Festival Recipes, Main Course, Video Recipes

Thengai Saadam | Iyengar Style Coconut Rice | Navratri Prasadam

We make different flavoured rice preparations for Kanu Pongal, and Navratri, and Thengai Sadam is one of them. Kanu Pongal is celebrated on the 4th day of Pongal around mid January where sisters pray for their brothers welfare. Rasam is generally not prepared on this day, and the menu generally consists of different flavoured rice.

What is Thengai Saadam ?

Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Coconut Rice is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices. Can also be made for lunchboxes.. It is offered as Prasadam in most Sri vaishnavite Temples in South India. Along with Ellu Saadam (Sesame flavoured rice), this is considered auspicious to make on Saturdays at our house during Navratri and Purattasi month (holy month during Sep – Oct during which Sharad Navratri falls).

Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Cooconut RIce is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices.Pin

Thengai Saadam and Temple Prasadam

If there is one defining moment of growing up in an Iyengar household, it must be about food and its aroma. Even textures come a significant second. And talking about aroma, how could I miss posting about Thengai Sadam till now.For me, personally,even Puliyodorai is not that significant (although grandmom made it for all major festivals).

There is definitely something about Thengai Sadam and its unique piquant aroma that words elude me. May be an ode to this dish will be deemed necessary.. While I wax eloquent thus, I make this quite infrequently, largely owing to the fact that this dish actually takes up almost a week or two of our usual coconut consumption 🙂

Before I melt away in the magic of this dish, let me quickly rustle up the recipe. Every tamilian household has its own version of making it, but I followed my pati’s (grandmom’s) method here (I miss her a lot these days!) without using coconut milk .

Come to think of it, we actually dont use coconut milk at all – even for avial / payasam, but i do sneak in a little bit for Thai Green curry (another favourite-that story, another day). We make this dish generally as a main course on certain festivals or when hosting guests (both times when you don’t count calories)

Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Cooconut RIce is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices.Pin

FAQs to make the BEST Thengai Saadam

  1. Can I use Basmati Rice here? Typically, only short grained, non-aromatic rice is used. Unless basmati rice is THE ONLY rice you eat, use short grained rice
  2. Can I cook the raw rice in the coconut milk ? Coconut milk is not used in this recipe. Cook the rice 30 mins prior to making this dish and fluff it on a flat plate to avoid clumping.
  3. Can I use Previously cooked (overnight rice) for this recipe ? Certainly. But if making exclusively for Prasadam / Naivedyam, prefer the rice cooked just 1/2 hour before making the Thengai saadam
  4. Can I use Frozen Coconut ? yes, frozen grated coconut can be used here, bring to room temperature before using. If using coconut bits, blitz / pulse them (not pasty) for a few seconds before adding to the tempering.
  5. We don’t use Coconut oil – Can I use olive oil instead? Typically this is made with only coconut oil. In case you don’t like or use Coconut oil, the next best in Gingelly / Sesame oil. Last resort, groundnut oil or canola oil can be used.

Other Rice based Prasadams (No Onion No garlic) that you can make for Navratri or any other festivals

Ellu Saadam | Ellogarai | Temple Style Sesame flavoured Rice
Ellu Saadam or Ellogarai is a Temple Style Prasadam or offering made in South Indian Homes and/ or Temples. It is a Gluten Free, Vegan Spiced Rice made with sesame seeds.
Check out this recipe
Ellu Saadam or Ellogarai is a Temple Style Prasadam or offering made in South Indian Homes and/ or Temples. It is a Gluten Free, Vegan Spiced Rice made with sesame seeds.
Udupi Style Kayi Sasive Chitranna | ಉಡುಪಿ ಶೈಲಿಯ ಕಾಯಿ ಸಾಸಿವೆ ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ | No Onion, no Garlic Dish
A Traditional Udupi (Karnataka) dish made with Rice and spiced Mustard paste. Served for festivals and special occasions.
Check out this recipe
A Traditional Udupi (Karnataka) dish made with Rice and spiced Mustard paste. Served for festivals and special occasions.
Karivepaaku Mamidikaaya Chitrannam
A spiced rice dish made with Raw Mangoes and Curry leaves paste
Check out this recipe
Karivepaaku Mamidikaya Chitrannam

PIN FOR LATER

Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Cooconut RIce is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices.Pin

Prep time : 20 mins. Cook time :10 mins. Serves : 4

Course : Main Course / Prasadam / Naivedyam ; Cusine : South Indian

Ingredients to make Thengai Sadam:

  • 1 cup Raw rice (Use normal white rice, short grained)
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut (Grated, fresh or frozen, see tips below)
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Split black gram (Urad Dal,/ Ulundhu) 
  • 1 tsp Bengal Gram (Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu)
  • 2  Dry red chillies (broken)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (or generous pinch – skip for GF)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves – few
  • 8 Cashew (broken or whole) – skip for nut allergy
  • 3/4 tsp Salt

Method:

  1. Wash and cook rice. Spread on a plate and fluff up a bit. Tip : It helps if you have cooked rice made ahead – the cooled rice works wonderfully well.
  2. In a pan, add oil. Splutter mustard, hing, urad dal, broken chillies, cashews, curry leaves and fry till cashews turn golden brown.
  3. Turn the flame to low and add the grated coconut till it leaves a little oil on the sides and the mixture turns aromatic
  4. Turn off the stove. Add salt and cool
  5. Now add the cooled and fluffed rice to the pan.
  6. Mix well and enjoy a bowl of divine goodness
Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Cooconut RIce is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices.Pin
Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Cooconut RIce is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices.Pin

