Coconut milk is a basic and healthy ingredient used in many curry recipes that can be used in curries, soups, desserts, and many more. Coconut milk makes gives the curry a naturally thick, creamy texture and also a delicious taste. Coconut milk recipes are highly used in South Asian countries, Brazil, the Caribbean, India, and many more.
Coconut is one of the healthiest ingredients you can incorporate easily into your dishes. It is naturally sweet but only just the right amount of sweetness. Also, it contains fiber which is known to help in weight loss, and digestion and also helps in improving cardiac health as well.
Coconut milk makes an easy substitute for regular milk. It can also be used instead of other dairy-free and expensive milk such as almond milk and cashew milk.
Consuming coconut is not limited to just one recipe. There are multiple ways to eat them, for example, there is coconut water, shredded coconut, coconut cream, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut curry soup, and many more. No matter how you eat them, the benefits are all the same.
How to Make Coconut Milk?
There are always the options of buying canned coconut milk from the grocery store but you can always make your coconut milk from the comfort of your home with a few kitchenware. Coconut milk adds a lot of texture, and creaminess and is also mildly sweet as well.
- Crack open your coconut keeping a glass nearby so you can drink the coconut water while it is still fresh.
- Once you have your coconut cracked open, use a knife to pick the coconut meat or you can use a shredder to shred the coconut meat out. Once it is out, transfer the grated coconut shreds to the blender.
- Make sure to shred the coconut shreds or coconut flakes so that when you add water it blends thoroughly. If there are huge chunks of coconut meat then it might probably break the blender, so be careful.
- Take a big bowl and a strainer so you can transfer the blended coconut. Strain it to the best of your ability. You can always use your hand to squeeze the coconut milk out onto the bowl.
Ingredients You Should Know Of:
Curry powder is one of the essential ingredients used in most curries. It is a fine mixture of different spices that brings taste to the curry. A curry powder is usually a mixture of turmeric powder, ginger powder, and coriander powder.
Garam masala is another curry powder widely used in India when making curries and gravies of different kinds. Garam masala is a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a few other spices as well.
Curry paste is a mixture of tomato paste, and some ground spices like pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and many more that are added to curries to add more flavor.
8 Delicious Coconut Milk Recipes:
Now that you know how to make coconut milk at home, you can proceed to learn to make a few dishes using it as well. The best thing about these recipes is that if you are lactose intolerant and also some of these recipes are vegan based so if you are vegan, you can enjoy them all the same.
You do not have to be vegan to enjoy these recipes but your vegan friends will be the happiest to taste these delicious recipes and amazing flavor-filled dishes. So you can take your canned coconut milk or even your homemade coconut milk and get cooking.
Some of the best coconut milk recipes are listed under:
1. Coconut Cauliflower Curry
This is a great and cozy curry recipe that is both gluten-free and also vegan it is also packed with nutrients laced with so many warm spices and can be cooked in over 30 minutes. The best thing about this coconut milk recipe is that it can be served with cooked rice, chapati, naan, and bread.
- Yellow onion, 1
- Sweet potato, 1 chopped
- Cauliflower, 1 head
- Olive oil, 2 tablespoon
- Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon
- Curry powder, 2 tablespoon
- Garam masala, 1 tablespoon
- Cumin powder, 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne powder, ¼ teaspoon
- Canned tomatoes, diced
- Canned coconut milk, 2 cups
- Canned chickpeas, 2 cups
- Any type of rice or bread.
- Take the onion and dice the whole thing. Also dice the sweet potato, if you want to leave the peeling on the sweet potato as it is or you can peel it. But unpeeled sweet potatoes taste better in curries.
- Take the cauliflower and cut them into florets or little flower heads.
- Take a skillet and only after it is heated pour over the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion into the skillet and let it cook for a few minutes before adding the sweet potato and sauteing the whole thing for less than five minutes.
- Add the cauliflower into the skillet with a pinch of kosher salt and saute it for another 5 minutes. As you saute, start adding the spiced that is the curry powder, garam masala, cumin powder, and cayenne powder as well, and mix it all thoroughly over the vegetables.
- Then, add the diced tomatoes and the 2 cups of coconut milk that is either canned or homemade. Now make sure to cover the skillet with the lid and bring the curry to a boil by reducing the heat. Let the contents boil until the sweet potato and cauliflower are tender enough.
- When the vegetables are tender, drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding them to the curry.
- Finally add the rest of the kosher salt, according to your taste and garnish the cooked curry with chopped cilantro and serve it with cooked rice or with some naan. You can also use different types of rice like jasmine rice, coconut rice, or even some fragrant rice.
