Wali wa Nazi

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Wali wa Nazi (coconut rice) is a creamy, rich accompaniment to any meat, Chicken, fish, or curry.


  • 2 cups of rice, well-washed, rinsed, soaked in water for twenty minutes, and drained (basmati rice is especially favored)
  • 4 cups coconut milk, (two cups thick, two cups thin) home-made or canned, unsweetened (see below)
  • salt (to taste, approximately one teaspoon)


  1. Bring the thin coconut milk to a near boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the rice and salt.
  3. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Reduce heat to very low.
  5. Stir in the thick coconut milk.
  6. Continue stirring for five minutes while the mixture simmers.
  7. Cover tightly.
  8. Make sure the fire is as low as possible.
  9. Let steam for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  10. Serve with any Swahili-style curry dish.

Coconut juice vs coconut milk

Coconut juice and coconut milk are not the same thing.

Coconut juice (also called coconut water, or agua de coco) is the liquid found inside a green (unripe) coconut, which diminishes as the coconut ripens. coconut juice is a refreshing beverage. It is consumed right-out-of-the-coconut in tropical Africa; you pick your coconut from the street vendor's pile, he whacks the top off it with a machete and hands it to you. Canned coconut juice can be found in grocery stores. It is not used in cooking.

Coconut milk is made from the meat of the ripened coconut. To make thick coconut milk: In a glass bowl, combine equal parts near-boiling water and coconut meat (fresh or dried, shredded or flaked—if using packaged coconut meat, unsweetened). Stir well and allow the mixture to stand for up to an hour. Squeeze the mixture very tightly in your hands, or run it through a blender or food processor. Strain everything through a cheesecloth, using the cloth to wring all liquid from the coconut meat. Repeat the process, re-using the same coconut meat to make thin coconut milk, then throw away the coconut meat.

If using canned unsweetened coconut milk: Shake the can before opening. Divide the contents of the can into two parts, placing about two-thirds of the can's contents in one measuring cup and the remaining one-third in the other. Add enough warm water to each to make two cups. The first is the "thick", the second is the "thin".