Long gone are the days when you were not sure if the coconut you are buying is going to be fresh.. There were days you drove 18 miles to Devon Street (Chicago) only to realize 2 out of 3 coconuts you picked were rotten.
Not any more. In Chennai, you are sure of the freshness of your coconut. Anytime you visit the temples, you no longer have to cross your fingers (You know what I mean ! ..Read Bad Omen). All festivals involve thengai, an important centre piece of your pooja. You break the coconut for your prayers symbolizing breaking of your ego. There are more stories to it ..Read on!
Here is the recipe for a day when you carve a mild tasting rice/ or / when you have a surplus of poojai thengai.
Cooked rice – 3 cups.
Shredded fresh Coconut – 1 cup
Oil to taste
Mustards seeds – 1 teaspoon
Urad dall – 1/2 teaspoon
Gram dall – 1 tablespoon
Cashews to taste
Curry leaves – handful
Dry red chillies – 3 numbers
Asafoetida – 3 sprinkles
Finely chopped ginger – 1 teaspoon
Cook the rice separately and let it cool.
In a pan, heat the oil, sputter mustard, dalls, then chillies , curry leaves, ginger and then cashews. Turn the heat off and throw in the coconut scrapes. Add salt to taste, sprinkle asafoetida. Mix this with the rice and adjust your salt to taste.
A simple tasty coconut rice that you can whip up at any time of the day . Enjoy the fresh coconut chunks in your every bite!