Note: Look for coconut milk with no stabilizers such as crystalline cellulose or xanthan gum. If you can't find them, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot in step 1 once the coconut milk has reduced down to a few tablespoons and starts spluttering.
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk (see note)
- 2 cups uncooked long or medium grain rice
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 3 cups water
Heat coconut milk in a 2 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until simmering. Reduce to medium low and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until reduced to a couple of tablespoons (see note). Continue to cook, stirring and scraping constantly until coconut oil breaks out and coconut solids cook down to a deep, dark brown, about 20 minutes total.
Add rice, sugar (more or less to taste), and salt. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until rice grains begin to turn translucent and golden, about 2 minutes. Add raisins (if using) and stir to combine.
Add water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over high heat, reduce to lowest possible setting, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, and serve.