Thenga choru / Coconut rice was a popular Malabar rice variant before Biryani conquered the Muslim kitchens. It is still prepared in most of the Kerala Muslim houses and is considered the poor man’s Biryani. Nowadays, people serve Thenga Choru at functions.

Also Read: Onam 2022: Feast on these lavish sadyas

Muslim cuisine or Mappila cuisine is a blend of traditional Kerala, Persian, Yemenese, and Arab food cultures. This confluence of culinary cultures is best seen in the preparation of most dishes. Kallummakkaya (mussels) curry, Erachi Puttu, Pathiri, and ghee rice are some of the other specialties. The characteristic use of spices is the hallmark of Mappila cuisine wherein black pepper, cardamom, and clove are used profusely.

Kerala Muslims or Malayali Muslims from north Kerala are generally referred to as Mappilas. Mappilas are among the many communities that form the Muslim population of Kerala. According to some scholars, the Mappilas are the oldest settled Muslim community in South Asia. The term ‘Mappila’ denotes not a single community but a variety of Malayali Muslims of different origins. Native Muslims were known as Mouros da Terra, or Mouros Malabares during the medieval period. Settled foreign Muslims of Kerala was known as Mouros da Arábia/Mouros de Meca.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 2


  • 500 gm rice (cooked)
  • 2 tbsp - oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 gm urad dal
  • 50 gm cashew nuts
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 4 to 5 green chilies (chopped)
  • 100 gm grated coconut
  • 100 ml coconut milk 
  • 10 gm coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  • In a heavy bottom pan or wok, add oil
  • Add mustard seeds and allow them to sputter
  • Once done, add cumin seeds
  • Stir for 3-5 seconds
  • Add urad dal and cashew nuts
  • Saute till they turn golden brown
  • Add the grated coconut and mix well
  • Add curry leaves and green chilies
  • Stir for a minute
  • Add coconut milk
  • Mix well on high flame for 2 minutes
  • Once done add the cooked rice
  • Stir this mixture well so everything is combined 
  • Add coriander leaves and lemon juice
  • Add salt to taste
  • Stir this mixture well to combine
  • Cook this over low flame for 5 minutes
  • Once done turn off the heat

The addition of coconut makes the rice fibre-rich which helps to speed up the metabolism, making it an ideal addition to your weight loss diet. According to health experts, coconut consumption is good for digestion, stress relief and strengthening immunity, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.