Good afternoon, dear friends
As I am typing this, it is raining dogs and cats here in Kuala Lumpur, a wonderful, cool change from the really hot and humid weather that we usually experience. Phew!
Here is the procedure on how to make toasted coconut or “kerisik” as it is known in the Malay language. Kerisik is a must-have in cooking traditional Malay Beef or Chicken Rendangs (dry curries) because it adds on a really fragrant and smoky taste to the curry, making it distinctive from all the other curries. Try cooking a rendang for yourself and enjoy its yummy taste!
You will need 2 cups of shredded, fresh coconut. Choose the type of coconuts that are used to squeeze santan or coconut milk because they are older and contain more aromatic, coconut oil. The shredded coconut that looks very white and are used for coating kuih or desserts are obtained from young coconuts.
(You can use canned dessicated coconut if fresh ones are not available in your area, but the cooking time will be shortened for this)
Toast the shredded coconut in a dry (no oil required), non-stick pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the coconut is golden brown……
Pound the toasted coconut in a pestle or mortar to release the fragrance and oils. You can also blend it in a spice mill.
There you have it – homemade kerisik, to be used for cooking rendangs ===>
Readymade kerisik is available for sale at the stalls selling coconut milk and shredded coconut, but I prefer to make my own as it is fresher and more hygienic. Personally, I normally make a double batch of kerisik each time and freeze half of it for use later.