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Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice

Exciting and vibrant Turmeric Rice! Made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot, this beautiful yellow rice recipe pairs beautifully with grilled meat and vegetables!
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
  • Large fine mesh sieve


Coconut Gremolata:

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (black or white both work)
  • lime zest (from 1 lime)

Turmeric Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice (jasmine rice or any other long grain rice also work)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (can be subbed with butter or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 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
  • 1/4 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)


Coconut Gremolata:

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute function. Toast coconut flakes and sesame seeds until fragrant and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add lime zest. Mix to combine and set aside.
    instant pot filled with lime coconut sesame gremolata

Turmeric Rice:

  • Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside.
    sieve filled with basmati rice
  • Wipe down the Instant Pot (there will be residual bits from the Coconut Gremolata) and set to saute function. Add coconut oil. When it melts, add onion, garlic, 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 drained 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
  • Lock in the lid. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook, high heat, for 4 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, manually release the steam immediately. Remove the lid and loosely add kale directly on top of the undisturbed rice. 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 rice


*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.
**The Coconut Gremolata can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 1 week.