A simple recipe made with fresh grated coconut mixed with plain yogurt. Oil tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, green chillies curry leaves and asafetida is added on top. It is a great accompaniment to any south Indian meal.
My grandparents home used to be surrounded by coconut trees. A man would come asking from house to house if they needed their coconuts to be harvested. That was his job. He would have a band tied around his feet and he would climb the tree and cut off the perfect coconuts using a big knife. Does not sound safe at all does it? He was an experienced climber and if you see him you will have no doubts. My grandfather, a lawyer by profession, was pretty proficient in shaving off the tops of these coconuts with a large knife and we would enjoy the super sweet coconut water. These coconuts are very tender and their water and tender flesh is enjoyed as is. Once the coconuts mature a little more, they have less water and more fibrous flesh. Then the coconut is scraped/ grated and used in curries, chutneys, sweets or coconut milk is extracted and used in stews or rice dishes. Freshly harvested coconuts taste absolutely divine. I now use frozen coconut, it's the best available alternative in our neck of the woods. I can buy fresh coconuts, but I have never had good luck with getting tender ones, most of them have too many food miles to be fresh. Oil is oozing from them as I grate them and it is not good eats anymore. I have made peace with frozen coconut.
Fresh /frozen coconut - 1/2 cup
Plain yogurt - 2 cups
Green chillies - 2 slit in two (use more or less as per taste)
Urad dal- 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1 (use more or less as per taste)
Asafetida - 2 pinches
Curry leaves - 1 sprig (5-6)
Oil - 1 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Thaw frozen coconut or grate and have fresh coconut ready.
Use fresh yogurt that is not sour. Full fat or low fat is preferable.
Whisk the yogurt, add coconut, salt and a little water to get a thick pouring consistency. It should not be too thin. I like to add a little sugar, I feel it brings out the taste of frozen coconut. It is purely optional.
In a small pan, add the oil, once it is hot, add urad dal, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, once they start sizzling, add red chillies, green chillies, asafetida and curry leaves.
When the red chillies are fried, add the seasoning to the yogurt coconut mixture.
Enjoy with any south Indian meal.
Tastes great with rice.