5 Tips To Crack Open A Coconut Safely
Image Credit: Unsplash

While we’ve all watched the vendor of a coconut cart on vacation slicing the top off of a fresh green one, with the swipe of a knife; one can only wish it were that easy to crack open a brown one back home. The solution to this, doesn’t lie in flinging it violently on the ground – as we would’ve seen in movies or even using a knife to pierce through the hard shell. However, with little efforts and the right technique, reaping the benefits of this is manifold. Following these simple tips, there are multiple uses for the water and the white pulp, used so liberally in Indian cooking.

Tip 1

Hold the coconut upright and locate the three dots or “eyes” on top of the coconut. Using a metal skewer, push against each of them to see which one feels most likely to break through, if prodded. Using a heavier object like a pestle, strike against the tip of the skewer you are closest to, with the pointy end aimed at piercing through one of the eyes. Make sure the coconut is gripped by placing it in a glass bowl lined with a thick towel to hold it in place while you make a piercing. Strike with the pestle a few times but be careful to not hurt yourself.

Tip 2

Once you’re able to pierce through the eye, invert the coconut into an empty cup to drain out all the coconut water. Pour into a jar and refrigerate it, until you want to drink. You could also use the water to make smoothies, cocktails or add it to mocktail juices. Once the liquid is drained fully, locate the ‘equator’ or a thin line on the thickest part of your coconut. This natural centre point is the easiest to break through while applying force.

Hold the coconut between a plush towel and pound it gently with the pestle, against the natural centre point. On repeatedly applying force over the line, the shell will start to crack and eventually break. Once the crack deepens, pull apart the halves or pry it open with a knife. Make sure to run the knife around the crack once before you use the blade to open it from one slit.

Also Read:

Ways To Use Tender Coconut Malai

Tip 4

Remove the fibrous, rough strands on the coconut and use a dry cloth to dust off any shards or bits on the outside. Rinse it with some clean water on the inside and outside before using a paring knife to nudge the pulp out. Cut into pieces and freeze in an air-tight container or grind into shreds for further usage.

Tip 5

Alternative to using a knife to remove the flesh, you can use a specialised equipment made to grate coconut to help you remove the pulp in a safe manner. You could then use this finely grated coconut to sprinkle over dishes, make chutneys or pastes, add to gravies and sauces and even use for baking. Grind the grated coconut with hot water and strain to make fresh coconut milk.