Fragrant Coconut Rice


For this recipe you may use ‘easy-cook’ rice. It is one of those rare dishes in which such pre-cooked rice works well, partly because of the richness and oil in the coconut. Unusual as the combination of spices may seem, you will find them a harmonious blend with this dish. If you use long-grain rice it will be a little sticky, as it should be. The rice re-heats well but should be warmed over a very low heat.


  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 175 g (6 oz) onions, chopped
  • long-grain or ‘easy-cook’ rice
  • measured to the 450 ml (15 fl oz) level in a measuring jug
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) fresh or tinned coconut milk
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick or Chinese cinnamon bark
  • 2 bay leaves


Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole until moderately hot. Add the onions and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Put in the rice, turmeric and salt, and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Stir in the whole cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Turn the heat as low as possible and cook the rice undisturbed for 20 minutes. It is ready to serve when the rice is cooked.