How to make coconut rice


Coconut rice is one of the most popular rice dishes in existence. This delightful dish is made with rice and coconut milk extract.

It is a highly nutritious meal as its main component is carbohydrate gotten from the rice and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals from the coconut milk.

Coconut milk is a high- calorie food and also a good source of several vitamins and minerals. It also contains protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese among others.
It is also believed by experts that coconut milk contains unique proteins that provide health benefits.

There is enough scientific evidence which proves that the MCT fats contained in coconut milk helps weight loss, body composition, and metabolism.

This is due to the fact that MCT fats help to curb appetite and reduce calorie intake compared to other fats.

Coconut milk is also beneficial for people with normal or high cholesterol level. It has also been found to reduce inflammation and swelling, decreases the size of stomach ulcer and fights viruses and bacteria.

Coconut milk can be used in a variety of recipes and the famous coconut rice is one of them. It is usually advisable that one makes their own coconut milk at home. If you decide to buy coconut milk from the supermarket it is advisable you read the label and choose BPA-free cans coconut milk or unsweetened coconut milk.

How to extract coconut milk for coconut rice.

For the freshest, healthiest coconut milk, make your own by blending unsweetened shredded coconut flesh with cups of hot water, then strain through a cheesecloth. This is the best way to extract coconut milk for your delicious coconut rice.

Although, coconut milk is classified as either thick or thin based on consistency and how much is processed.

Thick: Solid coconut flesh is finely grated and either boiled or simmered in water. The mixture is then strained through cheesecloth to produce thick coconut milk.

Thin: After making thick coconut milk, the grated coconut remaining in the cheesecloth is simmered in water. The straining process is then repeated to produce thin milk.

Procedure to extract milk for coconut rice

1. Break the coconut into pieces with a hammer and pry out the coconut meat from the shell.
2. Wash the coconut meat and cut into tiny pieces.
3. Place in a blender, add a small quantity of warm water (just enough to allow the blender blades to rotate freely) and grind into a smooth paste. You can also use a grater for this purpose. But a blender is more efficient.
4. Pour the mixture of coconut milk and chaff into a sieve with tiny holes so that none of the chaff gets through.
5. Use hands to squeeze out as much milk from the chaff as possible.
If you feel that there is more milk in the chaff, place the chaff in a bowl and add more warm water.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 till the milk that comes out becomes too pale.

Remember that the coconut milk will later be used in cooking the rice so if the water becomes too much, the rice will be overcooked. This is not what we want so add water sparingly.


How to cook plain coconut rice


This is usually called the white or plain coconut rice as opposed to the jollof coconut rice. This is due to its milkish color, the fact that it is called plain rice doesn't mean that it isn't rich in ingredients, as you would see below when the ingredients are listed. They're both highly nutritious and tasty, so either is a good choice to consider.

Ingredients for plain coconut rice

1. Long grain parboiled rice
2. Coconut milk
3. Chicken stock (optional)
4. Shrimps (optional)
5. Pepper
6. Seasoning cubes
7. Onions
8. Salt
9. Green peas (optional)
10. Green beans (optional)
11. Diced sausages (hot dogs - optional)
12. Carrots (optional)

Note: if you want your coconut rice to be plain with no tint of color on it, you shouldn't use ingredients that can transfer color. So be very careful about the kind of pepper you use especially, I recommend yellow pepper unlike the red pepper which unknown to you might transfer color to your food.

Directions to cook plain coconut rice 

1. Wash and Parboil your rice. Make sure it doesn't become soft,  just parboil for 5 -8 minutes, wash, drain the water and set your rice aside.
2. Chop your onions
3. Peel your shrimps and pre-cook them.
4. Cut your sausages, green beans and carrot.
5. Pour your coconut milk and chicken stock into a pot.
6. Add your pepper and seasoning cubes and let boil for a while.
7. Add the parboiled rice, stir and taste for corrections, add whatever seasoning might be missing in taste. The coconut milk and the rice must be on equal levels, if he milk is less then add more water to level up but if it is more, your coconut rice might become soggy.
8. Once it is boiled, add your chopped onions, sausages, green pepper, green peas and carrot.
9. Cover and cook until the water dries up completely.
10. Stir your yummy dish with a spatula and set down.
Your white coconut rice can be served alone or served with a vegetable sauce at the side or any other rice accessory like moi moi, tomatoes stew etc.

How to make jollof coconut rice

This is called jollof coconut rice because it bears the same color as the Nigerian jollof rice but the aroma and taste are different.
Ingredients.
1. Tomatoes stew
2. Long grain par-boiled rice
3. Coconut milk
4. Chicken stock
5. Pepper
6. Salt
7. Seasoning cubes
8. Onions
9. Vegetables (carrots, green pepper, green peas - optional)
10. Sausages (optional)
11. Shrimps (optional)
Cooking direction for your jollof coconut rice
Firstly you'd have to prepare your tomatoes stew. You'd be needing the following ingredients:
1. Fresh plum tomatoes (popularly called tomato Jos)
2. Red pepper (add tatashe - it gives the unique red jollof look)
3. Vegetable oil
4. Tin tomatoes/ puree
5. Onions

Directions in preparing your tomatoes stew.

1. Pour the fresh blended tomato into a pot and cook at high heat till almost all the water has dried. If you have the watery tinned/boxed tomato puree, add these to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook till the water in the tomato puree has dried as much as possible.

2. Add the vegetable oil, the chopped onions, your blended pepper mixtures, and the thin tomatoes or tomato puree. Stir very well.

3. Fry at very low heat and stir at short intervals till the oil has completely separated from the tomato puree. A well-fried tomato puree will also have streaks of oil, unlike when you first added the oil and it was a smooth mix of the tomato puree and oil.

Taste the fried tomato puree to make sure that the raw tomato taste is gone. With time and experience, you can even tell that the tomato puree is well fried from the aroma alone.

4. If you are happy with the taste and you are sure that all the water has dried as much as possible, pour out the excess vegetable oil.  Your tomato stew is ready for use.

Time to cook your jollof coconut rice

1. Wash and Parboil your rice. Make sure it doesn't become soft,  just parboil for 5 -8 minutes, wash, drain the water and set your rice aside.
2. Chop your onions.
3. Peel your shrimps and pre-cook them.
4. Cut your sausages, green beans and carrot.
5. Pour your coconut milk, tomato stew, and chicken stock into a pot.
6. Add your seasoning cubes and let boil for a while.
7. Add the parboiled rice, stir and taste for corrections, add whatever seasoning might be missing in taste. The water and the rice must be on equal levels, if the water is less then add more water to level up but if it is more, your coconut rice might become soggy. Leave to boil on medium heat to avoid it getting burnt.
8. Once it is boiled, add your chopped onions, shrimps, sausages, green pepper, green peas, and carrot.
9. Cover and cook until the water dries up completely.
10. Stir your yummy jollof coconut rice with a spatula and set down.
Enjoy your meal with chilled juice. You can add peppered chicken, moi moi or eat with salad.

Coconut rice can also be made with basmati rice using either the jollof or plain method.

You can also add powdered coconut milk to your meals by simple mixing it with some hot water before use, this way it instantly turns into liquid coconut milk and is ready for instant use.

Nigerian Coconut Rice Recipe by Sisiyemmie



Featured Photo Credit: African Bites, cc Immaculate Bites.

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