Coconut Chokha

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    2 Cups

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

The first time I had this unusual dish was not in Trinidad but at a Guyanese restaurant in Queens, New York. After checking with my Trini-Guyanese friend Darrel, he confirmed that Coconut Chokha is Trinidadian as well, though rarely prepared. I found it to be a wonderful accompaniment to all kinds of dishes, particularly those with less spice that need a kick. It is something akin to a cooked coconut chutney.


  • 1 cup freshly grated or frozen grated unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ Scotch bonnet pepper or other hot red chili pepper, finely chopped


  1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add coconut. Cook, stirring often, until the coconut is toasted and light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat another medium sauté pan over medium heat and add canola oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and fry until lightly browned. Mix in the mustard seeds and cook, stirring, until they begin to pop.
  3. Add the chili pepper and fry for 30 seconds, then add the toasted coconut. Mix well and fry, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with roti.