2. Red Lentil Dal Curry With Coconut Milk
This coconut milk recipe is a healthy and traditional dish that is both gluten-free and vegan as well and can be enjoyed by anyone. This cozy meal or dinner takes only 40 minutes to cook
- Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons
- Medium yellow onion, 1, diced
- Ginger, 1 inch, peeled and minced
- Garlic cloves, 6, minced
- Sea salt, 1 teaspoon
- Black mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons
- Cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons
- Green cardamom pods, 2
- Turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder, 1 teaspoon
- Paprika powder, 1 teaspoon
- Cayenne powder, ¼ teaspoon
- Black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon
- Water, 4 cups
- Tomato paste, 2 tablespoons
- Coconut milk, 1½ cups
- Red lentils, 2 cups
- Cilantro, ½ cup
- ½ lime juice
- Take a large pan or a skillet that has a lid and heat the oil in medium heat.
- Once the oil is sizzling in the pan add the diced onions, minced garlic, and ginger with a little bit of salt and saute the pan once in a while to make sure the onions do not stick to the pan. Cook the onions till they are somewhat translucent which might take about 5 minutes, you can add red curry paste to the onions if you wish.
- Then, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and green cardamom pods for about a minute or so after which you can add the ground spices which are turmeric powder, coriander powder, paprika powder, cayenne powder, and finally pepper powder, and saute the pan for less than a minute as the spices start cooking.
- Now, add 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and also the 1½ cups of coconut milk, and bring the whole mixture to a steady boil.
- Finally, make sure to add the red lentils. Now cover the lid of the pan so that the curry can boil for about 20 minutes till the red lentils are tender.
- To finish off the recipe, add the finely chopped cilantro and the lime juice as well before serving it with either rice or naan.
3. Creamed Corn
Corn is a great addition to your meals, especially creamed corn which can be consumed as both a meal and a dessert. But making the cream corn vegan and gluten-free by using creamy coconut milk rather than usual milk is a great alternative.
Corn is a delicious seasonal vegetable filled with whole grains and fiber and such deliciousness that you can try eating it uncooked, roasted, steamed, or even grilled corn. But here you will see how to make creamed coconut-flavor corn with full-fat coconut milk or just basic coconut milk.
- Corn, 6 ears
- Unsalted butter, ¼ cups
- Sugar, 1 teaspoon
- Water, 3 tablespoons
- Flour, 1 tablespoon (blend it with 1 tablespoon of water)
- Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon
- Ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon
- Coconut milk, 1 cup
- First of all, take each corn ear and remove the husk and silk after which you can wash the corn. It is good to use fresh corn as they tend to be sweeter but it is not a necessity. After the corn is washed thoroughly cut off the tip of the corn to make it a flat end.
- Get a plate and make your corn ear stand. Now, you can use a sharp knife to cut off the corn from the cob vertically. Be cautious not to cut the kernel too close to the cob but just a good 3/4 part of it. Once the kernels are on the plate, squeeze off the excess milk from the corn.
- On a wide skillet, add the unsalted butter and heat it to medium flame.
- Once the butter starts to sizzle make sure to add the corn milk, water, and sugar. Then add the corn, salt, pepper, and the flour and water mixture for a little more than 5 minutes or at least till the corn softens.
- Finally, you can gradually add your creamy canned coconut milk but make sure to stir continuously for about 2 to 3 minutes as you add the creamy coconut milk also do not let the mixture come to a boil.
- Finally, transfer the dairy-free creamed corn to a bowl and garnish it with little coconut milk on top as a creamy dressing.
4. Coconut Ice Cream
Any dessert that contains a few scoops of ice cream is both delicious and an amazing mood booster. This is one of the best coconut milk recipes that deal with how to bring the ice cream element with a healthy twist.
You can make this recipe in an ice cream maker but here it shows you how to make it in a food processor. Either way, it will contain the silky richness ice cream contains.
- Eggs, 4
- White sugar, 1 cup
- Heavily whipped cream or coconut condensed milk, 2 cups
- Canned full fat coconut milk, 2 cups
- Shredded coconut, 3 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract or almond extract or coconut flavoring, 2 teaspoons
- Prepare the container where you will store the ice cream to freeze them. You can also use yogurt containers as well but you might need a lot to store all of it.
- Once your container is ready, get your blender, mixer, or processor and add the eggs and sugar in it and mix the ingredients for a good two minutes.
- Now, transfer the mixture to a double-boiler and heat the egg and sugar mixture in medium heat. As the mixture cooks for a good ten minutes, give or take, use a whisk to lightly whisk it as the mixture thickens and becomes creamy to a rough consistency of a custard, and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
- Take the processor and add the heavy whipped cream or if you want the extra coconut flavor then you can use coconut-flavored sweetened condensed milk and blitz it till it becomes thick and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- Now add the coconut milk to the whipped cream and fold both of them till they are combined thoroughly.
- Then, add the eggs and sugar mixture and mix the whole thing thoroughly as you combine the mixture make sure to use a flavoring of your choice, let it be coconut flavor or any other of your choice, and mix it as well. Once you are done stirring, it should be of a thick batter consistency.
- Pour the whole thing into the prepared containers and set them in the freezer for more than 8 hours or even overnight.
- To serve, you can dip your scoop in hot water and scoop the coconut ice cream. There are many ways to garnish the dessert some of them are you can drizzle it with maple syrup or shredded coconut flakes or some golden raisins or even some tapioca pearls.
