Coconut is the backbone of traditional south Indian cooking and not a day goes by without fresh coconut. During the yesteryear joint family days, a family would go through anywhere between one to two coconuts every single day. One of the main chore those days in the morning was to shred the fresh coconut in an “aruvamanai” – a tool used to shred coconut. Here is a picture of aruvamanai.
But now, for me at my home (a family of 3), one big coconut lasts for almost a week. Whenever I go to my hometown, I comeback with home grown coconuts from my in-laws farm. I bulk process the coconuts, shred them and freeze them all. Frozen coconuts lasts for a long time and is the best way to store them. Once thawed, they are as fresh as new. It also makes cooking that much easier as shredding coconut every day can be tedious. Morning cooking times are so precious and having ready made fresh frozen coconut is a little blessing.
Here is how I do it.
Here is a video I did sometime back on shredding coconut with a knife.
I go through about 4-5 coconuts a month. This whole process will take about an hour for 5 coconuts.
Break all the coconuts using a hammer or a machete.
Removing the coconut meat
All you need is a heavy knife (lite ones will break) or sathagam. Sathagam is a tool primarily used in the chettinad region to shred coconut. Its now widely available in all utensil stores across Tamilnadu. Here is a picture of Sathagam – சத்தகம்
Here is a video of how to remove the coconut meat using a sathagam.
Sathagam – The Chettinad tool for shredding coconut. It looks like a carpenters tool with a flat sharp edge in one corner which makes removing coconut meat a breeze. Next time when you are in Karaikudi, don't forget to get one. The tool is called as sathagam. I am told that it is now widely available across Tamilnadu in utensil stores. Do get one . #chettinad #karaikudi #sathagam #kitchentools
Here is all of the coconut meat that’s been removed from the shell.
Note: After removing the coconut if the brown pith covering the coconut meat is very dark, you can peel them with a vegetable peeler to get really white meat. I have kept the brown part on today. I have not peeled.
Shred the coconut
Now, add the coconut meat in batches to a mixie/blender. Do not over load the mixie. Fill only until half of the mixie is full. You will need a heavy duty mixie for this and I really like my panasonic mixie. Its really powerful and is perfect for the Indian Kitchen.
Pulse the coconut several times till the desired texture you need.
I like my coconut to be really soft.
Store the shredded coconut
Transfer them to zip tote bags and store it in the freezer for upto two months.
A note on thawing
Try to thaw the coconut at room temperature for about 20 minutes and proceed with the recipe.