piatto di curry

How do you make yourself coconut milk and get fit at the same time

Coconut rasps for coconut milk or sambol


Do you know this device?


coconut grater for coconut milk
Coconut grater



It’s a coconut grater. Honestly, I did not know it until I went to Sri Lanka this year. I discovered it at a great cooking class in Kandy (thanks to Sulochna’s Kitchen, “cooking classes at Thotupola Residence, Kandy, Sri Lanka). It gave us the chance to make fresh grated coconut quickly and easily, but our strength was required!

making coconut rasps

We then kneaded the coconut rasps with little and then more water and squeezed it through a sieve, and out came coconut milk (or “cream” if made with little water).

For Sri Lanka curry dishes coconut milk or cream is required in liters and there are also tons of coconuts growing there. At home we usually just grab a tetra pack of coconut milk… ?

There even is an electric version of the coconut grater and it’s probably difficult to imagine living without it in Sri Lanka, just like in Switzerland it’s difficult to imagine living without, the Zyliss grater (Short explanation for all non-Swiss people: Manual Drum-grater with 4 different, quickly replaceable drums, sticking to a smooth surface by vacuum and easy to clean under running water, I grew up with it and cannot imagine cooking without it).


Oh and by the way, the empty grated coconuts are not thrown away but processed into ladles.


So, now the Sambol recipe:
Coconut Sambol as a side dish to curry dishes



  • 1 grated coconut
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 handful of cut red onions
  • Lime juice (as much as necessary to get a paste)
  • Chili as much as you like ?


Process garlic, onions, lime juice and chili into a paste in a mortar or blender, then mix with the grated coconut


To complete the whole dish here are the recipes of the other side dishes:


Carrots/pumpkin with curry (for 4 pers)


  • 800 g of carrots/pumpkin
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of unroasted curry
  • 1 handful of cut onions
  • 1 cut garlic clove
  • 1 handful of curry leaves
  • Chili at will
  • Turmeric at will
  • Salt at will
  • Coconut milk


Cut the carrots/pumpkin into 2 cm pieces and mix them in a pan with curry powder, onions, garlic, curry leaves and chili powder. Then cover with coconut milk up to half. Add turmeric to change the colour of the coconut milk. Cook everything on medium fire until the vegetables are tender (about 25 minutes).


Green beans (for 4 pers.)


  • 500 g of green beans with their ends trimmed off
  • 1 handful of cut onions
  • Salt at will


Cut the beans into pieces about 2 cm long. Cut diagonally and turn the beans 90 ° after each cut. Then cook the beans with the onions in a frying pan and in a little oil for about 15 minutes. Season with salt at the end.


Red lentils (for 4 pers.)


  • 300g red lentils
  • Coconut milk (as much as necessary)
  • Coconut cream (as much as necessary)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of unroasted curry
  • Turmeric at will
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Cayenne at will
  • Salt at will


Put the lentils in a pan, add the coconut milk until half covered, then cover with the coconut cream all over.

Add curry and cinnamon, change the colour of the coconut milk with turmeric, determine the hotness with cayenne. Then cook on low heat until the lentils change their colour to yellow. Switch off the cooker and finish to cook with the residual heat and the covered pan.


Next week I will take you on a small world tour in Ticino / Switzerland

palmtree on island of Brissago




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