Nigerian Coconut Rice

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Coconut rice, the food I could never understand as a child. I never liked it as a child and I would often ask my mother “Why do you put coconut in rice?” And to make it worse, she would add onions to it. I never enjoyed my meals whenever it was “coconut rice” day because I had to deal with the coconut taste in the rice; then pick through the food to remove the onions. Sigh…talk about when I got older, I was able to avoid it until I actually added coconut milk to some jollof rice I was making and boom! I have learnt to make my mom’s recipe for coconut rice too and I have to say wow, she knew what she was doing when she cooked that meal for my siblings and I

My ajebutters also love coconut rice. I used this recipe when I made some for my son’s birthday and it was a hit. Naysa, my friend’s daughter ate a big bowl. she sat quietly and scraped the entire bowl free of rice 🙂 it was a beautiful sight. I like happy stomachs which produces happy smiles 🙂

I know someone who makes a mean coconut rice and that’s my sister Ifeyinwa from EatingNigerian . I remember the day I made this rice, I decided to look for plating ideas as I was a mess and tired from cooking for my Ajebutter two’s birthday. I could not even figure out what dish to use, so I remembered my sister and her style stood out so I was saved. Eureka! You may check out her recipe here

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The Recipe

Coconut Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 3cups of regular long grain rice(wash until clear and set to drain)
  • 1 large coconut (I used two small ones)
  • 3-4tbsps of coconut oil(vegetable oil works)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1large red bell pepper
  • 1 finger chili or cayenne pepper
  • 1 large habanero pepper ie ata-rodo(use more if you prefer)
  • one large onion(halved)
  • bouillon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1tsp curry
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1tsp of nut meg
  • 1tsp grinded dry pepper or chili flakes
  • 3tbsps of dry grinded crayfish powder(optional if you have sea food or shell fish allergy or just don't have any)
  • 1tbsp dry grinded pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of chopped beef
  • 1 cup meat stock
  • 2 cups coconut milk(freshly squeezed)
  • a hand full of basil or scent leaves...optional
  1. roughly blend half of the onion with the peppers and pour through a wire mesh sieve to remove excess water
  2. season the raw chopped beef with salt and set aside
  3. break the coconut, pour out the juice and gently remove the meat from the shell. chop the meat into a food processor, add some water and blend; then pour it through a wire mesh sieve and squeeze out the milk. you may add more water to the chaff and squeeze out one more time and set the milk aside
  1. In a cooking pot, heat the coconut oil and sauté the beef until golden brown. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Pour in the pepper blend and fry until you can see the oil in between the blend and it looks a little dry. Add the curry and thyme and fry for 2minutes. Stir in the crayfish, dry pepper and the rice; making sure the oil coats each grain of rice. Pour in a cup of the meat stock into the rice and top off with the 2 cups of coconut milk. With this recipe, the ratio is usually 2 cups of coconut milk to 1 cup of water or meat stock(eye ball the liquid content). Check for seasonings and add some salt and bouillon as needed.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and cover with an aluminum foil wrapper and a tight lid. After about 15minutes and the rice is still a little hard, add just a little of any remaining coconut milk(you do not want your rice too soft though), cover and keep cooking until the rice is al dente(ie firm to the bite). Check for seasonings. Garnish with the basil(optional), grate in the nut meg; stir in the chili flakes and serve



  1. Omo says:

    I tried this today and my husband fell in love with me more. Wonderful recipe and easy to follow. I used to cook it but not like this. I prefer this one big time.

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