Coconut Milk

You can make your own coconut milk according to this recipe:


  • 1 small coconut
  • 750 ml ( pints) low-fat milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. To prepare the coconut, pierce two of the ‘eyes’ in the shell and drain and discard the liquid inside. Place the drained coconut in the oven for about 20 minutes. If this does not crack the shell, split by tapping with a hammer along its line of cleavage. (Wrap the coconut in a towel while cracking it to prevent the small pieces from flying about.) Remove the white meat with a knife, discarding any of the brown skin.

Cut the coconut into small pieces and place in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with 450 ml (15 fl oz) of the milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then process in a blender on high speed for 1 minute. Let the coconut stand for 15 minutes, then strain into a bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, squeeze all the liquid from the chopped coconut. Return the coconut milk to the pan, add the sugar and remaining milk. Simmer for 5 minutes until the milk thickens. Allow to cool, then chill.

Alternatively you can use the tinned variety. I have found it quite acceptable and a lot less work. Look for the ones from Thailand or Malaysia. You can find them in supermarkets or Chinese or oriental grocers, usually in 400 ml (14 fl oz) or 450 ml (15 fl oz) tins. Shake the tins well before opening to use. If you are using tinned milk, any remainder can be kept in the fridge for at least a week out of the tin.