Wednesday, 21 October 2009

How to make Virgin Coconut Oil at home

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. :-) )


  1. Exellent post dear..Detailed and simple recipe.

  2. Dear Sharmila
    That is another great one from you!!!But bit frightening to try...I am in need of genuine edible coconut oil to try out some Keralite recipe...I think this will have the flavor of coconut oil and of course it is edible not the solvent extracted one

  3. Sharmila, you're incredible! I have never known anyone who actually had the skill or the patience to make their own coconut oil. Hats off! And you did such a great job too.

  4. You have a lot of patience making them at home when they are readily available in stores. I do agree that the homemade are way better than the ones bought at the stores.

  5. Dear Sharmila, I am in awe. Oil is regularly made at my grandma's but I have never actually seen it. I am so glad you showed it. Thank you.

  6. sharmila hats off to u, u have toooo much patience!

  7. sounds like lot of effort, hats off to you for making oil at home, a fantastic post and very helpful!

  8. sharmila,
    bah! ki darun hoyeche narkol tel..onek parishrom na kinto result ta koto bhalo ..great effort there !!
    hugs and smiles

  9. Gosh J! i thought home made badis was IT but you're incredible !

  10. That is truly amazing. I can't believe you did that at home! Excellent. I'm pretty sure you had posted a comment on my blog about making your own coconut oil.

  11. Thanks Tina! :-)

    Mr.Ghosh ... store bought ones contain a lot of synthetic stuff like parafin etc. that are not fit for consuming and also for the skin and hair. :-)
    This coconut oil smells and tastes very sweet.

    Thanks Vaishali! It is strenous ... but I feel wonderful when I see the pure liquid finally. :-)

    Thanks Cilantro! You are right ... store bought ones are almost never pure. :-)

    Thanks ISG! Am glad I could. :-)

    Thanks Bindiya! Right ... it does take a lot of patience. :-)

    Thanks Parita! I do hope it helps others. :-)

    Thanks Jaya! Onek porishrom ... shotti! :-)

    Thanks I ! Am all set to join the nani / dadi gang ... what say? ;-)

  12. Thanks Bharti! Yeah ... I thought so too ... just did not get the time go over and check. :-)

  13. Thanks for answering my question with a greatly illustrated reply! Wow, that IS a lot of work. THANK YOU :)

    Correction, I am VERY certain I "read somwhere" - on "Veggie Foodist" that you make coconut oil. I frequent Bharti's blog the most and definitely picked it up there! I'll try and find the link and post it so you can make an edit if possible.

  14. Done Deepti. And much thanks for leaving nice lines here and appreciating. :-)

  15. Sharmila..too much of perseverance n lots of efforts visible in here..a household thing, coconut oil frm ur kitchen, amazing!! Surely not for fainthearts like me..tks for the pictorial!! BESTEST POST!

  16. you are brilliant Sharmila...n i have to fix the thing with blogger as i am not getting your feed on my reader.
    thanks for trying my recipe...

    tell me if you love the idea of interacting with bloggers to improve on our methods...

    i am proceeding to tell you that this oil you made is extra virgin coconut oil....great on your part as you are the only person to do such things in our generation....i am believed to be one such insane in my family..
    i have never tried making coconut oil but i have made castor oil at home n from that experience i can give you a tip....all that liquid you have squeezed...keep that in the fridge till the oil comes on top n solidifies...skim that oil on top n then heat to make it moisture will reduce a lot of cooking time n will be less time consuming..
    thanks for sharing this n i will be the first person to make this oil at home..

