If you’re an occasional cook, or don’t live close to a well-stocked supermarket, then sometimes you need a food cheat for what seem to be specialist ingredients. One tip I’ve discovered is how to make your own coconut milk. Coconut milk is used in a lot of curries, especially in a thai curry sauce recipe or indian curry sauce recipe, so it can be annoying when you need coconut milk but either have none, no access to it, or have never bought it.
I usually have a bag of dessicated coconut in my “baking box” (a large tupperware box of goodies that I can use to make sweets and desserts easily). And, the good news is, it’s possible to make your own coconut milk using dessicated coconut.
You can make this up in any quantity you wish, using the formula of “4 parts dessicated coconut to 5 parts hot water”, by volume. If you just want to make a little, then 4 small/level scoops of any measuring equipment, added to 5 level scoops of hot water using the same scoop will do it.
Ingredients to make about half a pint of Thick Coconut Milk:
- 0.2 pints dessicated coconut
- 0.25 pints hot water
- Using a large bowl, combine the two and allow to cool until the mixture is lukewarm.
- Knead the mix firmly for a couple of minutes (this is why you needed a large bowl)
- Strain the mixture off through a fine strainer, or through muslin, squeezing and forcing out as much liquid as possible.
You’ll end up with about 1/3rd of the quantity you started with, so if you needed half a pint of coconut milk, you’d need to start with 1.5 pints of water/coconut in the bowl.
You could now use this mix to turn the thick coconut milk into thin coconut milk.
Measure out how much thick coconut milk you have
Add the same amount of hot water again that you did in the first stage.
Again, wait until it’s lukewarm and then sieve/strain the liquid through. You’ll end up with about 1/3rd more liquid than you started with.
No time to wait?
If you’re in a hurry, then you can blend the above mixes instead of waiting for them to cook. Simply pour the dessicated coconut and hot water into the blender and blend for about 30 seconds, you’ll still need to go through the straining process though.
Image cc-sa-3.0 s sepp