Mint-Lentil Coconut Rice is my go-to simple, delicious, refreshing dinner for those busy weeknights or lazy weekends. You can eat it as is or with an equally simple yogurt sauce (raita). It hearty and healthy! Plus the whole dish takes only 20 minutes to make, from start to finish. And it’s vegan.
I grew up with eating coconut rice. I am from South of India which is the seat of coconut production in the country. It produces over 90% of the coconut demand in the country. And the reason, why we have so many coconut-based dishes, from savory to sweet, across the country.
In South India, Coconut Rice is prepared for lunch, dinner, as part of a marriage feast and for festivals (we have so many, you see). One such festival is Pongal in Tamil Nadu (a Southern state in India). We celebrate, the harvest festival, Pongal, during the month of January. On the third day of the festival, called Kanu Pongal, we usually make “variety rice or kalanda saadam”. Coconut Rice is one of the delicacies prepared on that day along with lemon rice, tamarind rice, and yogurt rice.
So, it’s very special to my family and has a lot of happy memories attached to it. I learned to make this rice by watching my mother make it. And over the years, I have added my own special touches to it. Like in this recipe, I have added refreshing mint and hearty lentils, giving it a new depth.
Try more traditional recipes with coconut like my Coconut Chutney recipe.
I have used Urad Dal and Toor Dal in this recipe You can buy these through the link or at your local Indian grocery store.
Healthy, simple and delicious rice with the goodness of lentils, the sweetness of coconut and refreshing taste of mint. A one-pot meal.
- 6 grams Butter approx 1 teaspoon
- 180 grams Raw Basmati Rice approx 1 Cup Rice
- 75 grams Toor Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas approx 1/2 Cup Dal
- 270 ml Water approx 2 Cups
- 9 grams Kosher Salt approx 1/2 tablespoon
- 14 grams Vegetable Oil approx 1 Tablespoon
- 5 grams Mustard seeds approx 1 teaspoon
- 12 grams Urad Dal approx 2 teaspoons
- 225 grams Yellow Onion chopped. approx 1 Cup
- 1 Serrano Pepper slit down the middle
- 7 grams Ginger chopped. approx 1 inch Ginger
- 2 grams Asafoetida approx 2 pinches
- 50 grams Fresh Mint finely chopped. approx 2 Cups
- 50 grams fresh/frozen Coconut grated. approx 1/2 Cup
- 3 grams Sambar Powder approx 1 teaspoon
- 1.5 grams Turmeric powder approx 1/2 teaspoon
- 6 grams Kosher Salt approx 1 teaspoon
Wash the rice 2 or 3 times to remove the excess starch
Sauté the rice and dal in 1/2 teaspoon of oil/ghee or clarified butter just till it gives a nice aroma. Don't brown the rice. Add 2 cups of water and salt. Cook the rice.
Instant Pot - If you are using the Instant Pot, use the sauté function for the above step. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure. Turn off the heat and do a 10 minutes Natural Release. Release the remaining pressure and open the lid carefully.
In the meantime, when your rice is cooking, prepare the seasoning.
Heat oil in a medium-size saucepan, add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters
Then add the urad dal and red chilies and roast till the urad dal turns a lovely golden brown.
Add the onions (if using) and fry them till they slightly turn color. you don't have to brown them.
Now you can add the remaining ingredients - green chilies, slivered ginger, asafoetida, mint, coconut, sambar powder, turmeric, and salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, until it combines and comes together. (The mint will wilt).
Toss with the cooked rice, Taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with peanuts (optional) and serve hot.
I use a kitchen scale to measure all the ingredients.