Coconut Rice | Thengai Saadam |South-Indian style

Coconut rice, a south-indian style mixed rice dish, made with fresh coconut, chiilies and rice. It is called Thengai saadam/saatham and a most commonly made lunch box recipe too.

Thengai is the Tamil name for coconut. This mixed rice is easy and quick to make and takes less than 20 minutes , if you have cooked rice ready. And for the same reason, is an apt recipe for lunch box, during busy weekdays. And also a great brunch recipe for a relaxed weekend.

Coconut rice

I make coconut rice, mostly for my husband’s lunch box. I pack it with a dry subzi or a semi-gravy side-dish. Unlike Lemon rice, coconut rice is not prefered as travel food, as it is made of fresh coconut which might go stale after 6-8 hours.

Side dishes for Thengai Saadham

Coconut rice is also a great dish to make during pooja as offering, especially during festivals like Navrathri and Chathurthi . These quick rice dishes come very handy.

Thengai saadham

More Lunch Box Recipes

How do we make it?

The mixed rice takes just 10 minutes if you have the rice ready. The rice should be nice and fluffy and separated. This will give you the mixed rice a wonderful texture.

i prefer to use coconut oil to make the dish, it gives a wonderful aroma to the variety rice. Try using fresh coconut and also be generous with crunchy elements in your tempering, as they add a great texture and flavor to the mixed rice.

Coconut Rice | Thengai Saadam | South-indian style

Coconut rice is a south-indian style mixed rice dish, made with fresh coconut, chiilies and rice. It is called Thengai saadam/saatham and it is a most commonly made lunch box recipe too.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Coconut rice recipe, Easy mixed rice recipe, How to make mixed rice, How to make quick mixed rice, Pooja offering recipe, Quick to make coconut rice recipe, Vegan coconut rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Tempering and mixing: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1&½ cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp broken cashew-nuts
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnish chopped
  • 2 pinches of freshly pounded coriander powder


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds/kadugu
  • 4-5 nos red chilies or 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • tsp hing/asafoetida
  • a sprig of curry leaf


  • Spread the rice on a plate and fluff it with a fork. If using leftover rice, then i would suggest steam it a little in the Microwave or on the stove-top.
  • If you are planning to cook rice fresh, then rinse 1 cup of rice 3 or 4 times with water. Add 2 cups of fresh water, cook the rice on stove-top, once the rice is 90% done, strain the extra water completely and keep it covered for 10 minutes. If making in pressure cooker, cook for 3 whistles.
  • In a wide pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, add hing and curry leaves.  once the leaves turns crisp, add red chilies. saute for a minute, next add both the dals and fry until they turn light brown.
  • Keep an eye after adding dals, they turn brown pretty quick, now add cashew nuts and saute for 30 seconds. Next add fresh coconut and fry for a minute or two.  Take it off the stove
  • Add the cooked rice to the coconut and mix well. Add salt mix well,. Add fresh coriander leaves to the rice.
  • I sprinkle a pinch or two of freshly pounded coriander powder, that adds a great taste to the rice.
  • Toss it once and serve warm with your favorite curry.  Or pack it for the lunch box.
thengai saatham

I normally prefer mixed rice dishes with appalam/poppadam. It also pairs pretty well with Beans subzi or cabbage subzi

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