Coconut botanically known as Cocos nucifera is a member of the Arecaceae (palm) family. The term coconut can refer to an entire coconut palm, seed or the fruit. Generally grown throughout the tropics, they are used in various ways and culinary uses. Coconut fruit in the wild is light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents.
Regarded as Polynesian introduction in the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut was first brought to the islands by the Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. Coconuts received its name from the Portuguese explorers and it was the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India first brought them to Europe. The coconut palm is also known as Kalpa Vriksha in Sanskrit which means a tree which gives all that is necessary for living as mostly every part of the tree is used in some way or the other.
It is one of the amazing and natural fruit created by god. The coconut fruit is useful in various ways like it’s used for cooking, the sweet water is edible and has enormous health properties, oil is extracted from coconut. Earlier days the husk of the tree was used for burning for fuel but today the seed fibre called the coir is taken from the husk and used to make brushes, sacks, door mats, fishnets and rope. From the coconut palm’s sap, a very potent fermented toddy or drink is prepared.
Coconut oil or saturated fat is made from the dried coconut meat which is also used in making candies and margarines and the non edible part is used in making of soaps and cosmetics. On the whole coconut is famous for the list of coconut based products like tender coconut water, copra (dry coconut), coconut oil, coconut cake, coconut toddy, coconut shell based products, coconut leaves and coir pith. The shell and husk are burned and the smoke is used to repel mosquitoes.
In India, Kerala is the largest coconut growing state and is famous for the most tender coconuts. 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).
Puttu, 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.
The coconut leaves are extensively used in making of broom sticks, baskets and cover the roof thatch. In southern India like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the coconut leaves are woven and used as pandals for marriages. In Kerala (India), coconut trunks are used for house construction. The coconut has an important role in Indian daily life especially the south India, where coconut is used as a pooja material and is broken either before or after the pooja as a ritual.
Young coconut juice has estrogen-like characteristics and is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein. The meat of the coconut is very good in destroying intestinal parasites that we get from eating infected food. Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems. Coconut milk has been found to help cases of sore throat as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
The fresh coconut meat of this wonderful tropical nut is delicately added into soups, spicy and tangy chutneys, spicy sambals, refreshing sorbets and cakes. They are also ground into a paste and added into thick and rich gravy based curries. Some of the popular Vegetarian dishes made with coconut are:
Coconut Chutney Coconut chutney made with fresh coconut, lentils, subtly spiced with green chillies and tempered with fresh curry leaves gives a soothing earthy flavor and is the perfect accompaniment for South Indian idlis, dosas, vada and uttapams (rice pancakes) etc.
Hot Red Chilli Hot Coconut Chutney Hot red chilly coconut chutney is slightly different from the normal coconut chutney. Coconut blended with fiery hot red chillies and lentils tempered with mustard, fresh curry leaves. This tastes extremely good with hot steamed rice and a blob of ghee.
Coconut Rice Coconut Rice is a traditional rice preparation of south India. Cooked/ steamed rice added with fresh grated coconut, curry leaves and some spices.
Quick & Simple Coconut Chutney Quick and simple coconut chutney is a basic chutney made with fresh grated coconut flavoured with ginger, hing, shallots, salt and spiced with few green chillies ground to a nice paste and tempered with fresh curry leaves, mustard and lentils. Serve with dosa, appam etc.
Raw Mango and Coconut Chutney Excellent tangy and sweet chutney made with combining raw mango and fresh coconut to give a fantastic taste to the taste buds.
Pumpkin Coconut Curry Pumpkin Coconut curry is an amazing dish; pumpkin cooked in a yummy fresh grated coconut, poppy seed and cashew nut paste, spices cooked in coconut milk.
Poppy Seeds and Coconut Paste
Kerala Olan Curry – Ash gourd Pumpkin coconut Stew Kerala Olan curry or Ash Gourd Pumpkin Coconut Stew is made with ash gourd mildly spiced cooked in coconut milk.
Coconut Chutney Maharashtrian StyleCoconut chutney is a simple mixture of coconut, garlic, green chillies and spices. This chutney is typically made in Maharashtrian style.
Tindora (tendli) Coconut and Cashewnuts-Beeja Manoli Upkari Long sized slit tindora stir fried and seasoned with spices, coconut and cashew nuts.
Kadala Curry Black Chana Masala Kerala Style Kadala is a coconut based kala chana (black chickpeas) curry that is rich in protein and lip smacking good when eaten with many starch dishes .Shallots aka sambar onions and fresh coconut are essential ingredients. Kadala curry is one of the classic Kerala vegetarian recipes you will ever taste.
