When you stay abroad, it’s always great to see fresh vegetables in the Indian grocery store. I generally pick up drumsticks to make Sambhar which is a South Indian dish. The inner pulp and seeds of drumsticks are extremely delicious and impart great flavour to sambhar. In India, we had Maharashtrian neighbours who made Drumstick Aamti. This dal like dish has a pronounced coconut taste balanced by spices and tamarind. I decided to make the dish with store-bought coconut milk but the best way to make it would be to extract fresh coconut milk. The ground spices lend the required kick and is one of the simplest dishes that goes with rice. When served hot, this dish is finger lickingly awesome!
Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
- 2 drumsticks, deskinned and cut along the length into small sized pieces
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (go for the thicker variety, if store bought)
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 6-8 black peppercorns
- 1 lemon sized piece of tamarind
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- Soak the tamarind in warm water and set it aside for 10 mins. Extract the tamarind juice and throw away the seeds.
- Grind coconut, black peppercorns, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. No water is required for grinding at this stage.
- Take the drumstick pieces and apply the ground masala ingredients on them.
- Take oil in a pan and heat it on low flame. Once it heats a bit, add the chopped onion and cook it till translucent.
- Now add the marinated drumsticks into it along with a bit of water and salt such that the drumstick pieces are just soaked. Cover the pan with a lid for the drumsticks to cook through.
- When the drumsticks are partially cooked, add in the tamarind juice that was prepared earlier and let it cook till the raw smell of tamarind goes away.
- Now add in the coconut milk and let it simmer on low flame. Stir it well so that the spices mix into the liquid. Check the red chilli powder balance and add more if you like a spicy broth.
- Switch off the flame in 3 mins as its not required to boil the coconut milk base too much.
- This dish tastes awesome with rice served along with papad and pickle.
- You can modify the balance of flavours to your liking. Change the proportion of tamarind, coconut milk, and chilli to get the taste you like.
- Don’t boil the dish once you add the coconut milk – simmer on a low flame.
When in Singapore, it’s easy to go for a stroll by the beach. A gentle breeze, catching the sunset and strolling hand-in-hand along the beach quite literally spells ‘love is in the air’. Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, I thought of sharing my experience of an ice cream stall that I chanced upon at ECP. And I am glad I did! Opened in ECP (next to Cheers / Burger King) was an illuminated kiosk that was labeled Kala Thai Coconut Ice cream. It had banners stuck on it which indicated that it sold fresh coconut ice cream and bottled coconut juices. We decided to stop by and grab a scoop of this natural ice cream.
There was only one thing to order – the coconut ice cream. We informed the kiosk owner that we wanted one cup of ice cream. Little did we know that it would be served in a smooth coconut shell that looked so pretty. The owner asked us to choose our toppings. At this point, I was intrigued as I really did not expect customized offerings at a kiosk. This ice cream came with unique offerings – corn, peanuts, water chestnuts, and some sort of plum seeds. To top all of that was a delicious dollop of Gula Melaka (jaggery juice). I was apprehensive about all these flavours together but then when I took the first bite, I realized it was totally delicious! Such smooth coconut ice cream with no compromise on freshness is a rare find. The ice cream was not overly sweet, and had great bite from the toppings. The fresh coconut on the sides of the cup was so tender that it could be scraped off with a plastic spoon.
During the discussion with the owner, we got to know that it is seasonal. This time they will be here till April. The owner was very friendly and shared how the ice cream is freshly imported from Thailand. Its also easy to keep updated via their FB page where they announce when they put up a kiosk with intermittent gaps in between. So do give them a try this season. Take a lovely walk along the beach, watch the sun set and have your heart’s content of this uniquely exotic Thai dessert because some things are priceless 🙂 Keep smiling and love your loved ones!
Kala Thai coconut ice cream at $4
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Desserts/ Ice cream
|Nearest MRT: Bedok / Tanah Merah / Better reachable by bus
|Address: Kiosk, Next to Cheers/Burger King, Car Park C3, East Coast Park, Singapore 449894
|Timings: Tue-Fri: 11am – 5pm ; Sat-Sun: 11am – 8pm
Festivals are a time to celebrate and the best excuse for making sweets & snacks. The festive season also takes you back to your childhood and the traditional savories mom used to – and hopefully, still makes. So I decided to make one of my favorite sweet munchies to connect back to that time. This dish is ideal for distribution during festivals and quite a hit with kids too.
Recipe for Coconut and Jaggery Laddoos / Kamarkat / Kamarkattu
Makes : 12-15 pieces
- 1 cup grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
- 3/4 cup jaggery
- A pinch of cardamom powder (equivalent to 3-4 cardamom pods)
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 cup water
Coconut and jaggery laddoo / Kamarkat / Kamarkattu
- Heat the water in a pan and add the solid pieces of jaggery. Mix well and stir continuously till the jaggery dissolves completely. Occasionally, some lumps or fine impurities may remain – so filter it after switching off the flame.
- Clean the pan and transfer the filtered jaggery syrup back to the pan and heat it on a low flame. The syrup will start bubbling and turn aromatic. At this stage, check for the string consistency of the liquid. (This is that stage when the syrup can’t dissolve in water. It can be tested by taking few drops of syrup onto a spoon of water)
- Add cardamom powder and grated coconut in the syrup. Stir well and keep monitoring till the coconut slowly absorbs all the syrup and becomes thick. Check the consistency by making a small ball. If you are able to roll it, switch of the flame and let it cool slightly.
- The trick is to roll the laddoos when they are warm. Grease your palms with a little ghee and roll them. If the mixture cools down, you will not be able to roll them.
- If you are using freshly grated coconut, do not use the coconut shavings very near to the shell.
- The colour of jaggery syrup is critical. If you overheat it, the laddoos might turn dark brown , hard and difficult to chew. I like the golden brown colour shown in the pic.
- Jaggery can be of any type. If its fine, it becomes easier to dissolve.
- If you are making large numbers, please make it in batches because the whole mixture will dry fast.
- This has to be stored in a dry container and refrigerated for further use. It is advisable to consume within 4-5 days upon refrigeration.