Coconut pulao is a delicious one-pot meal that is so easy to make in the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. This silky and comforting vegan rice dish goes great with other mild curries or simply pair with cooling raita. 

Instant pot coconut milk pulao rice


Rich coconut milk and coconut oil lend a delicate flavour to this mild yet aromatic pulao. Whole spices give some warmth and the long grain basmati rice rounds this dish off perfectly. 

We have added some frozen mix vegetables (carrot, sweetcorn, peas, green beans) for more flavour and to bulk out the pulao

I prefer to keep this rice dish mild so there are not many added spices. 

This rice dish is 



✔️One-pot meal

✔️Easy to make in the pressure cooker or stovetop

✔️Goes great with so many dishes

✔️Great for lunch box or potluck lunches

I have already posted my family's favourite Mexican rice with coconut, coriander and lime here on JCO, now I want to share this mildly Indian flavoured pulao rice because most of the time, I make this version with most of the bean curries. That's because it is so easy to make, also includes my favourite veggies too 😍

Coconut milk pulao rice instant pot

Tips for the best rice in Instant Pot:

wash the rice thoroughly under cold running water - the water must be cold and not warm/hot as the rice will start cooking and we only want it to soak

leave the rice to soak  - this step is optional but does get you a better end result

all rices cook slightly differently. You may find that your rice takes less or more time than ours to cook, in which case, adjust the setting accordingly. My advice would be to always start on lower minutes and increase if need be. 

we have used a 1:1:1 ratio of rice to coconut milk to water

we have cooked for 2 min on Low Pressure and Quick Release 

Don't forget to check out our other delicious vegan and vegetarian instant pot recipes before you start making this rice dish 😄


Basmati Rice

Frozen mixed vegetables - carrot, sweetcorn, pea, and green beans

Whole spices - bay leaf, clove, cinnamon, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom

White onion - sliced lengthwise 

Garlic and ginger - minced or pureed

Cashew nuts - provide some protein and texture

Coconut Milk - we used thick tinned coconut milk

Coconut Oil - you can also use other cooking oils such as sunflower, olive or vegetable 


How to serve coconut milk pulao

While I am at work, away from home I need quick and easy meals so I pair up this rice with chickpea and coconut curry or red kidney bean and coconut curry (so I can finish the can of coconut milk in both dishes) 😋

Also, you can serve this pulao rice with any meal where you'd serve this takeaway style pilau rice. Serve it with Instant pot palak paneer , corn on the cob curry with coconut or my grandma's spring onion kadhi.  - plenty to choose from!

Roasted tomato raita is also a wonderful companion for this rice, alongside with a fresh and colourful salad. 

Can I make this rice without Onion Garlic?

Definitely, you can! 


Keeps in the fridge for 2/3 days in an airtight container, reheat in the microwave before serving. 

You can also freeze this rice for later. Once it cools down totally, store it in a freezer-proof container or heavy-duty freezer bags. 

Store no more than 6-8 weeks, thaw thoroughly before reheating. 

Stovetop Coconut Milk Pulao Rice 

For this rice recipe, I have used the Instant Pot but you can make as good as this one in the normal pan or stovetop pressure cooker. 

Follow the same steps in both methods, in the normal pan you'll need more water. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 12-15 minutes.

For the stovetop pressure cooker, cook rice on medium heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. 


Before cooking rice, if possible wash the rice in running water until water runs clear and soak for 20-30 minutes. 

1. Select the saute mode on normal the instant pot and heat oil. Add all the whole spices and let it crackle.

2. Tip in cashew nuts and let brown a little.

3.  Now add onion, change the mode to low and fry until light pink, then add ginger-garlic and cook further.

4. Mix in mixed vegetables and saute at least for 2 minutes. 

5. Now add soaked rice (discard the water) and saute the rice for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add coconut milk and warm water along with salt, mix everything.

7. Cancel the saute mode and close the pot with the lid. Position the valve on sealing.

8. Choose LOW-PRESSURE COOK for 2 MINUTES. (this time and mode depends on what quality rice you are cooking with) 

9. Quick release the pressure as we don't want mushy rice.

10. Gently fluff the rice using a fork, and leave it for 5 minutes then mix the rice and serve. 

Coconut milk pulao rice in instant pot

Other rice recipes

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coconut milk pulao, instant pot recipes, instant pot coconut pulao, coconut milk recipes, 30 minutes recipes
Mains, Sides
Coconut milk pulao rice | Instant pot coconut pulao rice | Coconut milk veg pulao and easy coconut milk pulao rice cooked in the Instant pot only in 2 minutes.
Yield: 2-3 SERVINGS
Author: Hayley Dhanecha


This vegan and gluten-free coconut pulao rice is so easy to prepare in the Instant pot, packed with flavours and comes together in less than 20 minutes!
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 2 Mininactive time: 5 MinTotal time: 27 Min


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of frozen mix vegetables
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2" cinnamon bark
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 onion chopped - small
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic minced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped coriander
  • Instant pot
  • Spatula


  1. Arrange inner pot in the instant pot.
  2. Select saute mode and heat oil.
  3. Add all the whole spices and saute until they crackle.
  4. Now add cashew nuts and let it brown.
  5. Then add onion slices and saute until light pink in colour.
  6. Now add ginger-garlic, fry further for a minute or so.
  7. Tip in mixed vegetables and cook.
  8. Add soaked rice and fry it for a minute.
  9. Add coconut milk, warm water and salt.
  10. Stir and cancel the saute mode.
  11. Close the pot with the lid and turn the valve on sealing position.
  12. Select LOW-PRESSURE COOK and press + - button for 2 minutes on the display panel. 
  13. Once done quick release the pressure.
  14. Fluff the rice using a fork and leave it for 5 minutes. Then gently mix using a spatula. 
  15. Sprinkle coriander and serve hot. 


Don't want to use onion garlic? skip it. Nut allergy? don't have to use cashews. Can be made without vegetables too. Instead of water, you can use vegetable stock too. You may add a couple of slit green chillies along with ginger-garlic. Once rice cools a little, grains become fluffier and separates.



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  1. I love coconut rice. This looks wonderful. The perfect side dish for any day of the week.

    1. Thank you Gloria, happy that you liked this recipe.

  2. I'm always looking for new rice side dishes to make and this coconut rice is easily becoming one of my favorites!

  3. Oh my goodness, I love this rice recipe and I am pretty sure that it is delicious. I will definitely making this tomorrow for lunch.

    1. Thanks Amy, please do let us know how you like this recipe :)

  4. Oooh, cardamom pods! That's something I've never used. I'm so intrigued. This sounds really delicious!

    1. Thank you Erin, we LOVE cardamom in almost every dish, brings out good flavours and aroma to any dish.

  5. One pot meals are the best! Bonus for the pressure cooker. This looks so simple but tasty!

    1. Thank you Alex, absolutely pressure cooker is a boon for Indian cooking.

  6. Love how fluffy and light this rice looks! Such a perfect meal, but equally delicious as a side dish! Easy and fuss-free recipes like this one are my favourite!

    1. Thank you Anna, this one is my favourite too :)

  7. My son loves rice and I'm always looking for new rice recipes for him. This looks fantastic and so delicious. I just saved the recipe and will make this for him. Thanks!

  8. Hello, how much water do you add before closing the valve and sealing it? And how many cashews do you add?

    1. 1 cup rice 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water. 2-3 tbsp cashew nuts


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