Coconut milk has a place in my cooking heart. It comes out of a tin and lifts meals, enabling me to create Asian or Caribbean fusion with fish, meat and vegetables.
With a fresh coconut you can gather coconut water* – make coconut milk and grated coconut but you need time, patience, a lot of kitchen utensils (and it makes a lot of washing up too) so I took the easy way out. Using a cork screw I drained the coconut water for my electrolyte fix then several smashes later with the back of my cleaver the coconut gave up and split into two pieces.
By placing the two halves into a hot oven for 15 or 20 minutes means it is much, much easier to prise the white juicy flesh from the shell.
And like olive oil; coconut oil is a healthy option and cooks at high temperatures and it doesn’t go rancid very quickly. It is good for your hair and skin too even though it is expensive to buy.
* One cup of coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana. Now you know!
And all of this leads me to:
Chicken & Coconut Curry
Toss a skinned chicken leg (or breast) in some lime juice together with ground ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander and a couple of bashed cardamom pods.
Sauté sliced onion in a little oil until soft then add chopped red chilli (with or without the seeds). Now add the chicken and brown off. Add the flesh of a skinned and deseeded tomato.
Stir in some coconut milk and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or so.
Lastly stir in some garam masala and fresh coriander. Oh, and a grating of fresh coconut, if you have it.
Serve with rice or naan bread.
P.S. If you are that way out you could make hanging baskets with the shells or Zen bowls, just saying.