Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice

Exciting and vibrant, dramatic yet understated, this side dish will quietly steal the show at dinnertime. Turmeric Coconut Rice (made easier in the Instant Pot) is the recipe that you’ll be making over and over again.

As much as we love meaty mains, sides make dinner truly special. They steal the show. They determine the overall quality of the meal. Not just at Thanksgiving. But any time of the year.

What’s meatloaf without mashed potatoes? Can pork belly taste good without rice and kimchi? And aren’t grilled chicken skewers more tasty with sides of baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and wedges of pita?

That’s why i love Turmeric Coconut Rice. It’s the side dish that you’ll want to make over and over again!

close up of small bowl of turmeric coconut rice

I first discovered the recipe for Turmeric Coconut Rice at New York Times Cooking. Right off the bat, I knew I would love this dish. Rice, turmeric, coconut milk, Lime Coconut Sesame Gremolata, and kale — all in one dish? Now I’ve made it even easier, with instructions for the Instant Pot.

As you know, I love my Instant Pot. And my favorite food item to cook in the Instant Pot is rice. Yup, rice. Any kind of flavored rice cooks like a charm. Think of it as a souped up rice cooker. The saute function allows you to cook aromatics and herbs first, for extra flavor.

This recipe makes a ton and tastes great at room temperature. A great dish to bring for potlucks, barbecues, and any party or extended family gathering! Just make sure to serve the Lime Coconut Sesame Gremolata and lime wedges alongside the rice — they really elevate the dish in the most subtle yet spectacular way.

How to Make Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice:

Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside.

Set the Instant Pot to saute function. Toast coconut flakes and sesame seeds until golden brown. Add lime zest and mix with spoon. Set aside in a small bowl and wipe down the Instant Pot.

Set the Instant Pot to saute function once more. Melt coconut oil and add onion and turmeric. Add a pinch of salt to help the cooking process along. Cook until onion is soft and translucent.

Add rice, coconut milk, water, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix around with a spoon. It’s okay if the coconut solids are chunky.

Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook, high heat, for 4 minutes. When the timer beeps, manually release the steam. Remove the lid and add kale. Drape a clean kitchen towel over the pot and place the lid (loosely) on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let the rice and kale steam for 10 minutes.

Open the lid and remove the kitchen towel. Fluff rice and kale with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Transfer to a dish and serve with Lime Coconut Sesame Gremolata and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice

Exciting and vibrant, dramatic yet understated, this side dish will quietly steal the show at dinnertime. Turmeric Coconut Rice (made easier in the Instant Pot) is the recipe that you'll be making over and over again.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Steaming Rice10 mins
Course: Casual Party, Rice, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Fusion Food
Keyword: Coconut, Instant Pot, Rice, Turmeric
Servings: 8 (as side)
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice (jasmine rice or any other long grain rice also works)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (black or white both work)
  • 1 lime zest + lime wedges
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 400 ml/13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk (do not use boxed or fresh coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp saffron (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly cracked tastes best)
  • 4 cups chopped kale (about 1/2 large bunch)

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside.
    sieve filled with basmati rice
  • To make the Lime Coconut Sesame Gremolata: Set the Instant Pot to saute function. Toast coconut flakes and sesame seeds until fragrant and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add lime zest and mix around with a spoon. Set aside in a small bowl.
    instant pot filled with lime coconut sesame gremolata
  • Wipe down the Instant Pot and set to saute function. Melt coconut oil and add onion and turmeric. Add a pinch of salt to help the cooking process along. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
    instant pot filled with sauteed onion and turmeric
  • Add rice, coconut milk, water, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix around with a spoon. It's okay if the coconut solids are chunky.
    instant pot filled coconut milk and turmeric
  • Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook, high heat, for 4 minutes. When the timer beeps, manually release the steam. Remove the lid and add kale. Drape a clean kitchen towel over the pot and place the lid (loosely) on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let the rice and kale steam for 10 minutes.
    instant pot filled with kale
  • Remove the lid and kitchen towel. Fluff rice and kale with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
    instant pot filled with turmeric coconut rice
  • Transfer to a large shallow bowl and serve with lime coconut sesame gremolata and lime wedges. Enjoy!
    large shallow white bowl filled with turmeric coconut

Notes

*The coconut milk from 1 400ml/13.5 oz can of coconut milk contains 1 3/4 cup of liquid.  You need 2 cups of liquid for 2 cups of rice.  Instead of opening another can of coconut milk only to use 1/4 cup, I simply add water to make 2 full cups.  Use this method when doubling or tripling the recipe.  
**Cooking time does not include the time the Instant Pot needs to pressurize.  

More Side Inspiration:

Spicy Soba Noodles
spicy soba noodles in bowl
Lime Coconut Slaw
Lime Cilantro coleslaw with dressing and juiced limes and juicer on the side
Arugula Quinoa Salad
arugula quinoa salad in bowl with fork

Or check out the Side Archives!

30 minutes, All Recipes, Dinner with Friends, Instant Pot, Potluck, Side, Weeknight Meals
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