Nigerian coconut rice is a popular side dish, but, thanks to its versatile flavour and nutritional value, it also makes a perfect standalone dish. Find out how to make coconut rice in Nigeria step by step!
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1. Ingredients for coconut rice
Many people confuse coconut rice with jollof rice simply because the two cooked dishes look rather similar. However, once you learn how to make Nigerian coconut rice, you will never mix up the two dishes.
There are many methods of how to prepare coconut rice, but most Nigerians prefer to make their coconut rice with tomatoes. Here is what you’ll need for the classic coconut rice recipe:
- Parboiled rice – 3 cups
- Coconut milk – 600ml
- Tomato stew – 500ml
- Whole chicken cut into pieces or 6 thighs/drumsticks
- Medium onion – 1
- Stock cubes – 3
- Thyme – 1 tbsp
- Salt and chilli pepper – to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
2. How to make coconut rice
Follow these steps to learn the traditional Nigerian coconut rice preparation:
- Most experienced cooks have a batch of tomato stew waiting in the freezer. If you also have some tomato stew, simply defrost it prior to the cooking. If not, you will have to use the classic tomato stew recipe and prepare it beforehand.
- Prepare the chicken. If you are using the whole chicken, cut it into pieces and wash. Fill a pot with water, add the chicken pieces, add the stock cubes, the chopped onion, and thyme. Turn on the heat and cook until the chicken is ready.
- When the chicken is done, take it out of the water, drain it or pat it completely dry, and grill in the oven or fry in vegetable oil until it becomes crispy and golden brown. Set the chicken aside.
- Wash and drain the parboiled rice. You will need twice as much liquid as you have rice. 3 cups of rice are approximately 750 grams. If you have 600ml of coconut milk and 500ml of tomato stew, you will need an additional 400ml of liquid. You can use the chicken stock for extra flavour.
- Mix the liquids in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add the drained rice, salt and chilli pepper. If the liquid doesn’t completely cover the rice, add water to top off the rice. Turn on medium heat, cover the pot, and cook until the water is evaporated and the rice is cooked.
- Serve the rice with chicken, moi-moi, coleslaw, or your other favourite sides.
3. How to cook coconut rice without tomatoes
If you’re not a fan of the strong tomato flavour or simply don’t have the time to prepare a batch of tomato stew, you can try an alternative way of preparing coconut rice.
This coconut rice has a much milder flavour, but the presence of spices, peppers, and chicken stock keeps it from tasting bland. Here is a video that will teach you how to cook plain coconut rice without tomatoes.
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