Thengai Paal Sadham | Coconut Milk Pulao

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I am always in the lookout for some easy lunch options, especially given it is a Sunday. For me, Sunday lunch is synonymous to easy one pot meals. Few months back, I started my Sunday Biryani series to record every single biryani I was making in my kitchen. While I still adore my Biryanis, there are some days I wish there was something simple to prepare. That’s when Pulao or mildly fragrant rice recipes come to my rescue 🙂

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Today’s recipe is something I learnt years ago on a TV show. Thengai Paal (Coconut Milk) is rich and tasty, full of flavor. Instead of making a Pulav with plain rice and vegetables, in this recipe I replace water with coconut milk. The resultant rice is quite rich, flavorful and amazingly delicious. It has a very subtle flavor of masala with the use of whole spices.

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It is the pristine white color of the Thengai Paal Sadham/Coconut Milk Pulao that is the highlight of this recipe. Since it is mild and light, any spicy side dish or curry or dal goes really well with this dish. I make my coconut milk fresh at home and that way, I can make thick coconut milk with ease. All that needs to be done is to grind 2 cups fresh coconut with 2 cups of water and extract the thick coconut milk. If you want to go by the short cut, you can use store bought coconut milk too – works well! With no further ado, here is my recipe for Thengai Paal Sadam.

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To make Thengai Paal Sadham | Coconut Milk Pulao

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

What I used –
  • Basmati Rice, 1 cup
  • Onion, 1 large
  • Thick Coconut Milk, 2 cups
  • Green Chillies, 3-4
  • Bay Leaf, 1
  • Cinnamon, 1” piece
  • Green Cardamon, 1
  • Cloves, 2
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Mint Leaves, 1/2 cup
  • Salt, as required
  • Oil/Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Water, ½ cup

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How I made –

1. In a bowl, wash and soak Basmati Rice with ½ cup of water for 20 mins atleast.

2. In a pan,  heat oil/ghee. Add whole spices – cinnamon, bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves and fry for 10 secs. Add slit green chillies and fry for 10-20 secs. Add julienned onions and fry for 3-4 mins.

3. Add salt required for onions and fry until translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and  finely chopped mint leaves. Fry for 2-3 mins. Add the water used to soak the rice and cook until the water is almost evaporated.


4. Add thick coconut milk. Add salt required and cook on low flame until the milk bubbles. Add soaked Basmati rice and mix well. Keep covered and cook on low flame until all the coconut milk is evaporated and the rice is cooked well. This should take about 7-10 mins. Keep it covered for another 10 mins without disturbing. And then, mix well.


5. Serve hot with spicy curries or dal makhani.  Stay tuned to know what I served this with.

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Note –
  • I use 2 cups of water for every cup of rice used. Since I wanted this Pulao to be moist, I used additional ½ cup of water.
  • To make thick coconut milk at home, add 2 cups of warm water to 2 cups of chopped/grated coconut and blend until smooth. Strain the coconut milk and use it for the recipe. If required, additional 1 cup water can be used with the same coconut for getting 2nd milk which is slightly diluted.
  • Adjust green chillies as per spice preference.
  • Mint leaves are essential for this recipe as they pack a lot pf flavor.
  • If desired, vegetables can be added and sautéed before coconut milk is added.
  • Don’t disturb the rice once cooked and let it rest for 7-10 mins atleast. Otherwise, the rice can be broken instead of being full beautiful grains.

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Taking this Thengai Paal Sadham to Fiesta Friday #121.

12 thoughts on “Thengai Paal Sadham | Coconut Milk Pulao

  1. Love this simple rice. I prepare the same way too but add 1 tomato for the texture. U know what I posted this as a combo too. 🙂 I served this with turnip kurma. Waiting for your side. BTW this post didn’t show up in my reader. Not sure if it will show up later. Came via Twitter though.

    1. Thanks Sri 🙂 Oh I will check out you recipe too! Will come up with the side dish post soon.
      I know.. the reader thingy is not working again 🙁 I resolved few issues only last week and now the whole post goes off the reader. I am working with the support guys.
      This whole weekend went off fixing stuff again… something broke all of a sudden.

  2. This looks wonderful – I only wish I could smell it through the computer! I’ve never cooked rice with coconut milk before, but it sounds SO flavorful. Yum!

    1. Thanks much C 🙂 Do try cooking rice with coconut milk – it is divine especially when cooked with these whole spices and mint 🙂

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