The Hots for Coconut Water

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The only drink which seems to quench my thirst these extremely hot summer days is coconut water—naturally sweet and cool. Coconut water is a juice found in the interior or endosperm of a young coconut.

Its water is one of nature’s most refreshing drinks, consumed worldwide for its nutritious and health-benefiting properties. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish hydration levels within the body. Normally, the young and slightly immature coconuts are harvested when they are about five-seven months of age for the drink. These days even some companies are packing coconut water in tetra pack for retail trade. However, I prefer to have it the natural way—straight out of coconut with a straw and then break open the young tender coconut in two halves to enjoy the fresh coconut cream.

Recent studies have shown coconut water has shown anti-ageing effects, it aides good digestion and metabolism. No wonder, someone told me that Cleopatra would mix coconut water in her bathing milk. Well! Sure enough she is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Coconut is considered auspicious also and used in many religious ceremonies.

Recently, while I was in China, in one of the bars in Shanghai, they served one of the most exotic coconut water-based drinks. It was called Coco-colada. I had heard of Pina Colada but never Coco-colada. On befriending the bartender, I got the recipe and here it is for you.

Coco-colada

One tender coconut – water poured in the blender

Pineapple juice—1/3 cup

Fresh cream-1/3 cup

Mint leaves chopped-1 tsp

Salt-a pinch

Chopped cubes of pineapple-1 tbsp

Chopped creamy inner flesh/cream of coconut-3 tbsp

Blend all the ingredients in a blender besides the chopped pineapple and coconut and mint leaves.

Once blended add the above three ingredients and serve chilled with a lot of ice cubes.

Alternatively you may pour it back in the coconut shell and sip with a straw.

Coconut Srikhand

ingredients

1/2 cup chopped mangoes

1/4 cup tender coconut flesh

1 table spoon powdered sugar

Method

1. Combine the mango and coconut flesh and liquidise in a blender to make a smooth purée.

2. Serve immediately

Cashew

Coconut

Curry

Ingredients

20 cashewnuts

1 tender green coconut

2 tbsp coconut oil

1tsp mustard seed

2 medium onions chopped

2 chopped tomato

1 tbsp-jaggery

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt as per taste

Green chilies-2

Tamarind paste-2 tbsp

3/4cup chopped coriander

Method

1. Soak the cashewnuts in hot water for 5 minutes.

2. Cut the green coconut flesh into finger sized pieces.

3. Heat the oil in a wok, add mustard seed stir till they crackle and saute onions till they begin to go slightly brown.

4. Add the tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric and cook until tomatoes are soft.

5. Add the coconut, cashewnut, salt and sugar and tamarind paste saute for 2 minutes or till the gravy turns thick.

6. Serve hot garnished with coriander and basmati rice.

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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