Spice Lounge Kitchen | Coconut in Indian Cuisine - Spice Lounge Kitchen
5th October 2016

Coconut in Indian Cuisine

Coconut is used in many Indian dishes, both savoury and sweet, and has a huge significance in Indian cuisine and culture. This fruit is more typically consumed in coastal regions of the country, such as Goa, Tamil and Kerala, although it’s commonly found pretty much everywhere. In the north of India, people usually use onions and coriander to enhance the flavours of their dishes, while coconut is more typically found in southern recipes.

Health Benefits

Coconuts are not just rich in flavour, but in nutrients as well, as they offer many vitamins, fibre and minerals. For people with high blood pressure or heart problems, coconut is the ideal fruit, as it has a low content of sodium and a high level of potassium, capable of improving the cholesterol ratio. It can also improve digestion, since it’s a great source of good fats, which benefits people who have digestion problems.

Cultural Significance

Coconut, in its many shapes and forms, is also offered to deities in Hindu temples, especially during holy celebrations. It’s also used to inaugurate these events, as coconuts are usually broken to represent an offering to the gods or goddesses.
Both the water and the flesh of this fruit are used in worshipping ceremonies, since coconut is considered a symbol of prosperity and good luck. For instance, fishermen often throw coconuts to the sea in the expectation of catching a wealth of fish.

Famous Dishes with Coconut

Fresh coconut is typically used in Indian cuisine, as it adds an element of crunch and sweetness to any dish. You’ll also find grated coconut in both savoury dishes and desserts, as well as coconut water, milk and oil. A famous coconut-based dish is coconut rice. Often found accompanying curries, this recipe is prepared by soaking rice, such as white or basmati, in coconut milk, with coconut flakes added to it.

Another dish in which coconut features as one of the main ingredients is modak. This sweet dumpling is made from rice or wheat flour and the filling is made up of freshly grated coconut and jaggery, a type of cane sugar. Korma, a mild curry sauce that can be added to meat, vegetables, fish and seafood, can also be made with grated coconut or coconut milk.

Indian cuisine is characterised by bold flavours, so while coconut tends to be mild in flavour, it’s often paired with spices and herbs that enhance the taste of the fruit and create delicious dishes! We have a vast selection of dishes that you can choose from our menus, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to book your reservation!