Coconut Tamarind Rice

by Leena Kohli (@leenakohli)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Coconut Tamarind Rice is a cherished South Indian classic, celebrated for its simplicity and rich flavours. This dish blends the tanginess of tamarind, the texture of desiccated coconut, a medley of spices, and perfectly cooked rice, resulting in a deeply satisfying meal.


6 Servings
  • 2cup
    medium-grain Rice
  • 10cup
    Water (to boil rice)
  • 30g
    Tamarind (adjust to taste)
  • 1cup
    desiccated Coconut
  • 4
    Dry Red Chillies
  • 1tbsp
    Coriander Seeds
  • 4clove
  • 2
    Green Chillies
  • 5tbsp
  • 1pinch
  • 1tsp
    Black Mustard Seeds
  • 4sprigs
    of Curry Leaves
  • 1/2cup
  • 1/2tbsp
    Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2tbsp
  • 1tsp
    Coriander Powder
  • 1tsp


  1. Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 30 minutes. Squeeze out as much pulp as possible, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, and set it aside.

  2. Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.

  3. In a deep pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and boil for 7-8 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked, with a slight grit when pressed between your fingers.

  4. Turn off the heat, drain all the water from the cooked rice using a strainer and let it rest for a few minutes. Fluff it up with a fork.

  5. Dry roast the desiccated coconut, dry red chillies, and coriander seeds until they turn slightly brown.

  6. Grind the roasted coconut mixture with garlic cloves and green chillies to form a paste. Add water if necessary.

  7. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed wok over medium-high heat.

  8. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves and peanuts to the wok, letting them splutter.

  9. Add the coconut paste, turmeric, and salt to the wok, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  10. Add the tamarind pulp and sugar, and cook until the oil starts separating from the gravy.

  11. Add the boiled rice, mix well, turn off the heat, and let it sit covered for a few minutes.

  12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with papad and curd.

  13. Enjoy!

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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