Coconut rice / Thengai Sadam

Coconut rice / Thengai Sadam is one of South India's authentic and favourite rice dishes and is often prepared for quick lunch or lunch box or even during festivals as one of the many variety rice. Coconut rice / Thengai Sadam is prepared with fresh grated coconut, which gives the rice flavour and taste. There are many varieties of rice dishes like curd rice, lemon rice, tomato rice, etc and one among them is coconut rice. It is very easy and takes no time to prepare and comes handy when you have very less time in the morning to pack lunch for school/work.

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins (excluding time for cooking rice)

Cuisine: South Indian

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 2 (small portion)


  1. Ponni rice (cooked) – 2 cups
  2. Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup
  3. Tadka/tempering

  4. Oil – 2 tbsp
  5. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Urad dal – 1 tsp
  7. Chana dal – 1 tsp
  8. Dry chillies – 4
  9. Curry leaves - 15
  10. Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch or 1/8 tsp
  11. Green chillies (slit or half) – 4
  12. Cashew nuts (split) – 12 to 15
  13. Garnishing

  14. Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp


  1. Soak 1 cup raw rice (ponni or basmati or sona masoori or ordinary rice) in sufficient amount of water for 30 mins.
  2. Cook the rice with salt until fluffy. The grains have to be separated. As soon as the rice is cooked, spread on a wide plate and allow it to cool. I have used 2 cups of cooked rice for this recipe.
  3. I have used frozen grated coconut. Thaw and then use - this made my work easier.
  4. If using fresh coconut, put it in a sealable food freezer bag and break into 2 pieces. The water will be saved in the bag and you can drink the coconut water later on.
  5. Take out the coconut pieces, grate and keep it ready.
  6. Slit green chillies or split into half and remove the seeds. Split the cashews into half, keep it ready.
  7. Heat a non-stick pan or any vessel with oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and let it sizzle.
  8. Add urad dal, chana dal, cashews, dry chillies (whole or broken), green chillies, hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves. Mix all. Cook until the green chillies are roasted and cashew are golden brown colour.
  9. Add grated coconut and mix well. Saute until it is light golden in colour. If you want can roast more to light brown colour.
  10. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes on high flame or medium flame. Keep stirring, continuously, to have even roasting colour. Switch off.
  11. Add salt as per taste and take care, when salt is added in the rice also (balance it).
  12. Mix the cooked rice, blend well with the coconut mixture, cook it for 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame, and switch off.
  13. Or simmer the flame and cook for 10minutes by closing the lid.
  14. You can garnish with coriander leaves.
  15. Serve coconut rice with potato crisps, potato poriyal or papad.


  1. Use ponni or sona masoori rice or any ordinary rice (basmati is not a must) rice. If not easily available, then can use basmati rice.
  2. Add fresh grated coconut as per taste.
  3. My green chilies were mild, add as per your taste.