  17. Thanks Purnimafor such nice words! :-)

    Hey Sangeeta! That's a wonderful tip! Much thanks for sharing it with me ... am sure the cooking time will lessen considerably ... my way sure is a wastage of time and energy.
    I surely will look forward to making this thing the next time with this idea! :-)
    Thank you again!
    And on that note I think I should rename the title of the post too. :-)
    And do post your way of making castor oil the next time you make it. :-)

  18. BRILLIANT!!! Baarite naarkel tel!!!
    I bow to thee in reverence!

  19. Hi Sharmila. I guess i am first time here and enjoyed reading your elaborately explained post on Vergin coconut oil.Great patience dear, would love to try this when I have some time in hand and do try Sangeeta's method of separating the oil. It works principally on the difference in densities of the two liquids and surely will simplify the process. Very thoughtful of you Sangeeta.
    Do drop by, would love interacting with you.

  20. ami sotti abak hoe jai how do you manage your time. amar maa bechari gach theke narkel pere shukie tel banie tate methi die rode shukie amay pathay aar ami kintu eta akbaro try korini.tabe maa oi narkel bata ta akta poriskar sutir kapore bhore chepe pak die dudh ta ber kore. ote bessh easy aar chatpat hay. try kore dekhte paro eta,

  21. No way you make this at home! Hats off to you! I think you are amazing - only one I know from our genertation who makes badis at home and now coconut oil too. Wow!
    Yep only the grandmoms make it. I dont think my mom makes it either. Ofcourse the purest form of coconot oil....

  22. Ah Sharmila,
    You reminded me of my dida. She used to make the coconut oil from those collected dried up coconuts and used to make fritters our of those dried out residues.
    She used the sheel nora to grind it, and it was so tedious, I was though a silent onlooker then :).
    I have never seen my mom prepare it, but your post has tickled me to try it at least once :).

  23. Thanks Sharmistha! :-)

    Thanks Pari! And welcome here. :-)

    Thanks Sayantani! I did mention the cheese cloth ... kintu haate beshi bhalo hoye ... of course it results in painful fingers for at least two days. :-)

    :-) Somoo. Thanks! :-)

  24. Thanks Sudeshna! My mom never made it. I am the only one after my Thamma to venture. :-)

  25. I am speechless.
    Though my thamma made a lot of things at home,but I do not recall she making any forms of oil. And I thought making ghee/butter at home was time consuming!
    I am sure the coconut oil is of purest quality. But looking at the procedure, I think I will stick to good old Parachute!
    You are one amazing woman.

  26. Thanks share this one..It sounds like a lot of work but all appreciated when you get the heavenly oil...good for everything...simply superb...

  27. A big WOW !!!! Now I know why you have such beautiful hair :)

  28. aami du ekbaar bakkobeeheen hoye chole gechhii ekhan theke ei post ta dekhbaar por. aamar shadhher baire ei jinish. jodio i fall into the 'everything-made-at-home' category, kintu aito dur kokhono bhabi nii. Sharmi nothing I say will justify your talent in the kitchen!!
    shudhu ei bolte pari je eirokom pure coconut oil use korle, at least aamar chuler obosthha eirokom hoto naa... :-(

  29. Thanks Aparna! Btw .. parachute does not list the ingredients and mentions it is 100% edible ... but my skin reacts very badly to it.

    Thanks A2Z! :-)

    Thanks Sandeepa! :-)

    Thanks Joyee! Eto proshonsha peye amar ektu lojja korche. :-p
    Kache thakle toh ami e baniye ditam. :-)

  30. Sharmila, I jsut do not know what to say!! Ekdom speechless.I cannot even dream that anyone can do this. But I can really understand how happy you must have been after you did it!! I never knew of anyone making this at home. ar ami cheshtao korbo na. aager mashei whole food theke organic coconut oil kine enechi:-) amar na tomar oil ta taste kore dekhte ichey korchey, narkol tel konodin khete ichey kore ni.

  31. hey sharmila,
    Wooooooo...that was an applaudable post :) cant imagine myself getting to extract coconut oil at home :) hats off to u dear :) lovely explanation with an equally brilliant pictorial :)

  32. Seriously Sharmila, i had to read the title twice to actually assimilate if you really meant it and boy I am in awe! For one I never knew it could be made at home. Great job indeed!

