Coconut Relish

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by yankeegrL425, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. yankeegrL425

    yankeegrL425 Guest

    Coconut Relish

    This is the most popular relish of South India. Although its flavor
    will vary from state to state, it consists essentially of freshly
    grated coconut and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds are sizzled in hot
    oil and folded into the coconut. Some Indians flavor the relish with
    ground roasted yellow split peas (bhona channa dal ka ataa); others
    with tomato. But the most refreshing and fragrant is the Malayali
    version from Kerala, which adds chopped fresh coriander. This herb also
    titnts the relish a very appealing pale green color.

    Coconut relish generally accompanies southern delicacies. Serve it with
    Foamy White Steamed Rice and Bean Dumplings and with southern or
    southwestern vegetarian meals that are characteristically flavored with
    black mustard seeds.

    1 cup packed fresh grated coconut
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
    2 green chilies (or 1/4 small green bell pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon dried
    ground red pepper)
    1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
    2 tablespoons hot water
    4 tablespoons usli ghee (see tips, below), or oil (preferably sesame)
    1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

    Put coconut, yogurt, coriander leaves, chilies, salt, and hot water
    into the container of an electric blender, and blend until finely
    pureed. Put into a small serving bowl.
    Heat the ghee or oil over medium-high heat in a small frying pan.
    When it is very hot, carefully add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid or
    splatter screen handy, since the seeds may splutter and splatter. When
    the seeds stop spluttering and turn gray, immediately pour the ghee and
    seeds over the coconut puree. Mix thoroughly, check for salt, and

    Note: This relish may be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 2
    days. Remove from refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.

    Julie Sahni shares her tips:
    .. One coconut will contain more than enough meat for this recipe. See
    tips from Gourmet on cracking and grating fresh coconut.
    .. Use full-fat yogurt for the most authentic results.
    .. Ubiquitous in Indian cuisine, usli ghee is similar to French
    clarified brown butter and adds a distinct nutty flavor. To make it,
    start with a third more unsalted butter than you will need for the
    recipe. Melt the butter over low heat, then increase the heat to medium
    low and simmer the butter, without stirring, until it stops crackling
    and the milk solids brown and drop to the bottom. Skim off any foam
    from the top, and strain the ghee through a colander lined with
    cheesecloth. Ghee will keep at room temperature, covered, for several

    Makes 1 1/3 cup.

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