Curried Coconut Rice

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you from making this sumptuous dish. It comes together very quickly once the vegetables are cut up and the spices measured. The rice cooks in 15 minutes, then should stand for 10 minutes, which gives you time to prepare the coconut cream. Serve as a vegetable main dish or a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.

Makes4 main-course or 6 to 8 side-dish servings

Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor


Taste and Texturechewy, creamy, herby, juicy, nutty, rich, savory, spiced


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Madras style curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets broken into 1-inch pieces (½ medium head)
  • 2 cups cubed (½-inch) peeled butternut squash or sweet potato (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup (1-inch lengths) green beans (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1 cup cubed (½-inch) carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup half and half or whole milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted roasted cashews
  • Chopped cilantro


  1. Melt the butter in a large wide saucepan, or deep skillet. Add the onion; cook, stirring, over low heat until golden, about 15 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice; stir to coat with the spices, about 1 minute.

  2. Add the cauliflower, squash, green beans, lima beans, and carrots; stir to blend with the rice. Add the broth, salt, and a grinding of black pepper; heat to a boil over high heat. Stir thoroughly, making sure that all the rice is moistened. Cover and cook over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, off the heat, for 10 minutes before serving.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the half-and-half or milk and coconut in a food processor. Process just until blended, about 30 seconds.

  4. Heat the cashews in a small skillet over low heat, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

  5. Just before serving, pour the coconut milk over the rice and gently fold together. Spoon the rice into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the cashews and cilantro, and serve.



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