Coconut milk has a naturally sweet flavour from the coconut itself.
It comes in cans, cartons or frozen. If the coconut solids and the water separate, just shake or stir.
Thai and Sri Lankan curries almost always use some coconut milk.
If it has been stored a long time, it can become grainy or separate. If it looks this way, just whiz in a blender or whisk for a few seconds.
It can curdle quite easily when cooking with it, so stir constantly.
To make coconut milk, grate fresh coconut flesh into a bowl or pot. Just cover with boiling water from a kettle. Let stand until cool, then strain through a sieve or muslin. You can repeat this process to make more coconut milk; the second round will in fact give you a thicker coconut milk.
Nutritional information will vary wildly between brands because this is a manufactured product. Usually about 17% fat, though low-fat versions are available. Coconut powders also make up into a lower-fat version.
Whiz in a blender 1 cup (2 1/2 oz / 70 g) unsweetened dried coconut with 1 cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of boiling water, let cool and strain;
- 1 packet of instant Coconut Powder with 13 oz (400 ml)of lukewarm water;
- 1 1/2 oz (50g) of regular Coconut Powder with 8 1/2 oz (250 ml) of hot water.
You can store unopened cans or cartons on the shelf for up to 2 years. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 4 days.