It is hard on the outside, sweet and fleshy inside, filled with potable water, and extracted for milk, commonly recommended by nutritionists, doctors, and traditional medicine practitioners around the world - we are talking about coconuts. This subtropical fruit has paved its way into groceries and pantries across the globe. Genetic testing by the National Geographic Society in 2011 traces the origins of this fruit to India and Southeast Asia.
Interestingly, with its ability to float on water, this fruit traveled to different parts of the world, sometimes on its own and many a times with sea travelers. Even literature and folklores have mentioned this fruit. A popular essay - Topographia Christina by Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek merchant and sea traveler in the fiftth century refers to coconut as 'the great nut of India'.
In Arabic, this fruit is called zhawzhat al-hind, which translated to 'walnut of India'.
We bring to you a list of coconut-based recipes from across the globe - sweet, savouries or curries, we have you covered.
1. Sweet coconut puff: A popular tea-time snack, this sweet treat uses coconut as the filling, rice flour to cover, and sealed to perfection. It is then deep-fried and served warm or cold. Try this quick and easy dessert recipe here.
2. Thai masamman beef curry: As per Thai food expert David Thompson, Thai masamman beef curry originated in 17th century in central Thailand. It was first made in the court of historical city Ayutthaya. It is believed that masamman is a southern Thai dish influenced by Indian and Malay cuisine. Here is the recipe to try it at home.
3. Thai chicken green curry: This dish is a blend of aromatic herbs and chicken simmered in coconut milk. A versatile curry that makes use of thai sweet basil and kafir or lime leaves for a refreshing flavour. It is typically served with hot steamed rice to balance the complex flavours of the curry. Make this at home, with this recipe from Chef Wichit Panyo.
4. Narkol’er bora or coconut fritters: A savoury dish from Bengal that uses nigella seeds for a sharp and peppery aroma. These fritters can be had as a tea-time snack, sandwiched in between freshly baked pav or bread, or simply as a side to the main course meal. Try this crunchy recipe here.
5. Kerala recipe for Rasakalan: This is a popular recipe from the Indian state of Kerala that is prepared during the harvest festival of Onam. A recipe from popular UAE-based food blogger - Veena Jaan, this dish is a mix of vegetables, spices and coconut. Tastes best when served hot with steamed rice or what is natively known as Kerala 'matta' rice. Here is a recipe to making it the authentic Kerala way.
6. Patishapta or light crepes with a coconut and jaggery filling: This recipe by a popular Indian food blogger - Bong Eats is a Bengali delicacy. These sweetmeats are traditionally prepared for the winter harvest festival - Sankranti, celebrated in the month of january. With a few pantry staples, whip up this dessert at home with this recipe.
7. Spice-crusted sea bass: This recipe has tandoori crushed potatoes for a smoky flavour, velvety coconut moilee or sauce, coriander, butter, and crispy okras. A burst of flavour and texture, this recipe by celebrity Indian Chef Vineet Bhatia gives a step-by-step guide to preparing each layer. Try out this recipe at home.
8. A South Asian crab curry recipe: Laced with creamy coconut milk and spices, this is a fragrant pandan or screw pine leaf-infused curry. It also tells you how to make thin and thick coconut milk. Tamarind water, spices, and fresh crabs make this a delicious and refreshing curry dish to be had with rice. Here is the recipe.
Do you have a favourite coconut recipe or dishes? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org