Savory coconut rice pilaf bursting with an exotic coconut flavor will transport you right to the tropics or the Caribbean ! This coconut pilaf is bursting with coconut in so many ways. Let’s see, there’s coconut water, coconut milk, coconut flakes and coconut oil ! How much more coconut can you get ? I love coconut rice and usually make it with coconut milk but it tastes a little rich. Sometimes I want a lighter rice which had the flavor of coconut without that rich feeling, so I thought I would substitute the milk for coconut water. I used Vita Coco coconut water since it tastes light and flavorful just like the coconut water I used to drink in India straight off the trees. It turned out so good ! Just what I was looking for: a light rice pilaf with all the flavor of coconut. I added some green peas to it and spiced it with some ginger, red onion and chili pepper. Cooking the rice pilaf in coconut oil and adding some coconut flakes just intensified the coconut flavor. I used frozen coconut flakes from the Indian store but you can also use dry coconut flakes. I used long grain basmati rice which gave such a lovely aroma mixed with the coconut flavor and all. Now this rice would be just perfect with my healthy butter chicken or my curicumin spiked chickpeas. I made a veggie stir fry with coconut milk and coconut water which I will be blogging soon ! It tasted great with the rice .
Nutrition Wise !
Long grain basmati has the lowest GI ( glycemic index ) of rice in general. Adding some healthy fat in the form of coconut oil lowers the GI even more making it healthy and diabetic friendly. Coconut water has hydrating electrolytes. It is low in calories,fat and loaded with potassium. Coconut milk and coconut oil have healthy monounsaturated fats which do not get stored by the body. They get burnt as fuel for energy, making it a great fat for those who want to lose weight. Peas add a burst of fiber and Vitamin C !
Inside tips on making the perfect rice pilaf !
Always soak the rice before you cook it because this cuts down cooking time and ensures even cooking. Add oil or fat before you add rice. This will make your rice long and separate . Although traditionally you use double the amount of water to cook rice, when you make a pilaf, cut down water by 1/ 2 or one cup. This will make the rice grains fluffy and not sticky.
All the ingredients !!
Up close and personal ! Yummm !
Have you ever cooked with coconut water ? Would love to hear about any recipes you’ve tried with coconut water.