What is dry coconut, kopra?
Dry coconut is a simple dry form of coconut. Technically, the fresh coconut is dried in sun before it is pressued out to remove oil from it. The water in the coconut dried up and the coconut turns dry. This resulting dry coconut is white to off-white in colour.
Also known as
Chopped dry coconut
Dry coconut can be chopped using a sharp knife into small (1/2 inch) or large (1 inch) pieces. The smaller pieces can be roasted and used as a garnish for many puddings and sweets while the large pieces can be roasted and grinded into a fine powder and used for providing flavor to curries or be used in making cakes and other confectioneries.
Grated dry coconut
Coconut can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe. Grated can be used to sprinkle over various curries, vegetable dishes, beverage or in salad.
Roasted and powdered dry coconut
To roast the dry coconut, it first needs to be grated. Once grated, put it in a broad non-stick pan over medium heat and dry roast it till firm, fragrant and light brown in color. This should take about 1 to 3 minutes, depending on whether the coconut is grated thickly or thinly. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Once cooled, transfer the roasted coconut to a mixer jar and blend till you get a fine powder consistency.
Sliced dry coconut
Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used as a garnish or for recipes like custards, puddings or just add to sambhar.
How to select dry coconut, kopra
The dry coconut is commonly available at the grocery stores or super market. Buy them clean, off white in colour from a known retailer. Check for the dirt content and avoid yellowish coloured coconut.
Culinary Uses of dry coconut, kopra in Indian Cooking
· Sabzis tastes really good with dry coconut, as it gives a very nice nutty taste. Try these sabzis for an amazing taste to serve your family..
1. Mirchi Ka Salan an Indian curry of Bhavnagri chillies, flavoured with a rich paste of roasted peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds and red chillies.
2. Lahori Aloo the use of khus-khus and dry coconut in the masala and milk in the gravy are sure to satisfy your palate.
3. Potatoes and Tomatoes Stuffed with A Coconut-based Paste unique dish is made by stuffing potatoes and tomatoes with a flavourful paste of coconut, onions and garlic perked up with an assortment of spices.
4. Panchamrut a dish with a holy connotation, in the sense that it is offered to God during most pujas.
Who said chutney and masala can be only made with wet coconut. Here are few recipes using dry coconut, where you can make these and store it for few days as well.
1. Dry Garlic Chutney a famous condiment from Maharashtra, it is also known as Lahsun khobra chutney.
2. Basic Malvani Gravy malvani food features a lot of onion-based curries and malvani paste/masala, which is a special blend of spices that lends the cuisine its distinctive taste.
Dried coconut is delicious eaten by itself as a snack, added to hot or cold cereal, and as an addition to baked goods.
· It can also be used in smoothies, sprinkled on salads, or stirred into sautéed vegetables. It is also a common ingredient in Thai and Indian dishes.
· Good with fruit, by itself, or in any recipe calling for freshly grated coconut. Sweetened variations can by made by adding a little sugar, honey or maple syrup to the water before combining with the coconut
· It really brings out the flavor and gives the coconut more crunch. It is also good sprinkled on salads, fruit, etc.
· A unique culinary delight of South Indian cuisines is the Podi, a dry spice-mix (powder), where a combination of spices, lentils, herbs or leaves are roasted in oil and ground to make a crumbly powder dry coconut spice mix powder. Simple to make, aromatic, packed with proteins, easy on the stomach and tasty, podis are an essential accompaniment and make a traditional vegetarian thali (meal) or South Indian Tiffin complete.
· Dry coconut chutney can be made by dry coconut powder and is a spicy accompaniment to dosa, iddli or upma with ghee or oil.
How to store dry coconut, kopra
Health benefits of dry coconut, kopra
Due to less moisture content, the shelf life is longer compared to fresh coconut. It can be stored in plastic bags and refrigerated. It will stay good for 6 months.
The coconut has saturated fats but most of it is MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which promote weight loss. The high fibre content 13.6 gm (45.3% of RDA) along with high lauric acid content of coconut improves cholesterol levels in the body. Improving the action of insulin secretion and lowering the raised blood sugar levels is yet another benefit of coconut for Diabetics. See here for 10 amazing benefits of coconut.