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Indian Name
Coconut can be used to create a distinctive South Indian taste, and also to change the texture of a dish. Coconut has a myriad of uses. For example, fresh coconut could be used as is in salads and main courses. Dried coconut can play the same role, if less effectively. Coconut shavings can be used as garnishing. Ground coconut can be used in desserts. Coconut oil can be used for cooking for typically South Indian dishes.
It is difficult to hand an estimate of how much coconut to use, but a tablespoon used in a main course should be noticeable.
Freshly shaved or dried shavings added directly.
Obtaining freshly-shaved coconut is hard. Though fresh coconut imparts the best flavour, on this score it is acceptable to use packaged substitutes to save time.
Coconut paste, coconut milk, sweetened coconut paste.
Thai food exhibits a lot of coconut-flavoured dishes. Coconut is healthy, though somewhat high in cholestrol. Dried coconut retains most of the flavour without much of the oil.

Anand Natrajan
Thu Dec 19 15:13:35 EST 1996