- Submitted by Dahlia
(Easy way to grate coconut, Cutting coconut)
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Grated coconut is an important part of South Indian cuisine. It is used almost everyday in some form or other. It is used as a topping in vegetable preparations, beans salads, to prepare chutneys, coconut milk and to thicken curries.
My grandmother had a hge coconut farm and used to cut one or two whole coconuts everyday. With whole coconuts, I mean the one with fiber (husk) attached. It requires skill and practice to cut and pull out the fibers. After that comes breaking the thick shell and then grating the flesh. Nowadays, coconut are available in markets with the outer husk removed. We just have to break open the shell and grate the flesh. However, many youngsters today are not familiar with this task too. Thats the reason I decided to make this post. I already have a page on How to cut Tender Coconuts?
There are some 3-4 methods of getting the flesh out of the hard coconut shell and grating it. I have shared pictures and steps of the traditional method used as well as one of the easiest methods that I follow. You can choose the pne you prefer.
Video Instructions for making Grated Coconut
Method of Breaking & Grating Coconut
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Coconuts - 2
- Vettukathi/ Hammer / Big Knife - for cutting
- Aruvamanai/ Grater/ Mixie - for grating
Breaking open the Coconut.
- Coconut usually comes with lot of fiber attached. Pull them out little by little with your hands.
- You will see 3 lines on the coconut. Hit hard with a hammer or the traditional vettukathi (a huge heavy duty knife) on one of these lines. Turn the coconut and hit the next line.
- Repeat this until the coconut shell cracks. Separate the coconut into two halves. I have seen some people also hitting the coconut hard on a bog stone to crack it.
- Do not forget to place a bowl underneath to collect the coconut water. This can be strained and had as a tasty drink.
Traditional Method of Grating Coconut
Once we break the coconut, the flesh can be removed and grated. This can be done in the traditional aruvamanai as shown in the video and picture below. This method requires little practice but is quite easy. I remember grating coconut in the aruvamanai even during my school days.
Easy Method of Grating Coconut using Knife and Food Processor
- In this method we cut out small pieces of the coconut meat using a sharp knife.
- The brown skin is peeled using sharp kinfe. This is not compulsory but bright white coloured grated coconut.
- The white meat is then put in a mixie jar or food processor. You could also use a box grater here.
- Pulse it a few times until you have fine shreds.
Storing Grated Coconut
- Grated coconut perishes really fast. So the best option is to put it in ziploc bags or air tight containers and freeze it. Inside the deep freezer, grated coconut stays good for upto a month.
When required, remove the box from the freezer and thaw for 15 minutes. Scrape off the required amount of coconut using a knife or fork. Immediately put back the box in the freezer so that it doesn't go bad.
- The second method is to dry the cocont in hot sun or in a 100 degree F oven for 45 minutes-1 hour.
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