The spelling ‘Coconut’ got its original name from sailors of Vasco Da Gama’s ship. Later, England added ‘nut’ to make it ‘coconut’.
This smiling fruit as propagated by Portuguese forms a major part of dishes in South, East, and West India.
And it’s versatile in a variety of ways. It is used to make gravy, curry, rice delicacies, sweets, chips, flakes, stews, garnish and much more.
Its oil is used for both cooking and topical (applying directly on the skin) purposes as well.
India bags the third position in producing the best of coconuts in the world.
Being a tropical drupe fruit, it grows in abundance in India. Its importance can be understood by the fact that major dishes in coastal regions of India have coconut involved.
Let’s taste some of them-
- Tekeli Pitha (Assam): Indians love everything sweet. The humongous kinds of sweets made are proof.
In Assam, Tekeli Pitha is offered in breakfast. Prepared in an earthen pitcher (traditionally), Tekeli Pitha has a sweet or savory taste. Made with rice as the base ingredient, this steamed sweet rice cake with coconut filling is perfect for breakfast.
- Puttu, Ela ada (Kerala): Kerala is the land of coconuts and backwaters. And its coconut dishes are popular as well.
Puttu is Kerala’s very own homemade breakfast. Its main ingredients are rice powder, wheat and ragi. Grated coconut along with the mixture is used to seal the lump of Puttu before steaming it. This makes it soft and juicy and makes it melt in your mouth. It is mostly paired with Kadala curry.
Ela ada is another sweet delicacy which is made by steaming in a banana leaf. Filings of coconut and jaggery are wrapped in dough cake of rice powder. And the fillings can vary. It may include jackfruit, meat, or mashed banana. You can enjoy it either as breakfast or as a snack.
- Coconut Rice (Kerala): This is a must-try for everyone who visits Kerala. Whether it’s the Malabar coconut rice or other parts of Kerala, coconut rice is a speciality not to miss. Made with adding grated coconut or coconut milk, coconut rice of Kerala is a must. You can have this as lunch or in dinner as per your diet. Choose any of the flight deals to Thiruvananthapuram from US and taste the best of Kerala today.
- Avial (Tamil Nadu and Kerala): A veg curry in the South, Avial is healthy and popular at the same time. The main ingredient for this tasty dish is gourd, drumsticks, beans, raw mango, and raw banana.
- Poriyal (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh): You can better understand this dish as French Beans Stir Fry. It can also be made with a combination of other vegetables like carrot, cabbage, or peas. The coconut aroma mixed with the vegetable’s taste adds to a rich layer of coconut in the end. Booking cheap flights to Chennai from US is the first thing to do here.
- Brinji (Tamil Nadu): It’s flavored rice made with coconut and coconut milk. Originated in Persia, this dish is older than pulao, tahiri, or biriyani. Cooked with Bay leaves, Brinji is more popular than any other rice dishes in Tamil Nadu.
- Sorak Curry (Goa): A monsoon speciality, Goan Sorak Curry can make you swoon with its exotic taste and look. It is mildly spicy, tangy and flavorful. Prepared with kokum, grated coconut forms an important part of the recipe.
Health benefits of coconut
- It’s considered an ideal fruit for high blood pressure
- It helps lower the cholesterol levels
- It’s a good source of fats and helps improve digestion
- Coconuts provide the required minerals and mandatory elements in our body when used in preparing dishes
Cultural significance in Hinduism
It is offered to deities in Hindu Temples and rituals. For all kind of holy celebrations, it is broken into two or either distributed as ‘prasad’.
It is considered a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Whether it’s the inauguration of an event or throwing it in the sea by fisherman, it is present everywhere in some form or the other.
Famous sweets/ delicacies of coconut
Used in a variety of ways, coconut dishes range from savory to sweet and from gravies to non-veg delicacies.
The famous sweets made of coconut are-
- Coconut Barfi
- Paripu Payasam
It is also used in making Korma, a mild curry sauce that can be added to meat, vegetables, fish and seafood.
Indian cuisine is a loud celebration of tasty colors and bold flavours. While the coconut is mild in flavour, it’s often paired with spices and herbs to enhance its taste.
You can head out to any of these cities to have a taste of this tropical fruit and savor delicious dishes!
Choose from the vast selection of dishes and book flights to India today for a sumptuous experience.