Tava Idli on Foodies Day Out Spicy recipe made by using leftover idlis, it is a great combination made with onions, tomatoes and masalas. Goes well with coconut chutney.
Cabbage Foogath Cabbage foogath is a simple stiry fry curry dish, cabbage mildly spiced, flavoured with curry leaves and fresh grated coconut.This dish is more like poriyal and very popular cuisine from goa and manglore and cooked with cabbage and grated coconut and very mild flavor nice and juicy and tempered.
Gauvar Beans with Coconut Cluster beans cooked with grated coconut and tempered with simple spices. A wonderful recipe and a great combination, sweetness from both cluster beans and coconut gives and exotic and fullfillng taste.
Upvas Batata Kachori This Batata kachori or vada is savory tea time snack. It can be served as an appetizer or accompanied with the full meals. It’s a nice alternative for people who keep weekly fast upavas or vraths (just substitute maida with arrowroot powder).In this recipe, mixture of boiled potato and maida is used to make the cover. Coconut and seasoning has been used to make stuffing. Its a quick and easy recipe.
Tiffin Center Sambhar Sambar made in tiffin center style. This dish is made with few lentils, mixed vegetables, Indian spices roasted and ground to a masala paste and boiled with little tamarind juice until done.
Avial Avial is a dish that has a unique place in typical Kerala as well as Tamil cuisine and Udupi cuisine. It is a thick mixture of vegetables, curd and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralian vegetarian feast.
Beetroot Chutney Beetroot chutney is a yummy dish with a wonderful appearance and tastes excellent when mixed with hot rice or roti. This dish is deliciously made combining cubes of beetroot and fresh coconut, slightly stir fried and made to a coarse paste, later adding freshly roasted and ground Indian spices like dry red chillies, jeera, pinch fenugreek seeds etc and little sour tinge from the tamarind. Finally the chutney is tempered with mustard seeds, urad dal and fresh curry leaves. Urad dal gives a crunchy taste to the dish while eating.
Appam Appam is God’s own country’s revered food and most popular among Kerala breakfast recipes that are healthy and easy to make. These white lacy pancakes have a crisp side with an airy, soft on touch, fluffy center. Appam recipe uses minimal ingredients, simple to make and usually served with a range of sides like vegetable stew or chicken stew, sweetened coconut milk, Kerala egg cury, egg roast, korma, chutney and kadala curry.
Raw Banana Palya Raw banana curry is a simple south Indian curry recipe which is best enjoyed with plain rice or chapatis. The raw bananas are stir fried with blended coconut masala and which is seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies. h
Teeka Chutney for Vada Pav Teeka Chutney is made with a nice mix of roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut powder, chopped garlic and green chillies and spices. It gives a nice spicy, garlicky and nutty flavour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTfGsjPkWHY Gun powder for Idlis Dosa Tava Fry Gun powder or Milaga podi is made with a perfect blend of spices using the red chilies, urad dal, chana dal, hing or asafoetida, black pepper and little rice.
Mysore Rasam Rasam is a type of thin and spicy lentil soup which is an integral part of any South Indian meal but is different from the popular sambhar.There are many version of rasam, some are made with lentil and some are made without using any lentil ,taste almost like a spicy tomato or vegetable broth.
Bengali Cholar Dal A classical dal preparation from Bengal with channa dal and garnished with coconut and sweetned with jaggery, served with soft loochies.
Pudalangai Kootu – Snake gourd kootu Snake gourd kootu is a simple south Indian side dish. Snake gourd or Podalangai or Potlakaya and channa dal (lentil) seasoned with aromatic Indian spices.
Sol Kadhi Sol Kadhi is a well popular traditional kokam in coconut milk dish from the western coastal region of India. It is a common dish prepared across Maharashtra, Konkan, and Goa regions. It is made with coconut milk, spiced with some green chillies, sweet and tanginess from kokum and flavored with fresh cilantro. Looks very attractive in a very pleasant pink coloured drink that is served as an appetizer and is very good for digestion!
Pineapple Kadi – Ananas Kadi A simple kadi made with coconut milk and pineapple. This is one of different variation of kadi which will not prepared in regularly but the combination of kadi with pineapple will taste excellent.
Muga Gathi – Sprouts in Maharashtrian cuisine Muga Gathi or Mugachya Gathi is a traditional dish of Goa, is a coconut curry dish made with Moong sprouted lentils and is part of the menu in Konkan weddings.
These are some of the most exceptional vegetarian dishes made with coconut.
Do try these delectable and appetizing dishes. Y
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