Rice with Coconut and Lentils (Arroz con Coco y Lentejas)

by Erica Dinho on August 20, 2009

Arroz con Coco y lentejas

Arroz con Lentejas y Coco  is a traditional Colombian rice recipe and if you follow this blog, you know that I use coconut milk in a lot of the traditional Colombian dishes. This delicious rice with lentils dish makes a fabulous accompaniment and could also be served as a vegetarian meal, perhaps with a green salad.

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas



(4 Servings)

  • ½ cup lentils
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • Fresh cilantro for serving


  1. Rinsed and soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed.
  4. Discard the bay leaf, add the rice and stir until combined. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
  5. Arroz con Coco y Lentajas

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Oysterculture August 20, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Love the combinations here, they sound delicious! Of course your presentation is so much nicer than anything you’d find on my table.


2 theungourmet August 20, 2009 at 9:56 AM

I love lentils and coconut milk!

This kind of reminds me of a rice I made with jerk chicken a while back.

I love your presentation! Yum!


3 Nora August 20, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Mmmm, que rico! I LOVE the sound of that!


4 Danielle August 20, 2009 at 11:47 AM

wow…that looks great!!


5 Erica August 20, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Thank you everyone!!!


6 Amber August 20, 2009 at 5:48 PM

This looks so good! How beautiful. I love coconut rice and I love lentils but I have never had the combo of them together. I will have to try it!


7 Velva August 20, 2009 at 7:56 PM

I love coconut! I would have never thought coconut and lentils together. Great combination!

I would not have known that coconut was a common cooking ingredient in Colombian cooking. Interesting!


8 rebecca subbiah August 20, 2009 at 9:46 PM

what kind of lentils looks great


9 pooja August 20, 2009 at 10:53 PM

hmmm looks yum Erica ! i would love to try these sometime !


10 Anna August 21, 2009 at 3:59 AM

I love food with coconut, it makes everything so aromatic. Your picture looks really good too.


11 Erica August 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM

Hi Rebecca,
Brown lentils.


12 Erica August 21, 2009 at 7:10 AM

Thank you all so much for visiting my blog!!!


13 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie August 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

The combination of rice and lentils sounds wonderful!


14 nora@ffr August 21, 2009 at 11:04 AM

love coconut and this dish is perfect!! erica congrats on the wards.. you rili deserve :)
cheers and have a nice weekend!


15 Soma August 24, 2009 at 8:15 AM

This sounds so good & served with a salad it is one full healthy meal. What kind of lentils did you use, brown ones? i do beans & rice, but never combined it with coconut milk, sounds like a flavorful vegetable biryani.


16 Michael Gilmore August 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM

Sounds and looks good. Had not thought to do this dish with lentils. Have done something similar with gandules (pigeon peas) or with red beans like gallo pinto.


17 Erica August 27, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Thank you so much for your comments!


18 DougT February 24, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Coming back for the fourth time to make a new family favorite!
The first time we made this for a BBQ we had. A pal is Colombian, so I thought I’d surprise him. He was, we loved it, and here I am back again.

Thanks for posting!


19 marionk January 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

My mother was from Panama and coconut rice was a staple on our table. She has passed and I was so dumb not to get the recipe. I remember her making it using fresh coconut, but I never could would remember what type of bean she used in it. I knew it was a small brown bean. Your recipe looks almost identical to mom’s rice. I am going to try it. thank you!!


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