Go Nuts with Coco-Nuts

Coconuts are one of the worlds two most popular flavors, the other being chocolate.  In my country, chocolate is more of a luxury while coconuts are a necessity, often used even daily.

Indonesia archipelago is thought to be the coconut’s first home. All parts are useful. They can be made into bowls and the shell fashioned into salt and pepper holder. They provide food and drink, vessels, clothing and houses etc.

A coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera.  Technically, a coconut is a drupe, which means that it has a hard shell encased in a fibrous outer layer. When the coconut shell is cracked open, it reveals a fleshy white meat and a liquid which is known as coconut water.

Why Coconut?

Coconuts are one of the most nutritious of all fruits, but unfortunately  they are also one of the most overlooked.  In my country, coconuts are a way of life for millions of people.  It is also known as the “tree of life”.

The young green coconuts are called kelapa muda. They are picked for their water, and very tender flesh. The flesh of the coconuts is scraped out, and made into drinks or ice cream.

Coconuts at their middle stage of development are called kelapa setengah tua, and their outer skin is getting brown. The inside flesh is still somewhat soft, and can be grated. This is often used to coat different kinds of cakes or sweet desserts.

The more mature coconuts are called kelapa tua. These are the best source for coconut milk or santan as we call it in Indonesia.

Basically, we can go Nuts with Coco-Nuts since we can use the milk, the water, the flesh and the oil for cooking different dishes for different types of menu, for appetizer, main course, desserts, drinks……………………..you name it.

In this post, I have compiled and arranged four recipes using coconut from different regions of Indonesia to become a set menu so you can “Go Nuts with Coco-Nuts” ………..

Appetizer:  Urap Sayur

Urap Sayur (Blanched Vegetable Salad with Coconut Dressing) is a Javanese traditional dish originally comes from Central Java, and this dish is also popular in other regions, such as in East Java and Bali.

Here’s the recipe adapted from  www.tasty-indonesianfood.com


  • 100 g bean sprouts
  • 100 g cabbage, shredded
  • 50 g  French bean (buncis), cut into 2 cm long
  • 100 g spinach, cut into 2 or 3 cm long
  • 200 g fresh/dry grated coconut

Spice Paste

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 red chillies, seeded
  • 2 bird’s eyes chillies
  • 2 cm Kencur (Lesser Galangal), peeled and sliced
  • 50 g Palm Sugar
  • 4 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind or blend all spice paste ingredients.
  • Heat oil and sauté the spice paste until fragrant
  • Add the grated coconut, mix it well for few minutes, then set aside.
  • Blanch all the vegetables, set aside and cool them off.

Serve:  Mix  the vegetables with the spiced grated coconut.

Main Dish: Rendang Padang

Rendang is one of the famous dishes of Padang (West Sumatra) which based on coconut milk and lots of spices.

Here is a recipe taken from Femina magazine, which is based on a recipe from a famous Padang restaurant chain, Natrabu.


  • 2 liters of coconut milk taken from grated coconut from 4 coconuts. You can also use ready made coconut milk sold in the supermarkets, such as Kara.
  • 1 kg topside beef, cut into cubes
  • 100 gr lengkuas (galangal or wild ginger), crushed; substitute with 1-2 teaspoons of the powdered galangal
  • 5 lemongrass sticks (white parts only), crushed
  • 3 turmeric leaves, slice thinly
  • 15 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 250 gr red chillies, if you don’t like it hot, remove the seeds
  • 300 gr shallot
  • 150 gr garlic
  • 50 gr ginger
  • 50 gr turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, ‘dry-fry’ or toast (fry in pan without oil) to induce fragrance
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 200 gr candle nut, ‘dry-fry’ to induce flavor
  • salt
  • sugar


  • Using a mortar and pestle (or simply a food processor), grind and mix the chillies, shallot, garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander seeds, palm sugar, candle nuts, salt and sugar, to form a paste.
  • Cook the paste together with the coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients (except the beef) on medium heat, stirring often to avoid the coconut milk from breaking, until it boils.
  • Add the beef, cook, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced significantly.
  • Normally, the Padang style rendang has not much sauce/liquid, but you can adjust the liquid thickness and amount to your own taste.

Rendang is usually served with rice since it is quite spicy and tasty, and the rice will help tone down the spice a bit

Dessert: Klappertaart

Klappertaart (Indonesian Coconut Pie) is known as a typical cake from Manado (North Sulawesi) with the basic ingredients of coconut, flour, milk, butter and eggs.

Here’s the picture and Recipe of Klappertaart from Ciptasari Bakery:


  • 600 ml of fresh full cream  liquid milk
  • 30 grams of cornstarch
  • 150 grams of refined sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 60 grams butter
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten until stiff
  • 3 egg whites beaten
  • 75 grams of wheat flour
  • 50 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 60 grams raisins
  • 400 grams young coconut meat
  • 60 grams of  almonds, thinly sliced for topping
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon rum


Dough I:

  • Combine the fresh liquid milk, cornstarch, sugar and salt.
  • Cook over low heat until thickened and smooth.
  • Add butter, mix well then remove and let cool.

Dough II:

  • In another place the egg yolks and whipped egg whites for 10 minutes.
  • Add flour, sweetened condensed milk, raisins, young coconut meat, walnuts,  vanilla  essence and rum.  Mix well.
  • Combine dough II into the dough I,  stirring until batter is well blended .
  • Pour batter into a heat resistant dish that has been spread with butter.
  • Bake in oven with a temperature of 180 ° C for 20 minutes.
  • Then remove from the oven, pour the egg white mixture onto it and pour the chopped walnuts.
  • Bake until cooked through and golden brown color

Iced Drink: Es Kelapa Muda

Not only that Indonesians like to drink coconut water, we also make drinks using coconut and one of them is Es Kelapa Muda (Young Coconut Iced Drink) where we mix the slippery young coconut with the coconut water then add ice cubes.


  • 2 cups of young coconut water
  • 1/2 cup young coconut flesh

How to prepare:

  • take the water from a fresh, young coconut
  • scrape slithers of coconut flesh
  • add the coconut flesh into the coconut water in a glass  and add some ice cubes

Or right in the coconut shell like this:



One response to “Go Nuts with Coco-Nuts

  1. That’s a ton of info about coconuts! The recipes sound lovely too =)

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