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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


  • Instant Pot


  • 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)


  • 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


*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.