Coconut rice

Coconut rice

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

Coconut rice is popular in Bahia, and is a perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes like our lobster and prawn moqueca or grilled sea bass in banana leaves. Bahian cuisine is the spiciest food in Brasil, so the sweetness and richness of this side works well with dishes from this region, or with curries or spicy dishes from other parts of the world.


Quantity Ingredient
250g basmati or long-grain rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
50g fresh coconut, grated, (optional)
200ml coconut milk
50g coconut flakes, to serve
few sprigs coriander, to serve


  1. Put the rice in a sieve and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear. Leave to drain for a few minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 6–8 minutes, until softened. Add the sugar, salt and rice and cook for another minute. Stir in the grated coconut now, if using. Pour in the coconut milk and 200 ml water and stir again. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to steam, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the coconut flakes in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Stir or toss the coconut flakes occasionally to toast them evenly. Do not leave the pan unattended, as they burn easily. When lightly golden and fragrant, tip into a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Flake the cooked coconut rice with a fork and spoon into warmed serving bowls. Garnish with coriander and toasted coconut flakes and serve hot.
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