
    Great recipes and great ideas (i’m vegetarian and this is a great help)!
    Thank you!

  5. Hi
    Hetal & Anuja

    Your coconut rice recipe is a hit within my family. I like your rice recipe and the pan in which you made it. Could you please tell me the Brand name of the pan and from where did you get this?

      1. Hey where did ya get your ladle from … can u tell me which brand and where can I get??
        Anuja U luk gr8 with pony tail and hetal u luk cute.
        I tried ur instant tomato rasam n I have only one word … waaaawwww … and my guests were here for thanksgiving … made this recipie …. they liked… they could’t belive its from can … belive me no leftover for 2nd day …hahha lol 🙂 Any way gonna make sum more for tomorrow.ssssss my mouth starts to make again.

    1. I have seen fresh coconuts at Asian Food Markets and Indian Grocery places. Also “fresh” frozen coconut is available in Indian/Pakistani grocery stores as well.

  6. Fantastic recipe. Thengai satham is my fav.

    Try adding fresh green chilies instead of dry red chilly. Green chilly gives fantastick flavor to the dish.

  7. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Very nice and easy recipe. I make it the same way except that I also add ginger and green chilli paste to the rice…to make it a bit more spicy and garnish with some cilantro..


  8. Hubby loves coconut so I’m going to try this one soon. Any recommendations on the brand of coconut oil? We do havea patel’s out here so feel free to be specific. I’ll check back here in the comments section.


    1. Hi GB,

      We use coconut oil only occasionally so hopefully some of our viewers may be able to offer their opinions on good brands.

      1. hi GB,
        PARACHUTE coconut oil gives wonderful taste.
        i use the same here in US.
        [just dont think its a hair oil, you can use it for cooking too] 🙂

  9. Hello ladies,

    Thanx for a very simple, delicious recipe for a lazy snowy day.

    Coconut Rice is cooked in almost all parts of India i guess.
    just wanted to know why you wanted to mention that only in TAMIL?

    1. Sana,

      This recipe is common in Anuja’s husband’s family (Tamilian) so that is why we mentioned it that way. We are sure there are many different ways to make it even in Tamilnadu and the rest of India.

    2. Tamil Sadam is the right word because no north Indian states people like Coconut or coconut byproducts. It is rarely used except by south indian restaurants for making coconut chatni for idli, dosa, etc. Only in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka coconut rice is made. Even in Andhra Pradesh, people dont like the coconut taste..Mera Bharat Mahan!!!

    1. Veggie Side dish – any dry curries like potato roast, plantain roast, suran roast, colacasia roast, sweet potato roast.

      NonVeg – liver roast, mutton sukka, chicken roast.

      Moreover this goes well with Vatral, thick version of cilantro chutney, mint chutney, vadagam thogayal, ginger thogayal and lime pickle.

      Hope this helps.

  10. Hi Heetal & Anuja
    Nice & delicious recipe…real simple…and can make anytime as ingrediants r easily available…i think if we add haldi and lime juice to it …it become Lemon Rice…that one is also very yumm rice dish…

Leave a Reply to M Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.