Tender coconuts are popular as a stand-alone drink and snack but they are also wonderful meal ingredients – Sheela P. Thammaiah
Tender coconut water is hydrating and nutritious, fat-free and high in antioxidants, ascorbic acid, B vitamins, and proteins. Moreover, the soft meat or flesh inside the coconut helps to restore oxidative tissue damage and is a healthy source of fats, proteins, dietary fibre and minerals. It’s also a source of potassium and sodium which helps regulate blood pressure.
Tender coconut fruit salad
1 cup fresh tender coconut meat cubes
1/2 cup fresh pineapple cubes
1/2 cup apple cubes (unpeeled)
1/2 cup boiled potato cubes
1/4 cup cheese cubes
10 chopped olives
1/4 chopped capsicum
For the dressing
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cream
1/4 tsp mustard powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tender coconut pudding
1 can (400 gm) condensed milk
250 ml milk cream
1 cup fresh coconut milk
1 cup full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-10 gm china grass sheets (agar-agar)
1 cup water (for boiling china grass)
½ cup chopped tender coconut meat
Mix the can of condensed milk and milk cream in a bowl. Add the cup of full fat milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk well. Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat and set aside.
Soak 5 gm of china grass in a cup of water for five minutes. Bring it to a boil and simmer until the china grass melts. Strain and add to pudding mixture.
Add the tender coconut meat.
Pour into bowls and let it set in the fridge for four hours.
Prawn curry in tender coconut shell
1 tender coconut
6-7 jumbo prawns
2-3 tbsp boiled onion paste (place the onion in water and microwave for 5 minutes and then make a paste)
2 ½ tbsp poppy seed paste
3 tbsp mustard paste
1-2 green chillies
¼ cup tender coconut meat
⅓ cup coconut water
½ tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp mustard oil
1 teaspoon panch phoron (whole spice blend) or garam masala
Salt (as per taste)
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Dough to seal the coconut shell
Slice top of the green coconut to make a big round .cavity. Don’t throw away the top shell, you’ll need it to seal the coconut during cooking.
Drain the coconut water into a glass/jug.
Next, scoop out the flesh/malai of the green coconut using a spoon and set aside.
Make a fine paste from the mustard seeds, poppy seeds, 1/3 cup of coconut water, salt, pinch of sugar (optional), green chillies, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
Cut and clean prawns, and marinate in salt and turmeric powder.
Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil in a pan and shallow fry the prawns, and set them aside. (Don’t overcook them, they will become hard.)
Now pour 1 tablespoon of mustard oil in the pan and add the whole spice blend. When it starts to crackle, add boiled onion paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add the prawns and almost immediately add the paste.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding salt if needed. Turn off the heat.
Pour the curry inside the coconut shell, drizzle some mustard and 1-2 green chillies on top.
Restore the sliced shell of the coconut and seal it with dough.
Preheat the oven at 420°F/210°C and bake it for 40-50 minutes.
Serve with plain white rice.