Thengai Paal Sadham/Coconut Milk Rice

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Thengai Paal Sadham

Ancient Tamil recipes sans any modern ingredients. Each century with each invasion saw the addition of one or two spices. Spices like cinnamon,cloves and cardamom were incorporated with the traditional spices. Coconut and coconut milk was/is extensively used in Tamil cuisine and Thengai Paal Sadham could have been the result of a fusion between the two. Thengai Paal Sadham is a simple Tamil recipe where rice is cooked with all the flavors of coconut milk and seasoned with whole masala, Goes well with Pakoda Kuzhambu, Vegetable Kurma or any Non-Veg Gravy. I usually prepare Thengai Paal Sadham as a quick fix alternative to the Biriyani. 

  1. 2 cups basmati rice/ Jeeraga Samba rice
  2. 2 cups fresh coconut milk
  3. 1/2 cup finely sliced onions/shallots
  4. 6 green chillies slit into two
  5. 6 pods garlic cut lengthwise into thin slices
  6. 4 cloves
  7. 2-1 inch piece cinnamon
  8. 2 cardamoms
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. 2 teaspoon salt
  11. 4 tablespoon oil
  12. 1 teaspoon ghee/clarified butter
  13. few roasted cashews(optional)
  1. Wash and soak the rice for half an hour.
  2. In a heavy bottomed vessel ( preferably a non stick) or a pressure cooker, heat the oil and ghee and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. When they pop, add the onions and saute until they turn golden brown.
  3. Now add the garlic and slit green chillies, saute well for another minute.
  4. Add salt and coconut milk , mix well and let come to a boil, add the rice and bring it to a boil again. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Garnish with fine cut Cilantro and roasted cashews.
Serve with raitha and Vegetable Kurma or any Non-Veg Gravy.
TIPS: Fresh coconut milk is used in this recipe, 4 tablespoon coconut milk powder mixed with 1/2 cup warm water can be used instead. I usually add 1: 1.5 cups when using Basmati rice ( 1 part rice & 1.5 parts water) , for Sona masuri rice add 1:2.
To prepare coconut milk ~ In a blender put 1 cup grated coconut, add warm water and grind smooth. Cover a bowl with a seive and pour the ground coconut paste into the seive/cloth. Squeeze the coconut to extract as much liquid as possible into the bowl. The first pressed extract is the thick milk. Repeat the process two more times. The second and third pressed milk is the thin milk.  The coconut milk can be stored in the freezer to be used later. Adjust the water quantity, to change the consistency and thickness of coconut milk according to your needs.


  1. Simple n Tasty Rice Recipe...Got to try this one...

  2. Simple and aromatic rice. Love it with spicy kurma.

  3. YUmm, simply delicious,one of my favourite rice..

  4. wow, simply love it. Tastes yummy with chicken curry..

  5. Simple yet very flavorful rice....

  6. I had been wanting to post coconut rice for a long time. My version is a little different. COconut rice tastes fab with spicy non veg curries, don't they? perfect looking rice.

  7. Simple and tasty rice .... very nice

  8. I prefer having with spicy chicken curry, looks delectable!

  9. yummm! love it with piping hot gravy !

  10. They look perfect Cilantro. I have not had Thengai paal saatham. Got to try.

  11. Makes a perfect meal with spicy chicken gravy

  12. Simple and flavourful rice...looks perfectly cooked

  13. Wow, that looks so well and tempting. Beautiful click.

  14. This is a very flavourful rice and looks very simple. I have had it at a friend`s place, but never got around trying it as the calories in coconut milk really make me think twice. Lovely clicks and the handi looks lovely!


  15. Simple and delicious rice ! Very elegant....


  16. Great blog. I really like this, I have found lots of interesting stuff on your blog. thanks for sharing this with us, keep it up!

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