Monday, June 16, 2008

Coconut Milk Rice and a MeMe..

I never ever thought that I would be starting a cooking blog myself. Kitchen used to be one area that has been of my least interest in my childhood. In spite of mom insisting the importance of learning cooking, I kept postponing it. I use to come up with some excuse and would stay away from kitchen most of the times. I preferred helping mom in cleaning up and cutting vegetables, but never liked standing in the kitchen for hours, frying, seasoning and sweating in the heat. Mom gave up on me may be perhaps she pretty much knew I am not going to learn :) Cooking being considered one of the important "pre-requisites" in an arranged marriage (atleast thats how it used to be in my family circle), and myself being a big zero in cooking, it was a bit pressure on me when I got married. And best (worst ;)) of all, my husband is a big food lover and a picky eater too! In fact, everyone in his family is like that. They talk so much about food and each one of them has their own likings and rules in their everyday food. My mother in law used to have a big schedule in the kitchen everyday. Being put in a tough spot, there was no other escape for me, other than starting to cook.. I knew my excuses wouldn't work anymore.

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!" After coming to the US, with practically just the two of us, cooking was fully dependent on me. But, with the help of a fabulous recipe collection that mom had written for me with lots of effort, and my practical cooking experience with my mother-in-law during my initial days of marriage, I started to get the hang of it. I have to say that my husband was very helpful and encouraging and had so much patience to put-up with my cooking disasters like burnt dosas & chapathis, salty vegetables, insanely spicy curries etc. Probably his patience made me grasp the talent faster!

Cooking, which I was once considering as just a chore, turned out to be such a great art and fun thing to do. I learned that one way to make cooking fun is to start looking forward to eating the finished product, and to always look out for learning new techniques and recipes. I really do enjoy trying anything and everything that looks fabulous on the dining table. Plenty of opportunities for imagination and inspiration, that can result in interesting combination of flavors! Pretty soon I started to improvise by adding my own touches to recipes. And in just a few years, here I am with my own food blog :)

Well, thats my cooking journey, friends! it may sound like a fairy-tale, but I had to share it, because for me its still a hard-to-believe story :) Alright, coming to the recipe, this is another excellent rice dish with fairly simple ingredients and can be made in so little time. If you are tired of pulav's try this for a change, you sure will enjoy the change! Practically goes with any side dish, I made Eggplant Cashew Masala which is our all-time favorite side dish.

After some friendly suggestions from my fellow bloggers, I'm sending this as my entry for the AFAM Coconut event as well as Mixed Rice varieties event. Thanks for the great suggestion!


  • Basmati rice - 2 cups
  • Coconut milk - 2 cups
  • Water - 2 cups
  • G.Chillies - 3
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Garlic - 4 medium sized pods
  • Cinnamon, Cloves - 2 each.
  • Chopped Corriander leaves - a handful

  • Soak the basmati rice in water for atleast 10 mins.
  • Add a few drops of oil in a pan, and fry the whole g.chillies for 2 mins until you see white spots. Grind them to a paste.
  • Chop the onions and garlic finely
  • In the same pan, add more oil (or you can add 1 tbsp ghee to enhance the taste), season with cinnamon & cloves.
  • Once they pop-up, add onions, garlic and fry in medium heat until onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the chopped corriander leaves and fry for a min.
  • Drain the water from the basmati rice and add it to the pan. Fry for 2 - 3 mins.
  • Finally add the g.chillies paste, coconut milk, water and salt and cook together in a electric rice cooker.
Mix gently and serve hot.
Okay, now the Meme's! Dear friend Anitha had tagged me for top 10 pics a couple weeks before, and I am as usual late. But I did enjoy a lot picking up my top 10 pics from my blog! Thanks again, Anitha! I further tag my friends:
Here are my top 10 pics (Click on the name below the pictures to go to the recipes):


vandana rajesh said...

That post did make a good read Sujatha... my culinary journey seems to relate so closely to your expeiences. From a disastrous start never thought would reach a stage wherein I would be sharing my recipes with bloggers online.
Thanks for tagging me .Will soon put up my best 10 pics.

Sia said...

i am sure that many of us can relate ur story :) cooking was something which i ignored till i got married and then there was no other go. not because my hubby doen't cook but i found it easier to eat what i cooked;)
lovely coconut rice. i add coconut milk in pulao and biriyanis.

Trupti said...

Sujata, Rice looks delicious & nice photos. thanks for sharing this recipe.

Finla said...

