This fragrant rice dish has it all going on, both in flavor and texture: spice, dried fruit, toasted nuts, crispy shallots, and toasted coconut flakes. It’s not fussy to make if you have your pantry stocked, so I recommend putting a few things on your next shopping list. (Store unsweetened coconut flakes in the freezer for months.) I love it with Medjool dates, but in a pinch make it with dried apricots (or even raisins). I make this with both basmati and jasmine, depending on which rice I have on hand. Just know that jasmine takes a bit less liquid and a bit shorter cooking time.  This recipe is a version of one I first published in my cookbook Simple Green Suppers.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup basmati rice (or substitute jasmine)
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk (well-stirred)
  • 1 cup peas (defrosted if frozen, microwaved for 30 seconds if fresh)
  • 1/3 cup pitted diced Medjool dates (or apricots or other dried fruit)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 to ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (large flakes)


1. In a large (3-quart) nonstick saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter with the oil. Add the shallots and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring very frequently (almost constantly at the end), until all the shallots are well-browned and crinkly, 10 minutes. Transfer three-quarters of the shallots to a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, the curry powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 1 minute, stirring well. Add the rice and stir very well to incorporate the spices.

2. Combine the coconut milk with 1 ¼ cups water (if using basmati, 1 cup if using jasmine) and add to the rice. Stir, bring to a boil, lower to the lowest setting, cover and cook 20 minutes (for basmati, 15 for jasmine). Remove from the heat. Uncover and put the peas and dried fruit on top of rice; put the lid back on and let sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir with a fork, and transfer to a mixing bowl.

3. Add the chopped almonds and most of the toasted coconut and stir well. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining coconut and the reserved shallot rings.