Coconut recipes are dime a dozen in South Indian cooking. Learn how to store grated coconut for easy use in recipes that require coconut. You will also find coconut recipe ideas, both sweet and savoury.
While I love using coconut in South Indian cooking, there’s never a chance to use the whole coconut in one recipe. I end up using a couple of tablespoons while grinding a masala or a teaspoon for a garnish over a light Tambrahm style stir fry. One coconut, broken open and scraped / grated can be used in multiple dishes over a couple of weeks or so, in my kitchen.
Coconut has the tendency to spoil easily because of the high oil content, not lasting for more than 2-3 days even in the refrigerator. Grated fresh coconut is best stored in an airtight box in the freezer. This gets problematic when I need just a couple of spoons of coconut to garnish a dish and I have to struggle with the whole big lot- break off a little and thaw. Quite a few frail knives and spoons have been bent in the process of scraping out a small portion from a big frozen chunk and now I know better.
This is my kitchen tip for you on how to store a grated coconut with quite a few coconut recipes to try out.
1. To break open the coconut, hit it around the central circumference on a big stone or a stony edge.
2. Usually, it will break off into two halves. You can keep a bowl beneath, while breaking to collect the sweet coconut water. In some occasions, the shell may break off leaving the whole coconut inside intact (the way it is in the picture). In the latter, you will have to cut open the whole nut into two halves-collecting the coconut water in a bowl.
3. Grate or scrape out the flesh using a coconut scraper.
4.Stuff the grated coconut into an ice tray. Leave overnight in the freezer
5.Extract the coconut cubes and save them in a Ziploc bag in the deep freezer. Now you can have exactly as much fresh coconut as you want and yet save the rest.
6.Whenever you need some of this for a recipe, just remove the required number of cubes into a bowl and microwave them for 1 min in the defrost mode.
Watch my video on ice tray kitchen hacks:
Some of my favourite coconut recipes – both savoury and sweet:
Thenga Thogayal to go with Upma Kozhakattai (spiced coconut chutney)
Sweet Sour Pineapple Gojju – A South Indian curry
Poricha Kootu – South Indian mixed veg curry with lentils
Chow Chow Thogayal – Chow Chow chutney
[Coconut Image: Shutterstock]