Beautifully packaged by Nature, coconut is a wonder food indeed. In Southern India, coconut is routinely picked off trees and used for preparing some exquisite dishes, the most popular among them being coconut chutney, best enjoyed with rice pancakes.
But here’s one of my favorite ways to cook with coconuts. To me, few dishes rival fresh coconut meat paired with good quality basmati rice and served piping hot. This is truly a delicacy, which you can cook easily and quickly. Do try it at home:
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 tsp ghee + 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cardamom pod, crushed, skin discarded
- 1 cup coconut meat, grated
- Salt to your taste
- 2 cups water
1. Heat the ghee and the oil together in a pan.
2. Add the cinnamon stick and crushed cardamom seeds; let sizzle for a few seconds.
3. Put in the grated coconut, and stir thoroughly.
4. Cook on low heat until the coconut begins to brown and gives off a delicate aroma.
5. In another pan, cook the rice and water together. When the water comes to a boil, lower the flame, cover the pan, and cook until the rice is soft and done.
6. Gently mix the cooked coconut with the rice while it’s still warm, and enjoy it either on its own or with a spicy stew/lentils.
Next: Learn 15 amazing healing benefits of coconut
Although I am sure you have often heard praise of coconut, let me give you a small sampling once again. Countless studies on coconut show how amazing a healer it is:
1. Coconut flesh is rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins.
2. Its lubricating benefits lavish a glow on your skin.
3. Regular consumption of coconut boosts thyroid function.
4. Promotes the health of kidneys and liver.
5. Daily application of coconut oil on your skin will prevent wrinkles, age spots and sagging. Soon, you will notice a glow and a toned look to your skin. (However, if you have oily skin, use a lighter oil.)
6. Nourishes the cardiovascular system.
7. Heals scars.
8. Its low glycemic index makes it beneficial for diabetics.
9. Coconut water relieves acidity.
10. Coconut oil is excellent nourishment for hair, promoting growth and luster.
11. Non-toxic and hypoallergenic, it improves overall immunity.
12. Coconut oil, when used in cooking, can increase good cholesterol. Besides, it’s delicious!
13. Coconut water is often billed as ‘Earth’s purest drink’ and ‘Nature’s sports drink,’ thanks to its electrolyte content. That water also contains twice as much potassium as a banana!
14. Coconut helps you absorb calcium and magnesium better, so your bones benefit, too.
15. Swishing coconut oil in your mouth for a few seconds draws the toxins out and heals a receding gumline.
P.S.: For interesting ideas on how to reuse coconut shells, do read this article.