Wali wa Nazi – Kenyan Coconut Rice

Nuvita Biscuits

Wali wa Nazi (wali, cooked rice; nazi, coconut) is a Swahili dish popular on Africa’s Indian ocean coast, particularly in Swahili areas like Zanzibar, Lamu, Malindi, and Mombasa. It is a creamy, rich accompaniment to any meat, chicken, fish, or curry.

What you need

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

What you do

  1. Bring the thin coconut milk to a near boil in a saucepan. Add the rice and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to very low.
  2. Stir in the thick coconut milk. Continue stirring for five minutes while the mixture simmers.
  3. Cover tighly. Make sure the fire is as low as possible. Let steam for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  4. Serve with Samaki wa Kupaka, or Tanzanian Meat Stew, Mchuzi wa Samaki or any Swahili-style curry dish.

Coconut Juice, 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.

“Thick” and “thin” coconut milk are made from the meat of the ripened coconut. They can be approximated by diluting canned coconut milk.

Using coconut meat. To make thick coconut milk: In a glass bowl, combine equal parts, by volume, of near-boiling water and coconut meat; i.e., enough water to cover the coconut. The coconut can be fresh or dried, shredded or flaked — if using packaged coconut meat, use 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. This liquid is the thick coconut milk. Then, repeat the process, re-using the same coconut meat to make thin coconut milk. The used coconut meat should be thrown away.

Using canned coconut milk. If using canned unsweetened coconut milk (15 oz. can): Shake the can, vigorously, before opening. Divide the contents of the can into two parts, placing about two-thirds of the can’s contents in one measuring cup (capable of holding at least two cups) and the remaining one-third in another. Add enough hot water to each cup to make two cups. The first is the “thick”, the second is the “thin”.



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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Pacman on Mar 15, 2013

    head of hair.Our nextdoor neighbour had advised her to apply thick Coconut milk before taking a headbath.Is this treatment advisable?

  2. posted by Praveen on Mar 16, 2013

    Is it coconut “milk”, or “juice”?

  3. posted by Willie on Mar 18, 2013

    I have cod loin, fresh corriander and limes. Want to know what to make with these for dinner. I have the usual store cupboard items such as tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, crushed chillies etc. Also, I have fresh squid tubes. Any idea how to make salted chilli squid?


  4. posted by Rassling Fundamentals on Mar 18, 2013

    So far, from the recipes I have found, one of the only differences is that the Indian-style uses coconut milk in their curry. Any other differences?

  5. posted by wwwavid360gamercom on Mar 19, 2013

    I got a haircut in feb.Its short to my shoulder/neck.I want to grow it longer.TO say the truth i use instyler.I straighten it and then dont wash my hair for 2 or 3 days.I have meduim thick hair and wavy.I use coconut milk product.What can I do to grow it faster?What products to use?Please help!

  6. posted by Xbox360king on Mar 19, 2013

    Do you coupon clip? Are you making some foods yourself?
    Did you know one can make margarine for less than it costs? I get a bucket of shortening (cheaper to buy it that way) I use a few scoops of it and mix with thick coconut milk and add a bit of salt and I wind up with almost a lb of margarine! It tends to be white or off white It costs me about $1.00 to make a lb of margarine!

  7. posted by Mark on Mar 21, 2013

    This is my recipe and includes coconut essence, but still doesn’t have the same full flavor:

    2 cups Thai jasmine-scented white rice
    1+1/2 cups thick, good-quality coconut milk (not “lite”)
    2 cups water
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. coconut essence
    I just read somewhere that adding 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence may sweeten it?
    Maybe a cinnamon stick too?

  8. posted by nathan on Mar 24, 2013

    I have thin hair and it doesnt really grow i read in a article that if you use coconut milk on your scalp for about a hour it makes it grow and thicker is these true? have any of you guys heard or tryed these before? if yes how many times a week should i do these?

