Friday, 23 October 2015

Coconut and its by-products


Unfortunately, Coconut and its by-products were listed under Villain (food) category but, in reality its not true. Its pretty safe and also protects us. Another miss-concept about coconut is it’s not a nut, it’s a fruit. The moment I realized its (practical) benefits, I stated using coconut lavishly in my kitchen. 

Here, let me explain how to produce various coconut products like, coconut milk, Coconut cream, coconut flour (coco flour) and coconut oil and try to use these products in the upcoming posts / recipes.

Coconut is an important ingredient in the south Indian cuisine. The fresh grated coconut flakes used to make chutneys, fillings, even for topping. Coconut milk used to make rich curries and gravy’s.  Coconut oil is used mostly in the southern state of Kerala.

Ingredients : Matured  Coconut    ;     100ml of hot water

Milk : Grate the coconut fruit from the shell and grind with the help of mixer-grinder. If require add little hot water and continue to grind   2 - 3 min.

Transfer to the strainer or muslin cloth extracts the milk (by squeezing) as much as you can. Keep the drained flakes aside. This milk can be used to make korma, curry etc. Also, severed chill with sugar or as a dip to iddiyappam or appam. But, now to make a cream we leave the coconut milk in the fridge for about 8 – 10 hrs.

Meanwhile, let’s see the coconut flour (coco flour) making process, spread the drained flakes in a baking tray and keep under the sun for few hours. Then transfer into oven and bake at 80 – 100°C for about 1 hour. This can be used to make cookies and bread (for HFLC diet / Gluten free) 

Remove the coconut milk from the fridge; you will see the thick cream formed on the top and watery liquid settled at the bottom. (the below picture it’s only about 4 hrs of refrigeration. The bottom water level depends on the water added during the grinding process)

Scoop the coconut cream, and store in a fridge with an air tight container. This cream can be used to make kinds of curry or dessert.  It can also substitute to the koya (for vegan)

Now we left with only the whitish hazy water. Be aware, it’s just not only the water, it’s a water and coconut oil mixture!. This water can also used to make rasam, boil vegetables, even to bake bread.  If we can separate the water from it the remaining is oil ! 

How do we separate the water ? simply by the process called, evaporation. Transfer the liquid into a thick bottom pan and put in on the low flame. After the water evaporation the oil is remain on the pan. You may see some precipitation, filter the oil and store.

How much oil I get from one coconut ? Well, its depends on the coconut size and its fruit type, you may get 50 – 75 ml of oil per coconut.

Now, what is left in the coconut ? ONLY the aroma of the coconut oil filled all around your kitchen !