Coconut milk is a versatile ingredient that goes well with every dessert. From Christmas eggnog to truffles, coconut milk gives the dish a shiny texture along with a nutty flavour. But the coconut milk that we see in marts has a lot of preservatives and added flavours. Therefore, we’re going to tell you the recipe for how to make it at home.
Coconut is called Sriphal in Sanskrit and the coconut tree is called Kalpavruksha, which is for a reason. Every part of the tree and the fruit are useful in many ways. Mainly cultivated in the coastal subtropical regions of Asia and Oceania, people in these areas use the coconut tree for construction, cooking, extracting oil, and even as a source of fuel. The coconut palm usually bears fruits all year, so it's available to eat anytime.
This prosperous, naturally gifted, and never ending resource has played a huge role in evolving coastal life. Coconut created a foundation for several coastal recipes in India, which is still evident. In coastal regions around the world, coconut milk often creates the base of several soups and is added to dishes for earthy and nutty flavour.
In South Indian cuisine, coconut was used in various ways, such as in chutney, rasam, and curries. Yet, many of us may choose to buy coconut milk in cans off the shelves in the store instead of making it fresh at home, even though coconuts are easily accessible in markets, because it might fit conveniently into our modern lifestyle and reduce chores.
Several traditions and cultures have celebrated the versatility of this simple ingredient and used it in culinary practises for generations. The principal process of making coconut milk consists of extracting the milk in three stages. All 3 stages give different consistencies of coconut milk. Artificially, the packaged coconut milk is thickened by guar gum, which acts as a stabiliser, but it's completely unnecessary as coconut milk can be thickened with natural processes. You can create coconut cream and use the leftover coconut grate in chutney and dressings for salads and desserts.
• Select mature coconuts only that are heavy and have no cracks.
• Be careful while cracking and extracting meat from coconuts. Be aware of shell parts that accidentally get scraped with meat.
• Adjust the thickness of the milk by adding more or less water.
• To add some flavour, you can use vanilla extract.
Step-By-Step Process To Make coconut Milk At Home
1) Select a Mature Coconut:
Choose a mature coconut, which will have a hard, brown shell and thick white flesh inside. Shake it, and listen for the sound of liquid inside to ensure it's fresh.
2) Crack Open the Coconut:
To access the coconut water and meat, use a heavy cleaver or the back of a sturdy knife to carefully crack open the coconut. Collect the coconut water in a bowl.
3) Extract the Coconut Meat:
Once the coconut is open, use a spoon, knife, or coconut scraper to separate the coconut meat from the shell. Be cautious and gentle to avoid any shell particles.
4) Cut the Coconut Meat:
Cut the coconut meat into small pieces as it becomes easier to blend and extract milk.
5) Blend the Coconut Meat:
Place the coconut pieces in a blender. Add 1 to 2 cups of warm water, depending on the desired thickness of your coconut milk. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has a thick and creamy consistency.
6) Strain the Coconut Milk:
Place a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer over a bowl or jug. Pour the blended coconut mixture into the strainer to separate the liquid (coconut milk) from the solid residue (coconut pulp). Squeeze or press the mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.
7) Collect the Coconut Milk:
The strained liquid is your fresh coconut milk. Transfer it to a clean container or bottle. This is your first extract, which is thicker and creamier.
8) Second and Third Extractions (Optional):
If you want to make lighter coconut milk, you can repeat the process by blending the leftover coconut pulp with more water and straining it again.
9) Store the Coconut Milk:
Store the coconut milk in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Homemade coconut milk doesn't contain preservatives, so it's best to use it within a few days.