Coconut is so delicious! I have been experimenting with whole, young coconuts (Thai coconuts) lately and whipped up this quick and tasty dinner. It was really easy, I promise! I don't like spending a ton of time cooking, even though I do love being in the kitchen. And making everything from scratch can be tedious and messy. But this recipe wasn't, so I will be repeating it in the near future for sure! One pan dinner with very little clean up, yes please!!
I opted to use a fresh, young coconut to make coconut milk instead of using canned coconut milk. Once you know how to open the coconut, it's actually pretty easy and quick. It's cheaper or the same price as canned coconut milk, but it's not processed, and it tastes sooo much better!
To prepare, you need a young coconut and a knife with a blunt edge. If you're not sure how to open it, check out this video tutorial here. If you have a Whole Foods nearby, they sell their young coconuts with the husk cut off and a hole already exposed. So easy!
Coconut Curry Veggies
Ingredients (organic whenever possible):
- fresh ginger
- fresh turmeric
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- sweet squash like acorn, delicata, kabocha or butternut (I used white acorn squash)
- romanesco or cauliflower
- 2 small or 1 large zucchini
- 1 bell pepper (any color)
- 2 carrots
- coconut oil
- 1 young coconut
- curry seasoning
First, make coconut milk
Open the young coconut by puncturing a hole and draining the water into a jar, bowl, etc. Scrape out the flesh with a small silicone spatula. Add all the water and all the flesh/meat to a blender, and blend until smooth and frothy. There's your coconut milk! It should yield anywhere from 12-16 oz, which is about how much a can of coconut milk is. You will use it all in this recipe.
Next, to make the dish
Prepare the squash first because this is the most time intensive. Peel off skin and cut in half or sections, removing the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon. Cut in to bite size pieces and set aside. If your squash is really big, use only half or part of it. I used an entire white acorn squash.
Chop up onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric finely. I used 1/2 thumb size of peeled ginger and turmeric each. Add about 2 TB of coconut oil to a saute pan and add onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pan. Keep on medium low. Once they start to sauté, add a little bit of the coconut milk that you just made to the pan and continue sautéing. Add curry seasoning to taste. I probably used at least a TB of curry.
Now add the squash to the pan with more coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and let it cook while you cut up the rest of the veggies.
Chop up romanesco or cauliflower (I used romanesco, I'm obsessed with it lately!), carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, and any other veggies that you think would be good. Peas are also traditionally used in Indian food dishes, so you could add those as well.
Add all veggies to the pan, stir and add the rest of the coconut milk. Add more curry powder is desired. Stir and keep veggies on a low simmer until they are done to your liking, 15-20 minutes. I like the squash to be cooked soft, but the bell pepper and romanesco to be crisp tender. You might like it different, so cook it how you want it!
Let it cool for few minutes off the heat (the squash gets hot!!) before you dish out and enjoy! This makes enough for leftovers for the next day (if you're only feeding 2).