The Nigerian coconut rice is one flavourful dish. It is prepared by cooking rice in coconut milk. For those of us who love the flavour of coconut, this dish is always a hit. The unmistakable aroma of coconut rice just used to make me happy as a child, it still does, but eh, in a more mature way.
I must confess that coconut rice tastes best when cooked with freshly extracted coconut milk. I have used the canned milk and the one in powdered form, but the rice with the freshly extracted milk always tastes better. On some occasions when I'm pressed for time I still use the processed one in powdered form.
Here is one of my coconut rice recipes that is sure to be a winner;
This serves 5.
2 fresh coconuts
3 cups rice
1/2 cup crayfish, pounded or blended
4 stock cubes
4 fresh pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero), pounded or blended
2 medium bulbs onions, cut
Salt to taste
Break the coconut and separate the flesh from the shell. If you are buying the coconut from the market, the vendor can do this for you.
Wash the coconut and grate with a grater.
Soak the grated coconut in hot water and let stand for about 10 minutes. Add a little cold water to make it warm so you can comfortably put your hands in the bowl.
Gently work the coconut with your hand to extract the milk. Strain with a sieve. Do this until you have enough milk to cook the rice. The more you do this, the lighter the milk gets.
Wash the rice with lukewarm water, set aside.
Put the extracted milk in a pot, add pepper, onions, stock cubes and salt. Bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, add the washed rice and stir once. The water should cover the rice completely. Add the coconut milk as often as needed, a little at a time, until the rice is completely cooked.
I think it was my sister who brought my attention to the fact that it tastes really good with fresh cucumber. Try it this way and let me know your verdict. I personally love it.