Coconut milk is the most versatile and nutritious drink which lends creamy and naturally sweet taste to the dishes.
Coconut milk is rich in medium chain fatty acids and lauric acid which is antiviral and antibacterial. It is also rich in iron and calcium. Don’t get confused with coconut water, it is the liquid found inside a coconut. It is very rich in electrolytes and minerals and gives instant energy to the body.
Coconut is a local superfood with many health benefits. In India, fresh coconut is easily accessible for everyone. I make laddoos using freshly grated coconut. You can find laddoo recipe with jaggery and sugar.
Store bought coconut milk might have unnecessary sugars and preservatives. It’s very easy and economical to make it from the fresh coconut at home and can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. If you don’t get fresh coconut, use unsweetened dehydrated coconut to make this milk. See notes section for how to make milk from dehydrated coconut.
Generally, people grate the fresh coconut to extract the milk. I am a very lazy person and don’t find that much time in the mornings. So I directly grind the coconut peices in blender.
We offer coconut to God at home and temples very frequently. I will store those coconuts in the freezer section of the refrigerator and use it for coconut milk when needed. I will keep them out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes before making milk.
How to remove coconut shell
If using fresh coconut, I will follow the method specified here to remove the shell. It’s easy to separate coconut from its shell if it is frozen. Just thaw the frozen coconut and using a knife, pull it out. If you are short of time, soak them in water for 5 to 10 minute and you can remove shell very easily. This thawed coconut will not be good for making laddoos or sweets. This will only be good for chutney or milk.
I use a nut milk bag to extract the milk. It’s very easy to use and you can extract milk very quickly. Alternatively, you can use either cheesecloth or strainer.
Generally, we don’t boil the first extract of milk. I mainly use it for smoothies or any beverages. I also use it for making yogurt. When you have to boil the milk, use second extract.
What you’ll need…
500 ml water
How to make coconut milk at home …
Crack the coconut and remove the outer shell.
Take the coconut pieces into a blender and run it for a few seconds on high speed so that coconut is grated completely.
Now add one cup of water to it and grind it to form a smooth paste.
Take a bowl and empty the coconut paste into nut milk bag placed in the bowl. You can also use a regular strainer or cheesecloth but that will take little time.
With clean hands, squeeze the milk completely.
Now add the pulp back to blender and add one cup of water and repeat the above procedure. This is the second extract and is a little thin when compared to the first extract.
If using dehydrated coconut, add 1 cup dehydrated coconut with 2 cups water and follow the same procedure.