Yeah i am with you. When i was at home i was same never entered the kitchen saying i have two elder sisters and after they getting married i will go the cooking.
Sent it to the coconut event.
Thankyou for tagging me i will do it one of these days.
The pics you choosed are really good

Anonymous said...

This rice sounds interesting :) .. I love coconut in anything, so this one I have to try.
Hey, I think u can send this to the AFAM - Coconut event at
And yes, like the others' comments, I think we all can relate to your story :D ... the difference in my case is tht my hubby cooks really well, so I learn from him :)

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Lovely pictures..exp i love your blog header photograph.

Uma said...

that was a lovely post, Sujatha! Yes, most of us can relate your culinary journey! I used to wonder why only girls have to learn cooking, why not boys? They eat too! To my luck, my hubby is a good cook, so no worries!

Coconut rice looks delicious. Your top 10 pictures are really top 10.

Cham said...

Coco rice looks creamy and beautiful. I always help my mom for only Non-Veg before marriage. Love ur Karuvadu kuzhambu pict.

Anitha said...

Hey Sujatha...Nice to read your culinary journey. Very nice, mouth-watering pictures :-)

Coconut rice sounds & looks yummy..


Unknown said...

That was a lovely display of your favs:) Loved the idea of Coconut milk rice:)

Sujatha said...

Hello all! Its nice to hear that most of you have the same story as mine :) Isn't it nice to feel the excitement when something that we ignored turns out to be a passion!

Vandana - Looking forward to your top 10 pics.

Sia - funny :) In my case, I would rather cook myself instead of making my husband learn cooking and go thru another disaster phase ;) BTW, You have a lovely blog and always love reading your posts! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Trupti - Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your comments :)

Happy Cook - Very true, When we have other people at home who is so interested in cooking, we might as well relax ;) Mine is opposite though, I have 3 younger sisters and they are experts in the kitchen well before their marriage!

Sujatha said...

Hi Skribbles - Welcome to my blog and thanks for pointing out the AFAM coconut event. I sure will send this recipe! Btw, You have a wonderful blog with super recipes:)

Hi Vanamala, Thanks for your comments :)

Hello Uma, You are right. Guys eat too, then why just the girls cook? :) My hubby is much better now, he can cook some basic food if required. But I still prefer my cooking in the long run ;)

Hi Cham, Thanks for your comments. Do try the karuvadu kuzhambu if you get a chance :)

Hi Anitha, Thanks for your comments! It was entertaining to pick my 10 pics :)

Hi Roopa, you have a nice blog, and congrats on your award. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Dori said...

Glad you started cooking, your blog looks like it has tons of good recipes on it... and the rice sounds very good :)

Swati Raman Garg said...

this was one good post sujatha... u know when i had to cook for the first time it was in crisis.. suddenly all of a sudden amma was not there and i didnt even know how to cook rice.. it was one horrid year.. well that was 6 years back and till date i cook rice in the method my aunt tought me...
very nice coconut rice.. i add coconut mil for biryanis.....

delhibelle said...

Lovely dish. Did you know that Malaysians have a similar rice dish called Nasi Lemak, kind of their national dish. Will post the recipe someday. And thanks so much for the tag, altho out of my 20 odd posts, i will hardly have a couple which are decent looking, but will surely put them up soon:)

Laavanya said...

My mom makes this thengai paal saadham.. Yummy! Beautiful pictures there.

Suganya said...

Hi... This is my fav rice. Looks great. YUM!. Thank u for tagging me. Lovely pictures....

Chef Jeena said...

Sujatha!!! I would cook and eat every single one of those pictures! I am so hungry now and so happy I found your blog. :-)

Sujatha said...

Meeso, thanks for your comments. Do let me know if you happen to cook any of my recipes :)

Swati, that would have been difficult for you without amma. I'm glad your aunt was there to help you learn cooking and make you a master chef now :)

Delhibelle - I wasn't aware of the Malaysian dish.. Please do post the recipe when you get a chance, I would love to see it. Thats ok, you can still pick 10 out of your 20 pics :) I am looking forward to see them..

Sujatha said...

Laavanya, Glad to know your mom makes it too :) This is one of my fav. rice item.

Sukanya - Thanks! and Looking forward to see your top 10 pics :)

Jeena - Thanks for your sweet comments. Thats very encouraging..

Srikitchen said...

that cococnut rice is looking great... paricularly 10 pics are amazing

EC said...

Thanks for participating in the event with this rich rice dish..