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I've been enjoying my cookbook Fish Indian Style which I won in the Question-of-the-Week contest here on Seasoned Advice. However, I'm having difficulty with one common ingredient used in Atul Kochhar's recipes.

Many of his recipes include pureeing fresh coconut meat with water or stock as a base for curry. As extracting coconut meat is rather ... labor-intensive, I'd like to simply use some spoonfuls of canned coconut cream, which is after all made from coconut meat and water.

Two questions:

  1. How equivalent is this substitution?

  2. If a recipe calls for 250g of coconut meat pureed with 200ml of stock, what would be the equivalent volume of coconut cream?

Sadly, Kitchen Companion does not have this particular substitution documented.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You should look for some coconut cream which is a semi solid block of very fine coconut puree found in asian food stores, it's more of a paste. Coconut cream from a can in my experience has been a combination of coconut milk and the "cream" (fats) which seperates out from the milk. Generally a less intensive mixture compared to the paste. In Canada Coconut Cream is tough to find but every store has coconut milk in cans with different amounts of "cream" content which explains the price differences. In the UK coconut cream is a common place item in the asian stores and probably the grocery stores now. ( I lived there in the early 90's so it's probably gone more main stream by now.) Recipes could call for coconut milk, coconut cream or both for curry.

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That sounds promising; how long does such a block keep in the fridge? –  FuzzyChef Feb 9 '12 at 7:01
    
We used it up so fast that I don't know how long it will keep for. However it was found on the shelf not the fridge section of the store so I'd expect a week or so after opening. –  Chef Flambe Feb 9 '12 at 7:08
2  
This is called creamed coconut, not coconut cream. The term "coconut cream" always refers to thickened coconut milk. –  Aaronut Feb 9 '12 at 13:35
    
thanks for the clarification. It was 20 years ago that I used the stuff. –  Chef Flambe Feb 10 '12 at 0:20
    
Flambe, So how much block creamed coconut would I substitute for the quantities of raw coconut+stock given above? –  FuzzyChef Feb 11 '12 at 8:00

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