When we think of food smoldering in the local cooking pots of South India, a delicate yet distinct coconuty flavor runs in our mouth.
The unique element about coconut is the fact that you can relish it as a drink as well as a sweet when mixed with nuts and dry fruits. We try being experimental while cooking some of the most traditional coconut delicacies at home that run in the families for years.
For most of us, the rich coconut ladoos or the scrummy coconut burfi are irreplaceable when put up against the ostentatious imported treats. So indulge in the below recipes exclusively made with coconut and experience the unimaginable power and taste of this scrumptious edible.
1. Coconut ladoo
Coconut ladoo, popularly known as the nariyal ladoo, is a delicious Indian sweet loved in every household. It is an easy-to-make yummy delight to relish on any celebration, occasion or festival like Diwali, Holi, Navratri, or Ganesh Chaturthi. It is usually made with just two ingredients – grated coconuts and condensed milk.
Recipe: Heat one tablespoon of desi ghee in a pan. Add the grated coconut into the pan and saute it for 4-5 minutes until the moisture goes away. Don’t brown them. Now add condensed milk (Milkmaid) and cardamom powder to the coconut. Keep stirring the mixture until it thickens. When it begins to leave the sides of the pan, remove the pan from the flame. Pour this mixture in a plate or a bowl to let it cool. Make small balls of this mixture and roll them in the desiccated coconut. Your coconut ladoos are ready to be relished!
2. Coconut burfi
Thinking of making a quick yet delicious sweet to serve to the guests. Go for coconut burfi! It is the most common sweet of the festive season and gets ready in minutes. Imbued with the beautiful flavors of elaichi and coconut, this recipe is all about coconut in every bite.
Recipe: Put one teaspoon of desi ghee in a pan and heat it. Add 2 cups of grated coconut and 1.5 cups of sugar in the pan. Cook the mixture on a medium flame until it starts leaving the pan. Grease a plate with parchment paper or ghee. Spread the mixture evenly on the plate and cut them into pieces of desired sizes.
3. Coconut Shorba
If you are a health freak and avoid any kind of sweets in your diet, then this coconut delicacy is definitely for you. Coconut shorba is a delicious and a healthy recipe with a mild sweetness of coconut and is an ideal dish to serve to your loved ones. So next time, enjoy your favorite television show with a bowl of this soup.
Recipe: Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, whole red chili, and finely chopped ginger into it. Fry these ingredients well. Pour 4 cups of tender coconut water and 30 ml of coconut milk into the pan. Cook the shorba for 2 minutes.
For garnishing: Saute carrots, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and broccoli in some oil in a pan. Now add these veggies to the coconut shorba. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper powder on the shorba. Serve hot.
4. Coconut rice
Besides serving as a rich common side dish to some of the amazing curries, the rice can be served as a main recipe by imparting new flavors to it. Coconut rice is a popular South Indian recipe made with mild spices and raw coconut served on special occasion across the southern belt. You can either pair it with a dal or a raita.
Recipe: Heat some coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, chana dal, and urad dal. Let them pop for a few seconds. Now add some curry leaves, dry red chilies, chopped green chilies, cashew nuts and coconut to the pan and mix well all the ingredients until light brown. Add cooked rice and salt. After cooking for 2-3 minutes, you can serve it hot with rasam or curd.
5. Coconut ice-cream
This ice-cream is silky smooth in texture and delicious to taste. Not a popular one on the ice-cream companies’ menu, coconut ice cream is truly a summer treat for the coconut lovers. The ice-cream carries the natural sweetness of coconut and the coconuty creamy flavor will make you ask for more.
Recipe: Mix one cup of desiccated coconut, 1.5 cups of heavy cream or condensed milk, coconut cream, a pinch of salt, and sugar in a blender until smooth. Pour this mixture into a container and put it in the deep freezer. Serve it with some grated coconut on top.
6. Coconut smoothie
This rich and creamy smoothie is perfect to start your day with. This drink is filled with a mellow taste of coconut bursting in your mouth. Coconut is a decent and a healthy add-on to milk. To make this drink more yummy and appealing, you can add your favorite fruits to it.
Recipe: Add milk, shredded coconut, one frozen banana, and some sugar in a blender until smooth. Pour this drink into the glass garnished with some grated coconut.
7. Coconut fish curry
Fish curry made with coconut is a respite after a long hectic day for the seafood lovers. The beautiful mouth-watering dish is a pleasure to the taste buds with lip-smacking flavors.
Recipe: Wash and clean the fish slices properly and cover them with turmeric and red chili powder. Set aside.
For ground paste: Grind two onions, one tomato, a cup of grated coconut, 5-6 cloves of garlic, some ginger, 7-8 red Kashmiri chilies, one teaspoon each of coriander seeds and black peppercorns, and some tamarind together.
For the Curry: Heat coconut oil in a pan, and add some mustard seeds and curry leaves. After the spluttering of the seeds, add the ground paste to the oil. Keep stirring the paste until it starts leaving the pan. Now add the fish slice into the pan, and some salt and water. Let the curry boil on a simmer flame for 15 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.
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