Friday, May 27, 2011

Coconut-Cashew Brown Basmati Rice

I love Basmati rice! As it cooks, a nutty, mouth-watering fragrance fills the air. The flavor is sweetly complex and I think it is awesome served up plain without any extras to dress it up. However, this recipe dresses basmati up particularly nice for a special event. I have been working on this recipe for a few years but I think this is it!
While I cooked this as a side dish  when I made it for our friends to check out the chicken curry recipe, it also works well as a meat-free main dish.

    The recipe works well using brown basmati however you could substitute white.  Why should you use brown rice? Well, brown rice is a whole grain, much less processed than white. In brown rice, the whole kernel left intact and is still surrounded by all layers of bran. White rice is milled which removes the bran, germ, and most of the aleurone layers. These contain the fiber, B vitamins and most of the fat content which are the source of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E as well as many other nutrients. Brown rice has a bit more protein and iron, too. On the down side, brown rice does take about twice as long to cook and the fat content can reduce shelf life. (Most of this information is from Whole Foods website.)

I have included two ways to cook this. Many of you have a rice cooker and would like to use it. Others want to use a pan and saute' the rice for extra flavor so I have included instructions for using a pan also.

Coconut-Cashew Brown Basmati Rice
2 tsp. canola or veggie oil
½-3/4  cup cashews (raw is great but I have used lightly salted canned)
1-2 more TBSPN oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 -1 ½ TBSPN ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked dried coconut or fresh coconut
2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 tsp salt
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1/3  cup sliced green onions
1/3  cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 or so TBSPN toasted sesame seeds

Pan method: In a large wide pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the 2 tsp oil. Add cashews and toast them up till golden. Remove to plate.  
Add another TBSPN oil and sauté garlic and ginger for a minute or so. Add unsweetened coconut and brown rice. Sauté for another 2 minutes then lower heat and add 2 cups hot water, coconut milk and salt.  Cover with lid and cook on low for 50 minutes.
Once rice is tender yet al dente, add cashews and mix. Fold in sweetened shredded coconut, cilantro and green onions. Put in serving dish or on plate and top with toasted sesame.

Rice cooker method: Put brown rice coconut milk, water, 2 tsp oil and salt into rice cooker and set for brown rice.
 Once the rice is cooked, which takes about 50 minutes, heat a large pan, add a TBSPN or so of oil. First toast cashews for a couple minutes until golden and crispy. Add unsweetened coconut and then garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute. Add cooked rice. Gently stir until well mixed. Fold in sweetened shredded coconut, cilantro and green onions . Put in serving dish or on plate and top with toasted sesame.

Copyright by Denise Birdsall. 2011 All Rights Reserved.


  1. Awesome rice. The coconut/cashew combo sounds very tasty! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Deniece, I sure enjoy your blog. Please keep it up! It inspires me to try new dishes, and helps me out of the "same old same old" rut. Good Job!

  3. I am glad you like the recipe, Parsley. I think it would go well with some kind of spicy carribean fish or chicken.
    Happy I can give some creative inspiration, DeDe :-)
    Thanks so much for commenting! Your comments are such an encouragement!

  4. Love it Denise! You always inspire me to try things a little differently too! I would not put coconut in a dish like this on my own but it sound so wonderful, I might have to try it! :)

  5. i like Basmati rice very much..and your recipe is looking amazing...i love to experiment with rice..i will surely try this one..

  6. Cooking with coconut milk sounds really good! I like you added cashew and sesame seeds. More additional flavors!

  7. I ditto some of the previous posts. Cashews and rice = awesome idea! And the coconut milk is definitely a great idea! I'll have to give this one a try one day!

  8. Thanks so much for all the comments! You are all awesome!
    I am glad you want to try the recipe!

  9. Thank you for sharing like this information. This is the most easy way of learning. This helps me to get some idea regarding this and helps me to bring a creative thought.
    Thai Rice

  10. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. I really like the fresh perceptive you did on the issue. I will be back soon to check up on new posts! Thank you!
    Indian basmati Rice

  11. Delicious dish with Best Basmati Rice and well explained recipe. Thanks for sharing such writing.