  33. wow, love the detailed step by step pics Sharmila. This is the freshest coconut oil :)

  34. I would probably use up the coconut milk half way through to make kokum kadhi or olan or something but seriously, you are really a patient girl!!

    This is a great post and thank you so much for sharing. I know I will try this:)

  35. Soma ... ei tel tar ekta odbhut shundor mishti gondho hoye ... thik bolecho khete icche kore. :-)

    Thanks Suparna! :-)

    Thanks RC! :-)

    Thanks Mandira! :-)

    Thanks Harini! :-)

  36. Lovely post wil try making this when i am done with exam,..

  37. Sharmila, I am so impressed, I have never heard of anyone making their own coconut oil I am truly amazed. Hats off to you :-)

  38. Oh My god Sharmila...u have impressed me no end--baap re this seems so tedious. Def not for the faint hearted like me--great job!

  39. Hi Sharmila! your blog leads the way nowadays for my kitchen capers. pls tell me what to do with some not so juicy apples which have been lying around for days, and no one is touching. dont want to throw them away either

  40. First time here .But really impressed with ur bog.

  41. Oh my my, thats indeed a great job, buddy. Hats off to your hard work. Very detailed recipe...I find it very useful.

  42. Thanks Priyanka, Usha, Naina, Malar! :-)

    Welcome Shahana! And thanks. :-)

    Thanks Sunetra! I have not experimented with apples much ... but the easiest way would be to make a puree and add it too anything you are making ... for example pancakes ( you can check out my Banana pancakes ) or bake a cake ( check out my Pineapple cake ).
    And don't forget to add some cinnamon powder ... the flavour goes very well with apples.
    Hope this helps. :-)

  43. Wow that is impressive...and terrifying to see how little oil you get for all that effort! It looks like absolutely superb oil though and I am sure it must taste fantastic too. I have recently been reading about the benefits of extra virgin coconut oil and bought some. It was $20/litre which I thought was a bit expensive....but now that I read your post I think it is $20 well spent!!

  44. Welcome Spice and more! And thanks for leaving nice words here. :-)
    Yeah ... the amount of oil extracted is so little that it makes this oil all the more precious. :-)
    Considering everything, I would anyday buy one off the shelf. :-)

  45. I accidentally came across yr site and fell in love with recipes. now u will find me a regular. thanks a lot for coconut oil recipe.

  46. Great recipe!! Thanks for sharing.
    But I have a question, what is its shelf life and does it solidifies at room temperature??

  47. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe,I want to make it sometime

  48. Incredible Sharmila! You have worked so hard to get the best in your blog! What patience you have! Keep it up my dear. I must show this to my mother and mother-in-law...they will be so happy!

    1. Thank you Preeti. I hope they like it. :-)

  49. Hello, Sharmila! It looks liquid in the picture, is it going to solidify?

    1. Hi! I did not get your question. Which part and picture do you mean?
      If it is the oil, it is liquid and only solidify in a cold environment.

  50. hi Sharmila,
    I am so in coconut oil.. You do need patient for do it exactly like yours..butour side we grate the is better it seems because already you are energising the coconut with your own doubly..

    contribution form the Seychelles..Lucianne

  51. I was searching the method of preparation of EVCO, then happened to read your article. Nicely described. In Kerala, during childhood, i had experienced this. Process seems to be almost same, for every one: Collect fully matured fresh coconuts (not dried) cut into halves. Scrape it and grind to press out the milk with out adding water. The whole milk boiled on slow heat inside a thick bottomed wide mouthed vessel (Uruly). The contents needs to be stirred so as not to get sicked to bottom of the vessel. The oil comes out. It can be filtered and used. For hair health, put Hibiscus flower petals (the five petal one) into hot coconut oil, heat for some time till petals gets darkened, strain out the oil, use it on hair. Best wishes.

  52. Wao!!!! this is a great recipe. Very tiresome but interesting.


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