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mongo_jones

coconut--2 questions

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does anyone know how much dessicated coconut would approximate 1/2 a medium coconut's worth of flesh? the latter is the amount of coconut called for in a number of the recipes in the penguin kerala cookbook--but it is written for an audience that has access to fresh coconut as well as people/tools to cut and shred it. here in colorado i have neither. i assume though that i will be able to find shredded, dessicated coconut in grocery stores. which leads me to the second question: what does one do to dessicated cocount to prepare it for use in a recipe that calls for shredded, fresh coconut?

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Mongo

Usually one can easily find Frozen Fresh Shredded Coconut in frozen fruits or pastry dough section of Super Markets, I am sure you will be able to find some.


"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux

makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them." Brillat-Savarin

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Mongo

Usually one can easily find Frozen Fresh Shredded Coconut in frozen fruits or pastry dough section of Super Markets, I am sure you will be able to find some.

thanks for the reply--do i just thaw it by itself or is it preferable to soak it in something? also, how much frozen shredded coconut will approximate 1/2 a fresh coconut?

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does anyone know how much dessicated coconut would approximate 1/2 a medium coconut's worth of flesh? the latter is the amount of coconut called for in a number of the recipes in the penguin kerala cookbook--but it is written for an audience that has access to fresh coconut as well as people/tools to cut and shred it. here in colorado i have neither. i assume though that i will be able to find shredded, dessicated coconut in grocery stores. which leads me to the second question: what does one do to dessicated cocount to prepare it for use in a recipe that calls for shredded, fresh coconut?

We can find fresh coconuts at the supermarkets out here in the wilds of Northern Idaho and you can't find them in Colorado???..I'll mail you one, if you want..

As far as tools are concerned all you need is a "BFH"(Big Freaking Hammer) and the grater attachment on your food processor, or a finger shredding four sided food grater...

If all you are doing is making coconut milk, you don't even have to peel the brown stuff off the meat before shredding...

One website I went to said that the flesh of one coconut = 4 cups dessicated, but mentions nothing on how to make the dried stuff work like the fresh...But, I'd assume that a bit more liquid would be needed in the recipe

not being much help here, am I?...Oh well, I tried...

One thing to watch out for...most dessicated coconut sold in grocery stores are sweetened...Sure to ruin your recipe...I'd suggest a health food store...


Edited by jw46 (log)

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context for the question:

i was originally going to make a prawn curry from the penguin kerala cookbook but abandoned that idea since i not only didn't have fresh coconut, i didn't also have any tamarind in the house.

i decided instead to make a prawn curry from one of my mother's recipes (her take on the bengali malai curry). certain crucial ingredients are of course not available to me: bagda chingdis (with the head on), genuine mustard oil, and also fresh coconut (as in not a coconut that was plucked months ago in some other country and has been drying up in the fresh vegetable section of a grocery store--sorry jw46, i should have been more specific). the lack of mustard oil i have grown accustomed to, and as for the prawns i can't afford the jumbo variety in the u.s. for the coconut, my mother's recipe calls for both grated fresh coconut and a thin milk extracted from the same coconut to be added at separate points. hence my question.

here's the workaround i settled upon:

i ended up using 2/3 of a can of lite-coconut milk. the idea being that since i was using more milk than was in my mother's recipe, and since even the lite canned milk is thicker than her extract, this would be a barely acceptable substitute. as it turned out the curry was quite good but almost a different dish. the grated coconut in the original creates a texture that is important, and also thanks to the extra milk my curry was a lot saucier (though not thinner in taste).

i would post the recipe for this but this is one my mother's patented ingredients only recipes ("add some of this, a little of that" etc.)--how much of each thing you add is something you figure out through practice, and i'm afraid i didn't keep track tonight either.

next time i'll experiment with the coconuts that are available and see how that goes. in the meantime can others in the u.s who make malayali or bengali style curries that call for coconut chime in with their techniques/approaches to the problem of fresh coconut and coconut milk?

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I think Madhur Jaffrey's solution to this is to use the same quantity of dessicated coconut as fresh, but to remember to soak it in hot water and ADD the water as well. This might seem obvious, but I didn't do it when I tried making a thoran from Das Sreedharan's Kerala cookbook and the result was way too powdery and dry. Sreedharan's book failed to mention this tip which adds to my suspicion of using cookbooks by restaurateurs for home cooking,

Vikram

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The extra effort for fresh coconut is worth it. The difference is substantial.

On the other hand there are certain recipes like Usal/Misal for example, which call for and must use only dessicated coconut which has a ever so slightly rancid flavor. Due to storage, the oil in the coconut develops a discrete dimension.

Misal is Maharashtra's breakfast and is made like a spicy red coconutty ragda. Usually topped with chivda, it is actually a very unusual dish and not known in many parts of the country. Cafe Bharat, opposite Churchgate station serves a mean Misal Pav for a princely sum of Rs. 7.50.

Coming back to the conversion ratio between the two, I dont think there is a fixed formula, use your andaz. There is another variable- the difference in the coconuts' origin and age. :hmmm:


Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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This might seem obvious, but I didn't do it when I tried making a thoran from Das Sreedharan's Kerala cookbook and the result was way too powdery and dry. Sreedharan's book failed to mention this tip which adds to my suspicion of using cookbooks by restaurateurs for home cooking,

Vikram

A thoran must be made with freshly grated coconut and more importantly grated with the thingamajig that looks like Clint Eastwood's Spur. Believe me, I've learnt the hard way, nothing else will do.

Okay I found my old post "This kind of grated/scraped coconut has a snowflake like structure that is something else and has a tactile caress on the tongue that regular grating wont do."

Sounds too flowery doesnt it ? :hmmm:


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Vikram

A thoran must be made with freshly grated coconut and more importantly grated with the thingamajig that looks like Clint Eastwood's Spur. Believe me, I've learnt the hard way, nothing else will do.

Okay I found my old post "This kind of grated/scraped coconut has a snowflake like structure that is something else and has a tactile caress on the tongue that regular grating wont do."

Sounds too flowery doesnt it ? :hmmm:

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