  9. posted by encyclopath on Mar 24, 2013

    What is the process of canning coconut milk? (for example the organic kind you would buy at the grocery store)

  10. posted by superdork on Mar 25, 2013

    Coconut popsicles:
    1 1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3 cups coconut milk
    2 cups fresh coconut, shredded
    6-8 wooden popsicle sticks

    And how do you make coconut milk. I’d prefer to make it, rather than buy it from the store.

  11. posted by Rassling Fundamentals on Mar 25, 2013

    When coconuts aren’t in season, can canned coconut cream or milk be good substitutes nutritionally for the raw fruit?

  12. posted by dubmecrazy3 on Mar 26, 2013

    I have chicken, and I have green curry paste. I’m not in the mood to be creative, and I can’t think of anything else to make. Can I just slice up the chicken breasts and fry it with oil and curry paste with some veges and serve it on rice? Because I dont have any coconut milk, just regular milk. Any other suggestions?

  13. posted by dubmecrazy3 on Mar 26, 2013

    Any suggestions what I did wrong? If the milk had been combined with tomato liquid, would this have helped?

  14. posted by Death Knight on Mar 26, 2013

    I have bought refined coconut oil. Is it still good for my hair? I don’t want to use it for cooking, just for my hair as a treatment and maybe also for my face.
    I have read lots of positive reviews on coconut oil, so i wanted to try it as a pre-shampoo treatment, but then i have found out, that mine is not virgin :(

  15. posted by louisewoods1984 on Mar 26, 2013

    Usually I can easily get the coconut out.
    But this time it is really stuck to the shell.
    Any pointers on how to get it out easily?

  16. posted by baldy eire on Mar 28, 2013

    I’m making flan de coco for a spanish project and I don’t really know where to get coconut cream but I have coconut milk. Can I use that instead of the creme? The milk isn’t super liquidy, its pretty thick.

  17. posted by Miguel M on Mar 28, 2013

    The chef that happened to have won the Top Chef Masters (Chef Floyd) described a savory childhood snack made with these ingredients and I thought it would be interesting.

    What type of ratio of liquid to grain would I use ? Would it be completely similar to the box directions or would I use water in addition to coconut milk ?

    BQ – What do you think of this blend and have you tried it yourself ?

    Thanks ! ★

  18. posted by Coffee t on Mar 28, 2013

    I’ve had severe dandruff since 5th grade. I was 10 yrs old. My scalp produces fresh flakes everyday. The flakes I sometimes I take off from my head can be as big as half a centimeter wide, or that measurement can in fact be the radius of one particularly big drandruff flake. I have used coconut oil to remove the flakes, coconut milk, aloe vera, lemons, hot oil. but the dandruff keeps coming back. On particular days, my head becomes very very itchy. I’ve used head and shoulders for as long as i can remember, and nizoral too. I’ve even used sulfur ointment (which stinks and makes the hair greasy) to get rid of this “fungal infection” but to no avail. I went to a dermatologist and she said it’s incurable. Which means i have to deal with this for the rest of my entire life!
    Well, when i was a sophie in HS, i had a classmate who was also my classmate back in 5th grade. She also has the same dandruff issue as I do. She told me she started having dandruff back in 5th grade, like I did, because of this flour fight in class, when everyone threw flour at everyone. Someone allegedly placed flour on her hair, and from that day on she had dandruff. Can there be a connection? Plus, a professor 10 in biology at my university said that dandruff might be caused by the skin’s sensitivity to yeast in air. And he said that it might be curable.

    Why is dandruff so misunderstood?? What is it? Some say it’s yeast, others say it’s fungi. My dermatologist said it’s “seborrheic dermatitis!” whatever the name, it’s starting to annoy me. I must get rid of this. Help me!
    i’m really sorry to inform you that even tea tree oil does not help. I have this shampoo that has tea tree, manuka and thyme oils but it doesn’t work and even leaves my hair drier than usual, plus i get so much tangles with that shampoo it is impossible for me to skip conditioner… I’m so frustrated.

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