Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tender Coconut Soufflé

Coconut and Kerala has a very longstanding bond spanning thousands of years. The word ‘Keralam’ means ‘land of the kera tree’, i.e the coconut tree. In fact, the topography of the state is dominated by these lofty monocots. Its fruits, the coconut, are a vital ingredient for many Keralite dishes. Therefore, it is very apt that I launch this new culinary blog of mine with a dessert made from Kerala’s very own coconut.

Tender coconut is very luscious. The water of the tender coconut (the liquid endosperm) is very refreshing and sweet (not to mention it containing vitamins, cytokinins, and auxins, i.e plant growth factor) and the flesh (a lining layer of solid endosperm) is so lip-smacking. Admittedly, this recipe pertains to tender coconut. However, since we had already harvested our coconuts, I couldn’t find a tender coconut (the other option was climbing one of the trees myself!) and so used the formula as listed below. I have tweaked extensively with the standard recipe, but the result was quite good.

Preparation time: <15 mins (30 mins if you manually grate the coconut).
Cooking time: < 10 mins
Refrigeration time: 60-90 mins

Condensed milk 300 gms (you can use 400 gms if you want a much richer version)
Coconut water 1 cup (preferably tender coconut water: no need to use the coconut milk extract if you are using this)
Coconut milk extract 1 cup
Gelatin 3 tablespoons
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Milk 1 cup
Water 1 cup

1. On a pan, take water (1 cup) and put in the gelatin powder (3 tbsp). Heat over a low flame until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

2. Remove from the flame and add the coconut water (1 cup) and coconut milk extract (1 cup).

In the meantime:
3. Mix the condensed milk (300 gms), milk (1 cup), and vanilla essence (1 tsp) in a blender.

4. Pour the blended mixture onto a pan and heat over a low flame, stirring constantly.

5. After 3 minutes, add the gelatine mixture and stir for another 5 minutes. Ensure that the contents do not boil.

6. Remove from heat and pour into a pudding dish. Refrigerate until set.

7. When set, serve with cherries, strawberries, or sprinkled coconut flakes.

Aaharam Ashwadikku (Malayalam; Enjoy your meal!)!

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