Quick and Easy Coconut Rice

Creamy coconut milk and zesty lime make everyday rice exotic with hardly any added prep time. This rice is great as a base for savory stews, and can even be eaten with fresh fruit for an Asian-inspired dessert.

My pantry is filled with different kinds of rice. I stock everything from the fragrant basmati grown in the Himalayan foothills to the dark and nutty forbidden rice. Perhaps because I grew up in the rice growing region of India, I have a particular fondness for rice. I especially love jasmine rice for its delicate scent and quick cooking time.

When plain steamed rice isn’t special enough, I make this easy coconut rice with a little sprinkling of lime zest. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a Thai curry. This dish has just enough coconut milk to make it tasty without being too rich. The lime zest adds a citrusy freshness that really rounds out this dish.

If you have leftovers, you can easily turn this dish into a dessert! Spoon some condensed milk over the coconut rice and serve it with fresh, ripe mangoes. Or reheat the coconut rice, along with some coconut milk and sugar, and serve it with tropical fruit.

I like to keep this dish simple and just cook the jasmine rice in a mixture of water and coconut milk. But if you wish, you could sauté some onion, ginger and garlic first before adding the rice and coconut milk to the pot. A garnish of fried onions will also make this rice dish extra special.

Quick and Easy Coconut Rice
Serves about 4 as a side dish


  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1/4 lime


  1. Place the rice, coconut milk, salt and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a lively boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked, but not mushy.
  2. Gently stir in the lime zest and serve.

This rice goes so well with a curry. I have a great Thai curry recipe coming up next week, so stay tuned!

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Photo credits: Sala Kannan