5. Coconut-Lime Dressing
If you love coconut milk recipes, then this simple dressing is a great one as it will go amazingly well on salads of every kind.
- Unsweetened light coconut milk, 6 tablespoons
- Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
- Fish sauce, 5 tablespoons
- Finely grated shallot, 1 tablespoon
- Light brown sugar. 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable oil, ¼ cup
- To make the dressing, add all the ingredients except for the oil to a small bowl and whisk it all until smooth.
- Once it is smooth, gradually add the oil as you keep whisking till the mixture becomes completely emulsified.
6. Coconut Chicken Curry
This is one of the best coconut milk recipes using chicken and coconut milk to make a delicious curry enjoyed with both rice and naan. Unlike the previous curries, this curry recipe is not vegan but you can swap the chicken pieces for tofu if you want.
- Chicken breasts or thighs, 2 pounds cut into cubes
- Curry powder, 2½ teaspoons
- Kosher salt, 1½ teaspoons
- Black pepper, ½ teaspoon
- Coconut oil or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
- Medium, onion, ½ cup, chopped
- Coconut milk, 1½ cup
- Ginger, 1 inch, peeled
- Garlic cloves, 4, peeled
- Cashews, ¼ cup (optional)
- Mustard seeds, 1½ teaspoons (optional)
- Baby spinach, ½ cup
- In a medium-sized bowl add the chicken pieces and add the curry powder, salt, and pepper and mix it up.
- Heat the oil in a pan or a skillet and add the onions, cooking them for a good two minutes until they are a little softened or turn a little translucent after which add the chicken to the skillet.
- Take a blender and add the coconut milk, ginger, and garlic until it is smooth and transfer the coconut milk mixture into the skillet. Toss the chicken and coconut milk until the coconut milk is thick and the chicken pieces are tender.
- Finally, add the spinach and cook the spinach till they are wilted.
- Take a smaller skillet and add a little oil to it and then add the cashews and the mustard seeds till the cashews are a slight golden brown.
- While serving, make sure to top the curry on the plate with the cashews and garnish the dish with fresh herbs.
7. Coconut Curried Greens
This is one of the best 1-pan coconut milk recipes that contain a healthy bowl of greens. The recipe includes an ingredient of the cabbage family called collard greens which looks a little like kale and cabbage.
- Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons
- Shallot, 2, sliced
- Garlic cloves, 3, minced
- Ginger, 1 teaspoon, minced
- Collard greens, 1 large bundle, stems removed and chopped
- Kale, 1 large bundle, stems removed and chopped
- Curry powder, 2 teaspoon
- Coconut sugar, 2 teaspoon
- Sea salt, 1 teaspoon
- Light coconut milk, ½ cup
- Toasted coconut shreds, ½ cup
- Take a skillet or a pan and only after it is heated pour over the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the sliced onion and also minced garlic cloves and ginger into the skillet and let it cook for a few minutes or at least till the onions are tender and fragrant.
- Now, add the greens, coconut sugar, a pinch of sea salt, and half of the curry powder, that is 1 teaspoon. On medium heat stir the greens for five to six minutes till the greens are a little tender but not cooked all the way. Be careful to not cook the greens till they are mushy but rather just cooked for a few minutes till they are a little tender.
- Now that the greens are tender, add the kale to the skillet along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, another pinch of sea salt, and also the coconut milk stir the greens for a few minutes, and then cover the skillet for less than five minutes for the greens and the kale to steam or until the kale grows tender as well.
- According to your taste, add more salt to taste or even coconut sugar for more sweetness or just a bit more curry powder for a stronger curry flavor.
- Make sure to serve the dish immediately while it is still hot and to garnish the dish add some toasted coconut shreds and a drizzle of soy sauce and a pinch of lime zest which will go perfectly well with the greens. If you want, you can even make the coconut-lime dressing from earlier and top it off on the greens.
8. Coconut Milk Rice Pudding
This coconut milk recipe is a dairy-free dessert that can be made with leftover rice and is both delicious and cozily fulfilling.
- Cooked rice, 1½ cups
- Coconut milk or coconut cream, 1 cup
- Maple syrup or honey, 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
- In a saucepan add the coconut milk or coconut cream and as it starts to heat up, add the rice, maple syrup, or honey, and vanilla extract and stir continuously so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Make sure to cook under medium-low heat as you keep stirring for a good 10-15 minutes. The rice and milk or cream should be combined at least halfway forming a creamy texture and not clumpy.
- Serve the dairy-free coconut rice pudding while it’s still hot and garnish the dish with some nuts easily available and also some fruits like some frozen pineapple if are eating the pudding cold, passion fruit, apple, bananas, or any other fruits of your choice.
Now that you have a good 8 coconut milk recipes to choose from, from desserts to curries to salads, have a fun time cooking these delicious recipes. Coconut milk recipes are some of the most delicious recipes that can be made at home scratch if you are really interested, and if not there are also store-bought canned coconut milk to dry coconut milk recipes as well. They are some of the best cozy and fulfilling dishes that everyone enjoys.