Fresh, sweet and cooling coconut!
Coconut is a highly regarded food in Ayurveda. It is predominant in the sweet taste and has a cooling effect. Coconut is fantastic in small amounts to nourish and invigorate the body and it also promotes contentment and satisfaction in the mind due to its sweetness.
A great way to use coconut is to make a cooling and flavoursome chutney from the fresh inner flesh. This recipe below is very simple and takes just a few minutes to put together. The hardest part will be smashing open the coconut to get the thick hardened flesh out... but that also becomes the fun of making this chutney!
Ingredients - MAKES 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup water (add more if needed)
Flesh of 1 whole brown coconut OR 1 cup of dried shredded coconut (store bought)
1 tsp of fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp of tamarind paste
1/2 tsp salt (I use Australian pink lake salt)
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp of black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder (hing)
10 fresh curry leaves
Combine the water, coconut flesh, coriander leaves, tamarind paste, salt and cumin seeds in a food processor or blender and process until a smooth purée is created.
Heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the black mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop (about 30 seconds). Take off the heat, wait half a minute, then pour the mix into the blended coconut and stir well. Serve at room temperature to taste all the subtle flavours!
Note: This chutney can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days. However in Ayurveda it's preferable to eat anything you make on the same day it's cooked, as that's when the life-force energy in the food is at its strongest. If you only need a little, you can make a half-serve of this recipe!