Deepti Khemani-Bhatia wrote to me saying she 'read somewhere' that I make my own coconut oil, came over and searched my blog and could not find a post on it.
Coincidentally I had picked a few dried coconuts just a few days back before that mail and was waiting for the hectic festive season to get over ... so that I could make some oil. So set about making my coconut oil. This is not for the faint hearted ... or those who easily tire.
It takes loads of patience. :-)
My Thamma ( paternal grandmom ) used to make this at home. Of course she had a whole army of assistants to help her. I used to sit and watch. Later she would add many things like herbs etc. to it and store it for herself and the ladies in the family ... including us grandchildren. She had black, lustrous long hair all her life ... till a ripe old age.
Of course she never had to buy coconut ... we had a huge 'godam ghor' / store room full of them .... they used to come from the villages where we had our fields and farms.
Later I tried making it at home. Of course ... it is fun when you have nothing else to do ... and get everything ready at just an order.
So enjoyed the adventure everytime.
But now it is a different story. Making coconut oil by myself is a huge task .... here time management plays a very important role. Not to mention the daunting task of standing for hours attending to it. And the result is so little one can easily get demoralised.
( I started to make this at 1:30 in the afternoon and the final drop of oil made its way into the bottle at around 5:30 in the evening. )
Nobody from my generation ... none of my cousins have treaded this path. And have often laughed at me for my whimsical attempts. But I do what I like to. Especially challenging things. :-)
So here's my recipe on homemade coconut oil.
Need : Dry coconuts ( they have a very high oil content .... check for a darkish line on the border of a broken piece when viewed sideways ) , a little warm water.
How to : Take the dry coconuts and cut them in to small pieces .... this step is in sympathy for your mixer / grinder.
Run it in a grinder using warm water to make a thickish paste. The first time it won't be too moist ... do not worry.
Use a seive / soup strainer to strain .... this will be for the first time/step. It won't work for the next time as the paste will be more moist.
Collect the strained liquid in a heavy and thick bottomed kadahi / wok ... in which you will do the boiling part subsequently.
After all the coconut paste has been strained, take a little and taste it. If it tastes sweet, grind it again with more warm water.
Strain again into the same wok / kadahi. Use a cheesecloth or your hand to strain now.
Repeat this process for three or four times. By the fourth time, the coconut will taste less sweet and more bland. You can stop grinding and the straining part now.
Put it on to boil.
After around one hour and a half it will start to thicken ... notice the oil leaving the sides.
Do not start to collect just yet ... there is still a lot of moisture in it.
Slowly the residue will start to solidify. You can start collecting the oil now. If needed tilt the wok a little to collect drop by precious drop.
Do not collect into a plastic or glass bottle directly ... it might crack due to the temperature difference. Collect in a steel container ... and transfer only when it is completely cooled.
And use a strainer to filter the solid stuff.
I got this much oil from this many coconuts ....
If you are doubtful about the moisture content, then you can sun the oil for a few days.
The residue tastes heavenly too. I love it on warm rice. But it is great when rolled into a roti or on a bread. You have to taste it to know. :-)
So here's the sweetest tasting and the purest coconut oil .... straight from my kitchen.
It is perfect and safe for consumption ... for cooking purposes .... and the very good for your skin and hair.
I know I have been a little irregular here ... and also in visiting all your wonderful blogs and recipes out there .... but I promise to get back on track soon.
Take care folks !! :-)
( Updated : Deepti read it here ... thanks Bharti for the info and Deepti for confirming. :-) )