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Also Known as
Crack! The dark, fibrous shell breaks, and fragrant coconut liquid begins to ooze out. Using a sharp knife, you separate the luscious white flesh from its shell. Coconut is a simple dry nut known as a fibrous drupe. It is a hard brown shell surrounding firm coconut meat with liquid in the center. It has a fine, oily aroma and a sweet, nutty flavour. Remove the coconut from shell. Thinly slice and spread the pieces on a baking pan and bake/oven dry to pale brown color at 200 F. Or simply sun-dry the coconut pieces to golden brown,
Grated dry coconut
Coconut can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe. Grated can be used to sprinkle over various curries, vegetable dishes, beverage or in salad. Can also be used to make sweet preparations like Khopra Pak.
Sliced dry coconut
Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used as a garnish or for recipes like custards, puddings or just add to sambhar.
How to Select
The sweetened flake coconut commonly available at the market. Buy them clean, off white in colour from a known retailer. Check for the dirt content and avoid yellowish coloured coconut.
· Dried coconut is delicious eaten by itself as a snack, added to hot or cold cereal, and as an addition to baked goods.
· It can also be used in smoothies, sprinkled on salads, or stirred into sautéed vegetables. It is also a common ingredient in Thai and Indian dishes.
· Good with fruit, by itself, or in any recipe calling for freshly grated coconut. Sweetened variations can by made by adding a little sugar, honey or maple syrup to the water before combining with the coconut
· It really brings out the flavor and gives the coconut more crunch. It is also good sprinkled on salads, fruit, etc.
· A unique culinary delight of South Indian cuisines is the Podi, a dry spice-mix (powder), where a combination of spices, lentils, herbs or leaves are roasted in oil and ground to make a crumbly powder dry coconut spice mix powder. Simple to make, aromatic, packed with proteins, easy on the stomach and tasty, podis are an essential accompaniment and make a traditional vegetarian thali (meal) or South Indian Tiffin complete.
· Dry coconut chutney can be made by dry coconut powder and is a spicy accompaniment to dosa, iddli or upma with ghee or oil.
How to Store
Due to less moisture content, the shelf life is longer compared to fresh coconut. It can be stored in plastic bags and refrigerated, will stay good for 6 months.
· Coconut meat that has been dried or desiccated is very concentrated and has a low moisture content, which is the reason it has the highest total fat and saturated fat content
· Foods rich in total fat and saturated fat have been identified as potential risk factors in the development of a variety of diseases of lifestyle, such as heart disease, certain cancers, obesity and diabetes.
· Good points - No cholesterol, Very low in sodium, High in manganese
· Bad points Very high in saturated fat.