Thursday, March 6, 2008

Coconut Paste ~ Kobari Mudda!

Another basic thing I have around me is the versatile Coconut Paste or the Kobari Mudda. For any South Indian Non vegetarian dishes, coconut paste is a must. It adds flavour, thickness and taste to the meat cooked in the dish. As with the Ginger Garlic paste, we mostly grind this fresh for the meat dishes, but it does help to have some on hand. The way you grind it and the amount of water added or if you have touched, everything matters. There are two ways you can go about doing this, either by chopping the coconut meat to small pieces or by grating and then making a paste of it. Grating the coconut using the traditional Indian instruments, is quite daunting. Atleast till you know the technique. Many dishes require grated coconut for garnishing or to be added along with it. So preparing such dishes, makes one slog on a coconut grater. Grated coconut on Idiappam is yummy! I love this dish and devour it at every chance I get, only part being I don't end up grating the coconut. When I got my wet grinder sometime back, I was excited to know it had an add-on to grate coconut. But unfortunately it wasn't availble. On my recent trip to get my Murukku achu, I was finally able to lay my hands on this add-on gadget. The next coconut grating session happened using the new instrument. All I had to do, was to fix it on the grinder and switch on. Rest happened automatically. Thinking of the many hand held, non electrical coconut grater and the many other incidents spent frustrated with grating, came to mind. I am happy my kids will have more modern instruments to help them cook Indian food much easier!

This is the blade that gets fitted on the grinder. Just hold the half coconut over the blade and ensure you keep your hands safe. Switch on and keep tight for it to move around and the grated meat falls down to the base.

This can be stored as such, as many of our stir fries require grated coconut for garnishing. Else make a paste without water and store it in a air tight container.

For making the paste, take enough quantity and grind to a smooth paste. You should not add water, if required, just add a teaspoon for it to run. Scoop out with a spoon and do not use hand. Using hand, usually spoils the paste.

Another important factor is, when you run it in the food processor or the mixie, make sure you just run it the recommended time frame. Running it straight for more than 2 mins, will heat up the paste. This will again result in spoiling the Coconut paste.

I store my ready to use Coconut paste for about a week. Its a great help while making gravies. I use about a tablespoon or so, to make the curry thick and more tastier. Most of our side dishes for Chapatis have little of this added.

This is part of the series featuring Basics in Indian cooking. These form the basics in my kitchen and help me to have more organised way of cooking healthy and fast, in this hurried and hectic life style we have. I welcome feedback and suggestions on this. Thanks!

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17 comments :

Asha said...

What a cool gadget!! I don't think I can get that here since Americans don't use coconut much. We do get sweetened coconut already grated and sweetened to make desserts usually. I just buy coconut, chop into pices and freeze to use later. It doesn't taste that good as a fresh one but I don't have a choice!:)

satya said...

I neither have this wet grinder nor the patience to slog on a traditional grater Srivalli.:-D
I remove the brown skin using a peeler, [so that it can be used for garnishing too]and grate it in a mixie without adding water as i don't use in mudda form. In a zip lock bag i spread it in a thin layer and freeze it.When needed, the required amount can be broken without any struggle.

kamala said...

I tried with this coconut attachment when i got married.I hurt my hands.After seeing urs I am going to use that again.very useful post.

shriya said...

I also have a blade attachment something similar to this that comes with my grinder. But mine is small so I find it difficult to grate coconut with that one. This one looks tall and very comfortable srivalli. Do you mind if I ask where you bought this one?

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

I loved reading all the basics you shared with us about the coconut..
For a North Indian like me its quite an eye opener!!

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

I usually buy the frozen grated coconut from Indian stores! they work pretty well for me.... but nothing like fresh coconut that you get in India. My mom uses this grinder grater in india... its cool!! I love it too

Kalai said...

I totally want to get this attachment soon! We've settled for a manual grater (for now), but I can't wait to get this!! :)

sra said...

I don't ever use coconut 'cos of the grating and grinding, not even for non-veg! However many machines I may have, I find it a big bother.

Uma said...

Lovely post! Thanks for the very well presented information.

White On Rice Couple said...

Oh thank you so much for the info! We are so interested in learning more about Indian Cuisine (that's why we come here) and have not added coconut paste to our pantry yet! Just go some
tamarind paste yesterday !

jayasree said...

Valli,I was thinking of dropping a reminder comment on ur basic series not being seen. And here it is. Some telepathy !!!! I am comfortable using the traditional grater. Before marriage, that was one thing I never did in the kitchen. Post marriage, grating coconut was the very first job, my MIL assigned to me. I didnot want to tell I haven't done before, though I knew how it is to be done. However I was successful in my first attempt. Thanks for taking me back to those days.

Homecooked said...

Wow...informative post.I use coconut as my base for most of the gravies.Thankfully the Indian stores here have frozen grated coconut.But the gadget looks super cool!!!

Srivalli said...

Asha, yeah to think I must've struggled for so long. Yeah I can imagine that..thats a nice idea...great to know you make the best of the opp

satya, hhaha...thats really nice one...but will it be in a loose form once it get thawed?

kamala, oh yeah we got to be careful, since it goes quite fast. glad you find this useful..

shriya, yeah this was quite easy still one has to be careful

Swati, glad you find this interesting...

Ramya, thats nice to know..though I can imagine how frustrating it is not to have fresh coconut...

Kalai, yeah I tried many manual ones, it never worked out for me..

sra, hhaha..thats really good decision..:D

Uma, thank you

White On Rice Couple, glad you liked this...good to see you being so interested in indian cuisine..

jayasree, oh I glad to know this series is interesting...I am learning so much too..thanks for the interest..thats really sweet of you to share that incident..I know how it must've been...had I been asked..I wouldn't have known to do it..:)

Homecooked, thanks..glad you are able to get your share of coconut!...

Steve Cole said...

Hi, I was wondering, will this method take away the "gritty' texture of the coconut in the gravy? We visited Kerala and ate loads of dishes containing coconut but have been unable to replicate now we are back in the UK. I love the taste but not the texture!! Thanks - Steve

Srivalli said...

Steve The gritty texture mostly comes when you use mature coconut that's not completely ground as paste. Most of the kerala gravies have that texture as it also gives body and volume. Tender or soft coconut flesh will become very smooth and paste when you grind it. However the mature or thick coconut meat, will end up becoming gritty as you say. It depends on personal choice in most gravies on how you use the coconut meat. Hope I have clarified your doubt.

Steve Cole said...

It does thanks Srivalli, I think it's the older coconuts coming over to the uk, I will have to try a bit more blending/mixing, if not there's always emigration to India!!
Have a great New Year.

Srivalli said...

Steve Thank you! I am sure that must be the case. You could try grating the coconut and then grinding it. That way the meat gets ground well. Else you could also extract milk from it and use in your gravy. It has the same taste though..:)...Have a great new year!

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