In the UK, usually at the fair face of coconut, but it is an ingredient in many Asian cuisines and is a ubiquitous component of the cuisine of Sri Lanka.

Species: Cocos nucifera.


South-East Asia.


The coconut palm is native to the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia and now cultivated in tropical regions around the world. There has been speculation about a Polynesian or American coconut, but is almost certainly false. The plant was probably first cultivated in India and Southeast Asia, immigrants from countries with coconut almost everywhere in tropical Asia and Oceania. No evidence of coconut grown in America before the Spanish arrived, although the closest relatives of the coconut from the U.S. distribution.

Part used:

Tissue of the seed (endosperm), used fresh or dried. The bitter liquid inside the young seed, called "coconut water", is a regular refresher courses in tropical countries, and should not be confused with coconut milk. Coconut water is rarely used for cooking.


Arecaceae (palm family).


The endosperm is soft pleasant nutty flavor and a unique flavor with a hint of sweetness.


Coconut and its relatives in other European languages ​​are derived from coconut Spanish, Portuguese coco, "bogeyman", "ghost" or "goblin", referring to the three marks on each coconut to make it look like ghostly faces.

The species name nucifera is a meaning of neo-Latin formation "bearing nuts" (nux "nut" and ferre "carry" or "bear"). Almost all the names of coconut in the Indian languages ​​are related, Hindi as nariyal, nariyel Urdu, Punjabi narial, Bengali and Persian narokel nargile. These names and others can be traced back to Sanskrit narikela whose origin is not Indo-European. The first element resembles several names such Niyogi Australian Tagalog, Malay and Hawaiian nyiur Niu. In Tamil, the meaning of words Ney of "semi-solid fat," parallel similar constructions for other oilseeds. The Armenian Hentgagan engouz name literally means "Indian Nut" and some languages ​​use similar designations for nutmeg, although none of the plant comes from India.


Coconut is a characteristic of tropical coasts, can be found in the world and their role in the cuisines of tropical peoples can not be overstated. In addition, coir has been well established in the production of sweets, where its importance is not confined to low latitudes.

Cooks in tropical Asia are multiple uses of coconut products. Coconut water is drunk directly from the green fruit, grated and dried endosperm (Khopri) is used to thicken sauces and oil pressed from the endosperm is a popular frying medium. The sweet sap produced by the cutting of young stems, palm sugar is obtained (Gula Merah Indonesia and jaggery in India).

Alternatively, the sap can be fermented to produce alcoholic beverages "toddy". As of toddy, a very intoxicating drink Arak is distilled, and can still give a slight palm vinegar ratio. The cooking of coconut products is more important than the coconut milk, called Santen, Indonesia and the Philippines Gata.

Coconut milk is made by treating coconut with hot water, oil and aromatic compounds. The result is a milky white, opaque emulsion (about 20% fat) with a sweet taste of coconut. After some time, fat and water separately, resulting in a thick "coconut cream". Coconut milk is a very important ingredient in many cuisines of Asia. Western cuisine, a long cooking time is usually avoided by the use of industrially produced coconut extracts "coconut cream" are sold in blocks dissolved in hot water.

Desiccated coconut sauces are popular in southern India (sometimes in combination with yogurt). Desiccated coconut is commonly low with asafoetida, cumin, coriander, chillies and lentils or beans roasted to give the pasta spices (masala) characteristic of a particular dish. Coconut oil is the most typical frying medium in South India.

A typical example of a vegetarian that contains coconut oil is Bese Bele, usually in a dry Bangalore-based vegetable, legumes and rice. Boiled vegetables mixed with mashed lentils and cake flavored with tamarind water, and a sophisticated blend of spices made from lentils, peas, coriander, cumin, greek hay, pepper and grated coconut, toasted brown, with small cloves and cinnamon . When the steamed rice is added, the dish can be more flavors of curry leaves fried quickly in butter.

Coconut products are ubiquitous in the cuisine of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan curries use coconut milk to thicken, add body and enhance flavor when combined with cilantro and toasted cumin seeds, curry leaves, pandanus leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon and cardamom. Bread bowl-shaped Sri Lanka (hoppers) is composed of rice flour, coconut milk and yeast. From these ingredients to a fine paste casting is made which is then fried to a crispy texture.

Coconut is the importance of the Indonesian islands. Specialties of West Sumatra is rendang, cubes of buffalo or beef cooked in coconut milk with spices. As a long cooking time up to a bull is difficult to offer an unusual taste and achieved. In most other recipes, Indonesians prefer a short cooking time to cook vegetables or meat in coconut milk.

In Thailand, almost always the name of curry (Kaeng or standard) refers to food cooked in coconut milk. The sharp aroma of Thai food is made from curry paste, chili made such a marketable point grinding with fresh ginger, fingerroot more galangal, garlic, onions and cumin and coriander seeds dried, usually with shrimp paste and dried fish improved with kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and coriander. More recipes for standard curry paste are known by their colors. Green curry paste point Kiawe marketable contains green peppers, garlic and very coriander leaves. Red curry paste Diang marketable point is much hotter when it gets its color of ripe red peppers roasted and dried before use. Masaman Thai curry paste is a sweet red pulp (introduced by Muslim traders from the Indian subcontinent) with aromatic spices in the Indian fashion (cinnamon, cloves, star anise and coriander toasted).

A traditional Thai recipe could you ask for beef or chicken and various vegetables (eggplant, potatoes, bamboo shoots). Thai curries rather thin, almost watery, structure.

Coconut milk, not only looks but can be used as an alternative to dairy desserts Western (eg pudding, Continental), which gives unusual and exotic flavors. Coconut milk can also be used to make ice cream. Coconut flavor is ideal for chocolate and can be combined with other spices to create unusual cakes. Indonesians use pandanus leaves for this purpose.


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