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Old 08-23-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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Coconut Milk

Hi,
I am looking for a healthier alternative when cooking curries to using coconut milk. I have tried milk and coconut essence but it curdles?
Thanks in advance

Axel

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Old 08-23-2005, 10:39 AM   #2
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Just make sure that after you add the milk you are not boiling the curry. It would be an idea to create the curry base and cook all the ingredients, then just before serving add the milk-coconut extract and warm through, taking care not to boil it.

Other than that I have no idea, I think its just one of those things where you either use it, or you don't. I cannot find any other 'pseudo' coconut milk/cream substitutes other than the one you have already tried (and various substitutes that largely consist of making coconut milk/cream when you don't have any on hand).

The only thing I can think of to lighten it is ensuring that you are using just the coconut milk (some brands labeled coconut milk are more similar to coconut cream). The best way to do this is open a can of coconut milk/cream and setting it aside for a bit to let all the cream rise to the top, skim it off and discard, then use the milk thats left.

Like I said before I think its just one of those things that is really irreplacable. Think of it like this, how many fat people would you see in Thailand? (apart from tourists that is :P) and they would have to have a lower rate of heart disease than us western nations.

Some indian style curries you can get away without the coconut cream. Perhaps you could try stirring through some non/low-fat natural yoghurt just before serving (becareful not to boil), this adds a richness and creaminess to it but of course it lacks the coconut taste, however it does add a pleasant tang to must curries (such as biryani style indian curries). However, when it comes to Thai curries such as red/green/mussaman/panang...coconut milk is such an essential ingredient, if you can't substitute anything for it maybe considering turning it into a stew? Who knows.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:42 PM   #3
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Axel the only other substitute would be dry coconut powder. You get it at Indian stores. You can just add that to your curry for a coconut flavor. Adding milk to gravies is not a great idea. Milk does not have enough fat to round out the flavor. I normally use yogurt. Try mixing some dry coconut with plain low fat yogurt and here is the trick to avoid curdling.

Take a spoonful of hot curry (that you are cooking). Add it to the coconut and yogurt mixture to temper it. Stir to incorporate and slowly add it back to the curry pan.
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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Have you seen this?

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/diet.../a/Coconut.htm
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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Hi Jennyema, thanks for posting this article. I love coconuts and I have never really cared if it is high in fat.

I buy the brown whole coconuts break them and actually cut it into chunks and eat them just like that. Good jaw exercise and I guess being Indian I love the taste. It takes me back to my childhood. We use coconut in curries, in sweets, use coconut oil on hair, dry coconut flakes to garnish dishes, use coconut water to make coconut sorbets and the list goes on and on.

Coconut is truly considered to be a miraculous fruit in India. It has been given a name as such by the locals. The reason is that every part of the coconut can be utilized for something.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thanks guys interesting thoughts, especially the alternative medicine site. Will fry to find out a little more about the humble coconut health benefits to compare with what the altmedicine site says.

Well it seems there is not much that can replace a good Coconut Cream curry!
Axel
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel
...
Well it seems there is not much that can replace a good Coconut Cream curry!
Axel
Other than taking issue with the idea that coconut milk is unhealthy (except for those cans with added sulfites, don't go there...), here's an idea:
use a good plain soy milk or almond milk (can even make this one) with that coconut extract as an alternative. Nice and creamy. I personally don't like the soy but the almond is good and very similar in texture, etc.
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Old 11-23-2005, 03:02 PM   #8
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Coconut milk & cholesterol

Is it true that coconut milk increases the bad cholesterol level in the blood? My husband is an american and his family has heart disease history related to cholesterol. He loves dishes made of coconut milk and I am not sure if it is a good idea to use coconut milk in our diet.

I come from India and we always use a lot of coconut in curries, vegetables and sweet dishes. We also eat a lot of spices so I guess that takes care of the bad cholesterol and lot of other bad things. I do cook a lot of indian dishes but still am not sure if I can use coconut milk especially when the cholesterol problem is genetic.

Thanks tons for any helpful comments.

Sunflower.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflower
Is it true that coconut milk increases the bad cholesterol level in the blood? My husband is an american and his family has heart disease history related to cholesterol. He loves dishes made of coconut milk and I am not sure if it is a good idea to use coconut milk in our diet.

I come from India and we always use a lot of coconut in curries, vegetables and sweet dishes. We also eat a lot of spices so I guess that takes care of the bad cholesterol and lot of other bad things. I do cook a lot of indian dishes but still am not sure if I can use coconut milk especially when the cholesterol problem is genetic.

Thanks tons for any helpful comments.

Sunflower.
I have never seen anything to indicate good clean natural coconut products raise the LDL or bad cholesteral in the body. Matter of fact, it seems more the other way, that coconut oil is a healthy fat.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflower
Is it true that coconut milk increases the bad cholesterol level in the blood? My husband is an american and his family has heart disease history related to cholesterol. He loves dishes made of coconut milk and I am not sure if it is a good idea to use coconut milk in our diet.

I come from India and we always use a lot of coconut in curries, vegetables and sweet dishes. We also eat a lot of spices so I guess that takes care of the bad cholesterol and lot of other bad things. I do cook a lot of indian dishes but still am not sure if I can use coconut milk especially when the cholesterol problem is genetic.

Thanks tons for any helpful comments.

Sunflower.
I have never seen anything to indicate good clean natural coconut products raise the LDL or bad cholesteral in the body. Matter of fact, it seems more the other way, that coconut oil is a healthy fat.
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