Colombian Arroz Con Coco (Coconut Rice)

In Colombia we have two versions of coconut rice. The white coconut rice that is a bit similar to the Thai version, and the coconut rice made with “titoté”. Titoté is what we call the burned solid coconut that ends up in the pan after the liquid from the coconut milk evaporates. This is what gives this rice such a sweet and savory flavor that goes so well with any kind of meat or fish.


To make this rice I always use canned coconut milk because it’s the easiest way for me to get it. In Colombia they actually grate fresh coconuts to get the milk out of them but in all honesty, using canned coconut milk works just as well and it tastes the same, no matter what other people tell you. So, don’t feel bad if you end up using the canned stuff like I do. Just one word of caution, try not to use Asian coconut milk because I have noticed that those cans come with a thick layer of coconut on top that doesn’t work well for making this rice. Stick with Latin brands like Goya, which have more liquid and are easier to work with.

Another piece of advice I have is just to be patient while making this rice because making the titoté takes a little bit of time, but you will see that it’s totally worth making.

¡Buen Provecho!

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Colombian Coconut Rice

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  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 3 cups (720 ml) coconut milk, canned or fresh
  • 2 cups (450 g) long grained white rice
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp brown or white sugar, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) raisins (optional)
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1 cup (240 ml) cola (ex.: Coke or Pepsi)


  1. Pour coconut milk into a large pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it is boiling reduce the heat to medium low and cook stirring frequently until the liquid dissolves and the coconut solids turn a caramel color. This can take up to 40-45 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and stir well with the coconut. Then, stir in the salt, sugar and raisins.
  3. Add the water and the cola and bring to a boil over medium heat until most of the liquid evaporates. Then, cover and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Serve immediately.

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    1. Yes, you would then need 6 cups of coconut milk total, 3 of those you would turn into "titoté", the brown coconut solids, and the other three would be the liquid to cook the rice with. Many people in Colombia only use the coconut milk from one coconut, so the last three cups are usually more watery since it's the last bit of squeezed milk they can get out of it.

    1. Yes you can! Many people in Colombia only use the coconut water that comes from one whole coconut. The first couple of batches is pretty thick and white but the remainder cups are more watery but still have that coconut flavor.

  1. How much fresh grated coconut can I use instead of the coconut milk and how should I cook it with the fresh coconut

    1. You can use one whole coconut. It’s a process in and of itself because you need to get the coconut flesh out of the coconut, blend it with water and strain it. You have to do this process about 2-3 times with the same coconut in order to get all the coconut milk out of it and that is what you will end up using for this recipe. It’s pretty time consuming which is the reason I use canned coconut milk.

  2. I tried making the Colombian Coconut Rice dish but my titoté was very pastey and stuck to the pan. Was there a step that I possibly missed or maybe my fire wasn’t high enough. Can you give me some tips? Thanks,


    1. Hi Dave, I have never had an issue making titoté but yeah, try leaving your heat at medium low so that it doesn’t harden. Think of it as making caramel and stir frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.

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