So what is a coconut? Is it a seed, a fruit or a nut? Coconut seems to have certain characteristics of all three of these groups – and as a result will often be a topic of confusion. The coconut palm does sometimes get referred to as “the tree of life”, and this is because of the versatility of everything it bears – from fibre to food there is definitely more to the coconut than the packet of desiccated stuff we would have all seen sometime in our travels – to the supermarket. The juice of the green coconuts is a one of my favourites – absolutely natural and unspoiled, it truly is a treat, like nature intended. In recent years our mainstream supermarkets have been stocking both green and brown types of coconut, so they are not just exclusively found in Asian grocery stores or markets.
|Toast the coconut lightly before use - it brings out so much flavour!|
My love for Malay food and it’s flavours inspires some of the best coconut based dishes from my kitchen, but they usually fall on the savoury side of the meal. This time, however I decided to make a dessert - Kueh Dadar - Kueh translates to a large range of snack food mainly sweet but sometimes savoury too, and Dadar loosely means omelette. Laced with the essence of pandan, these pancakes come up a bright green colour that was enough to scare my kids into thinking they are vegie related – Oh well their loss! The coconut filling will satisfy any sweet tooth and just to make it authentic, the dessert is finished off with a drizzle of salted coconut milk.
I have adapted this recipe from “Poh’s Kitchen”, where I missed the episode when it screened, but was glad to find it in the book on the cooking series.
Ingredients - I have a large crepe pan so this mix made about 8-10 large serves
For the pancakes
120g x Plain Flour
4 x Eggs
250ml x Coconut Milk
125ml x Full Cream Milk
A pinch of salt
A few drops of Pandan paste - this is a thick green liquid available at Asian grocers
Butter to grease the pan
For the coconut filling
200g x Dark Palm Sugar, shaved (Jaggery is also a substitute)
100g x Shredded Coconut (substitute desiccated coconut if unavailable)
1cup x Coconut Cream
A pinch of saltFor the Salted Coconut Milk add a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to a cup of coconut milk and stir to dissolve. Keep at room temperature when serving.
For the pancakes, place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric beater until combined
Allow the bright green batter to stand in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour (This is now the best time to begin cooking the coconut filling - See directions below)
Heat a crepe pan or flat based frypan on medium heat
Grease the pan's surface and pour a quarter cup's measure of the batter into the pan
Use a flat spoon to spread the mixture evenly
Allow the pancakes to cook on one side then turn over and cook on the other
Repeat the steps until all batter is finished
Keep the pancakes aside to cool slightly before filling
To make the coconut filling, begin by dry roasting the coconut in a heavy pan
This only takes a few minutes as the coconut will turn a golden brown - do not let it burn
Remove the coconut from the pan and keep aside, now add the shaved sugar and allow to melt on medium heat
Return the coconut and cream to the pan, add a pinch of salt and stir well to combine
The mixture will start to get thick now, keep stirring so that it does not catch.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before filling the pancakes
To fill the pancakes, place a long "sausage" shape of coconut in the centre of the pancake
Turn up the top and bottom flaps so that they form a flat edge
Working from right to left roll the pancake into a tight log
You can wet the surface with a little water to help it seal
To serve, heat the rolled pancakes in the microwave so that they are just warm
Cut the pancakes in half and drizzle on a little of the salted coconut milk.