Coconut is a tropical fruit of the coconut palm tree that grows wild on tropical seacoasts and is cultivated in moist, frost free climates. This tree is abundantly found in Southeast Asian countries. Every part available from the coconut tree is used widely in various ways, for example, the coconut milk from the mature coconut is used for preparing various exotic dishes, coconut oil is used as a massage oil, coconut meat is shredded or flaked and used in baked goods or candies, the dried coconut meat called copra is used in cooking and as it contains over 60% oil, this oil is used in making soap, cooking fat, margarine and many other products. The fresh natural water that you get from inside the tender coconut is a very refreshing drink especially good for those people with kidney ailments.
Coconut juice is highly alkaline. The sap, sweetish fluid called toddy, is fermented into an alcoholic beverage or into vinegar. Kerala, India is popularly known as the God’s own country as coconut trees are grown in abundance along the seacoast and in almost every backyard of their homes. It is the largest coconut growing state.
Apart from this state, coconut is also cultivated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, Islands of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar. Coconut is used in various ways for culinary use.
The white flesh meat in the coconut is edible and can be used fresh or dried for cooking. It is used for making chutney, adding few spices to it and makes a aromatic masala for curries and gravies. The fleshy part can also be used to produce coconut milk which is used in various aromatic and flavorful dishes like cooking fish in coconut milk with spices or for making kheer (Indian dessert).
Fresh grated coconut meat is used in making of Puttu which is a culinary delicacy of Kerala and Tamil Nadu where layers of coconut alternate with layers of powdered rice are fitted into a bamboo stalk or in recent times this has been replaced with steel or aluminium tubes, which is then steamed over a pot. Invariably coconut chutney is an important accompaniment served with Idli, Vada and Dosa.
Ground coconut with spices is also used in making of Sambar. Fresh coconut meat makes a delicious and satisfying snack which is at the same time healthful. Young coconut produces more water while the old coconut produces more meat. The meat of the mature coconut is thick, fibrous and full of flavor.
Often used in smoothies, the meat of a young coconut can be turned into coconut milk when put through a juicer. The meat of brown coconut is perfect for eating raw, shaving and dehydrating, toasting in the oven or could be added to make delectable gravy type curries, etc. They are often ground into a paste and added into thick and rich gravy based curries.
Some of the popular Non-Vegetarian dishes made with coconut are:
Chicken Coconut Red Curry – Kundapur Chicken
Mangalore (Kundapur) Chicken Curry is one of the versatile coastal curies, which goes very well with almost anything, neer dosas, idlis, sanna. Mangalorean chicken curry with rice crepes (Kori rotti ) is a heavenly dish.
Prawns Kuzhambu with Onion Tomato and Coconut
Prawns Kuzhambu with Onion Tomato and Coconut is an excellent dish cooked in onion, tomato, coconut and tamarind sauce. This is just like a Kuzhambu made in southern India.
Tender mouth-watering shrimp delicacy cooked with coconut.
Kheema with coconut curry is an amazing dish, flavorful and deliciously made with minced meat cooked in freshly ground coconut and mint masala spiced with green chilies and aromatic Indian spices. This is a very popular non-vegetarian dish from the cuisine of Kerala. Goes excellently well with Malabar paratha, roti, chapatti or rice!
Masala Fish in mild coconut gravy
Fish coated with spices and grilled until done and served with mildly spiced gravy made of coconut and spices cooked in little coconut milk.
Fish Moilee or Meen Molee, a very popular Kerala fish stew that's cooked in coconut milk and spices. The flavour is light, yet spicy with a good bit of green chillies in the mix. Each household in Kerala will have their own version of course.
Traditional mild Mughlai dish made of succulent chicken pieces cooked in coconut–cashew nut paste and yoghurt to give a nice silky rich creamy sauce or gravy. It is a popular Northern India – marked by silken curries, butter dishes and delicate flavors.
Hyderabadi Dum Ka Murgh with coconut poppy seeds
Dum ka murgh is a speciality Hyderabadi dish a chicken marinated with spices and yogurt for minimum 3 to 4 hours and cooked in a Hyderabadi dum process.
Kolambi Chi Kavalan – Maharashtrian Prawn Curry
Traditional Maharashtra tangy shrimp curry, there are many ways prawns are cooked in different regions it’s difficult to choose favourate. But this recipe will become one of your favorite after u try this because we add roasted and ground spices and sourness of tamarind will make this dish absolutely delicious.
Shrimp mango and coconut, these three ingredients are good combination if u know when to add which ingredient. It’s an innovative dish which gives an excellent aroma and taste.
Prawn Malai Curry
This delicious, mild curry is so easy to make. The word 'malai' means cream, but this curry gets its creaminess from coconut milk. This is a recipe from Bengal, which is famous for its seafood. Serve it with steamed basmati rice.
Chicken Malvani is a traditional and popular Malvani style of cooking chicken curry cooked in spicy Malvani masala gravy and coconut milk. This dish is extremely flavourful and a delicious chicken dish that goes well with rice, roti, chapatti or naan.
Kekda Masala – Crab Masala Maharashtrian Style
Kekda Masala or Crab Masala is a delicious crab dish made in Maharashtrian style influenced by Malvani cuisine - masala using spices and coconut.
These are some of the most exceptional non-vegetarian dishes made with coconut.
Do try these delectable and appetizing dishes.
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