Coconut info Free Cooking Tips
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Coconut info Free and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
The coconut is aptly called shirfal or the fruit of the gods. The coconut tree is called the kalpavriksha or the tree that grants boons. This is because every part of the tree is used in various ways making it one of the most useful trees in existence. The fruit is used widely in Hindu religious ceremonies where it features with a full pot and mango leaves as a constant reminder that we should make our life a full rich experience. In south India no gift is complete without a coconut and it is given to honour elders women and expectant mothers. In the absence of idols coconuts often represent gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon the 3 black spots of the coconut symbolising the eyes and the sacred forehead dot of the deity. At the beginning of any auspicious event a coconut is broken as an offering to the gods and the
creamy kemel is eaten as a blessing.
how it grows
Coconut trees grow in salty sandy soil to a height of up 20m. The straight smooth trunk is crowned by a spray of large leafy fronds that are quite sharp to touch. The tree beats fruit that starts off being green and and tender and matures to a streaky brown. Coconut trees love a hot tropical climate and grow all over Asia and Africa. Climbing a coconut tree is a skill in itself as the smoothness of the trunk is a great deterrent. A rope is looped around the trunk and shifted
upwards as the climber ascends. Coconuts are picked when they are mature and dried until hard.
appearance and taste
Coconuts used in cookery are large brown hairy fruits with a hard woody shell and a creamywhite kernel. The shell has to be broken to get to the flesh and this is best done by placing a newspaper on the floor and banging the coconut against it. The water inside the coconut makes a refreshing drink. Coconut water which is transparent and slightly cloudy should not be confused with coconut milk which is the juice of the kernel and is white. Coconut has a subtle oily aroma and a sweet nutty flavour. The texture is crisp and crunchy and enhances both savoury and sweet dishes. It is delicious eaten on its own.
buying and storing
Coconut is available fresh desiccated as milk or creamed. Coconut water is also sold in cartons. There are several brands of dehydrated coconut milk on the market. You will also find hard dried halved kernels called copra. When buying fresh coconut shake it to establish that it has water If there is no sound of water the kemel is probably dry and tough.
Coconuts keep for up to a week. The flesh can be grated and frozen for up to 3
months. Desiccated or powdered coconut should not smell oily Cartons of coconut water are best drunk chilled. Refrigerate coconut milk or cream. Creamed coconut will keep for up to 6
months in the refrigerator. If you are buying copra watch out for a black mildew that sometimes grows on old kernels.
In southern India the wide strong stemmed leaves of the coconut palm are woven skilfully into green sheets used for thatching cottages. They are also dried to make brooms and scrapers. The outer hairy coir of the fruit is used as fuel for making mats mattresses ropes and several artistic and functional objects. It also makes a good scourer. The shell is cleaned polished and used as a bowl or with a handle attached as a large spoon. The bark of the tree is used in the construction of rural huts. Coconut oil extracted from copra is excellent for the hair and the skin and is used as a cooking medium.
The creamy kernel has inspired a very special cuisine in the many states of south India especially along the west coast. The milk of the kernel or creamed coconut is the base for many curries. Goas famed fish curries Keralas mixed vegetable avial Karnatakas coconut and green mango chutneys are all becoming popular the world over. The milk is also sweetened with jaggery and served as a dessert with rice cakes. Grated coconut makes a pretty snow white gamish for many dishes. Creamed coconut is used as a base for curries whereas desiccated coconut is used in gamishes chutneys desserts or in curries where it is often fried until golden and blended to a paste before being added. It is also sweetened and used as a stuffing between layers of crisp pastry. In India coconut water is drunk straight from the fruit. A little portion from the top of a tender green coconut is lopped off a straw is inserted and one of the worlds purest and most refreshing drinks is instantly available.
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