Purple rice?

purple sticky rice with cashews

Purple sticky rice, also known Thai black rice, turns a deep purple color when cooked. Traditionally served as a dessert topped with sweet coconut milk, purple sticky rice has a unique nutty flavor and adds an exotic taste to any meal.

Purple Sticky Rice with Cashews

2 cups purple sticky rice
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked sweet peas
1/2 cup cashew halves and pieces, toasted
Sesame seeds

Put rice in a fine-mesh sieve, and rinse well under running water in sink. You may also pour rice into a saucepan, add water, and swish the rice around to rinse. Pour out the cloudy water, and repeat until water is mostly clear.

Place the rinsed rice back into the saucepan. Add coconut milk, water, and salt. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20 minutes. Stir well, cover again, and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Nearly all of the liquid should be absorbed.

While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and stir to coat. Cook 20 minutes or until onions are slightly blackened and crispy, stirring frequently. Add cooked peas and cashews to rice, and stir. Place a mound of rice on each serving plate, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Top with onions.

Recipe Notes

  • Add chickpeas to boost the protein content.
  • Substitute green beans or chopped broccoli for peas.


  1. I have been looking for the purple rice and cannot find it anywhere… can i use something else?

    • You CAN, but the taste will be very different. Thai rice, or purple sticky rice, has a naturally sweet taste when cooked. You could substitute brown rice, and the dish will still be good…just not AS good. 😉