Thengai Saadam | Iyengar Style Coconut Rice | Navratri Prasadam

Kalyani
Thengai Saadam or Temple Style Coconut Rice is a No onion No garlic Tempered Rice with Grated Coconut and basic spices. Can also be made for lunchboxes.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Festival Recipes, Main Course, Naivedyam, Prasadam
Cuisine Iyengar Cuisine, South Indian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • pan
  • Ladle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Raw rice Use normal white rice, short grained
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut Grated, fresh or frozen, see tips below
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Split black gram Urad Dal,/ Ulundhu
  • 1 tsp Bengal Gram Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu
  • 2 Dry red chillies broken
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida or generous pinch – skip for GF
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves – few
  • 8 Cashew broken or whole – skip for nut allergy
  • 3/4 tsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash and cook rice. Spread on a plate and fluff up a bit. Tip : It helps if you have cooked rice made ahead – the cooled rice works wonderfully well.
  • In a pan, add oil. Splutter mustard, hing, urad dal, broken chillies, cashews, curry leaves and fry till cashews turn golden brown.
  • Turn the flame to low and add the grated coconut till it leaves a little oil on the sides and the mixture turns aromatic
  • Turn off the stove. Add salt and cool
  • Now add the cooled and fluffed rice to the pan.
  • Mix well and enjoy a bowl of divine goodness

Video

Notes

Tips and Tricks to make the BEST Thengai Saadam
  • Can I use Basmati Rice here? Typically, only short grained, non-aromatic rice is used. Unless basmati rice is THE ONLY rice you eat, use short grained rice
  • Can I cook the raw rice in the coconut milk ? Coconut milk is not used in this recipe. Cook the rice 30 mins prior to making this dish and fluff it on a flat plate to avoid clumping.
  • Can I use Previously cooked (overnight rice) for this recipe ? Certainly. But if making exclusively for Prasadam / Naivedyam, prefer the rice cooked just 1/2 hour before making the Thengai saadam
  • Can I use Frozen Coconut ? yes, frozen grated coconut can be used here, bring to room temperature before using. If using coconut bits, blitz / pulse them (not pasty) for a few seconds before adding to the tempering.
  • We don’t use Coconut oil – Can I use olive oil instead? Typically this is made with only coconut oil. In case you don’t like or use Coconut oil, the next best in Gingelly / Sesame oil. Last resort, groundnut oil or canola oil can be used.
  •  
Keyword Coconut Rice, Naivedyam, Navratri Variety Rice, No Onion No garlic, Prasadam, Rice Variety, Thengai Saadam, Thengai Sadam
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29 Comments

  1. Vidhya Subramony

    Nice pic and a wonderful treat for any day! Keep rocking!

  2. Wow..Yummy one…Thanks for posting

  3. Coconut rice looks yummy.

  4. Didn't know you were Iyengar too! 🙂 Nice pic! Mum made thengai saadham today! Tastes awesome with the Kanu Kootu

  5. Looks great..! Nice post..!

  6. Delicious treat for pongal and Navratri !! well presented !!

  7. Priya Suresh

    Wish to have some rite now, wat a super tempting thengai saadham..

  8. Vimitha Durai

    Nice flavorful rice…

  9. Hi Kalyani,

    Happy new year n pongal wishes dear.Delicious rice and my all time fav rice…beautifully presented.Have a nice day!

  10. Delicious Rice..Happy pongal..

  11. Delicious rice and beautiful presentation!!!
    Happy pongal..

  12. Gayathri Kumar

    Thengai saadam looks divine.

  13. Chandigarh Tour and Travels

    Delicious and lovely looking. thanks !

  14. 5 stars
    I am a big fan of anything with coconut. And this coconut rice looks so good. Can’t wait to try out this recipe when I get some fresh coconut. Simple and am sure, so flavourful.

  15. Jayashree T.Rao

    5 stars
    Thengai Sadam is a delicious, quick fix meal to make for me. It is liked by all, so it does come on the menu sometimes.

  16. 5 stars
    Thengai saadam alsways reminds me of my grandmother. She made it for most festival and that was the most flavourful I have every had. YOur images brought a flood of memories.

  17. Preethicuisine

    5 stars
    Tengai sadam looks scrumptious. A hot favourite at my place . I am tempted to make it now Kalyani

  18. 5 stars
    Thengai sadham looks awesome. My mom made this rice regularly and I have not eaten it in ages. Must make some. Thanks for the recipe.

  19. 5 stars
    Coconut rice sounds a good lunchbox idea or meal. I do not make much coconut rice, but many a times have tried at friends place. Would love to try your recipe.

  20. 5 stars
    Hi fi…chip of the same block .my recipe for thengai saadham is the same as yours except that amma would add a wee bit of pepper powder in the end. I prefer thenga saadham and lemon saadham more than puliyogre.

  21. Shobha Keshwani

    5 stars
    I love tengai saadam. I will try out this Iyyengar style too. Looks delicious.

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