Butternut Squash with Coconut Milk Rice

Deliciously light and fragrant :)
I'm proud to say that for the first time in my life I cooked rice... Without a rice cooker! Not because I don't have a rice cooker or making some fancy-grained rice, it's merely because the recipe says so (ha, how vanilla!) plus I can't wait to try my spanking new cast iron pot. Oh yes I've already moved in to the new flat! Not quite settled yet but stove and oven are already warmed up :)

This dish is very light in taste and has the most amazing texture, crunchy fresh lemongrass with tender butternut squash and soft black beans. Too light for Seng Ming though, but I'm pretty sure my parents will approve :)

  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (boil dry beans an hour in advance)
  • 1 cup Basmati rice (or any short-grained), rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk
  • 1¼ cup water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 lime, zest and juiced
  • Salt and pepper
Adapted from Tartelette

  1. Bring coconut milk and water to boil in a medium sized pot. I'm honestly not a fan of commercial stocks or broth so for my version I just use water. Remember that rice expands when it's cooked, so get a nice size pot for this
  2. At boiling point, add rice to the pot and lower down the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot
  3. While the rice cooks, heat up a deep bottomed pan and a tsp of olive oil. Do keep an eye on the rice from time to time :)
  4. Saute onion and lemongrass until onion is translucent, not brown
  5. Add butternut squash pieces and thyme. Cover the pan to let the squash soften for about 10 minutes
  6. Check on rice, it should absorb most of the liquid by now. Leave the cover slightly ajar
  7. Once squash pieces are tender, add black beans, salt and pepper to taste
  8. Rice should also be ready by now with nice plump and moist grains. If it's still too wet, let it simmer for a while more
  9. Scope rice to the pan and give it a good stir to mix well. And serve!
The trick to perfectly cooked rice (yea like I'm some expert now *pffft*) is to watch over it with eagle eye. It burns easily so keeping it watchful at the last stage, when it's soaking up the very last of liquid, is key to rice-cooker-quality perfection. Or you can just use a rice cooker! But I thought the process was quite fun (it's not like I'm watching paint dry) and I'd do it again :)

And lunch is ready!


  1. i have not cooked rice without a rice cooker!! not sure i know how...!
    have fun with ur cast iron pot. my sis makes mean stews / rendang (recipe plss) by chucking everything in said pot and into the oven for 3 - 5 hrs.

  2. Oh yes! Stews and braise are actually the reason why I bought the pot in the first place. Can't wait to try it!

  3. Simple yet nice recipe:) It's very applicable for our hostel life.

    P/s: just read your comment from our blog:) It made my day! Cheers!

  4. Simple yet nutritious - I love it! Love those plates too - very nostalgic ;p


  6. Hi midori! Yes I'm looking forward to cook this weekend ;)

  7. This looks totally delicious - what beautiful colours. And healthy too !

  8. Oh no... I asked my husband to cook white rice for me tonight (had a terrible craving) but alas it was too late... now reading this, I'm half-tempted to go into the kitchen at this late hour and whip it up myself! It looks just lovely!

  9. Hi foodie and the chef, thanks for your wonderful comment!

    Hi Virginia, I always look forward to you stopping by :)