Coconut kebabs


Preparation info

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Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

In India, these little morsels, Nariyal Ke Kabab, are made from grated fresh coconut. To make life easier, this recipe uses desiccated coconut moistened with milk to replenish some of its richness. They make an ideal appetizer served with chutney and a glass of cold beer or white wine.


  • 150 g/5 oz desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
  • 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup full-fat (whole) milk, heated until warm
  • 2 large slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • 75 g/3 oz/ cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1–3 fresh green chillies, roughly chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 3.75 ml/¾ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • sunflower oil, for shallow-frying
  • chutney, to serve


  1. Put the desiccated coconut in a large mixing bowl and pour over the warm milk. Set aside for 10 minutes for the coconut to absorb the milk and rehydrate slightly. Cut the bread into small pieces.

  2. Place all the ingredients, except the onion and the oil, in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds, until you have a smooth paste.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the onion. Mix thoroughly and divide the mixture into 16 balls, each the size of a lime.

  4. Flatten the coconut balls to form 16 smooth, round cakes. If the mixture sticks to your fingers, moisten your palms with cold water between cakes.

  5. Pour enough oil in a frying pan to measure about 1cm/½in depth, and heat over a high heat.

  6. Fry the kebabs in batches, without overcrowding the pan, for 3–4 minutes on each side, until browned all over.

  7. Lift out the kebabs with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you fry the remaining kebabs. Serve with a chutney of your choice.

Per portion Energy 121kcal/502kJ; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 8g, of which sugars 2g; Fat 9g, of which saturates 6g; Cholesterol 1mg; Calcium 34mg; Fibre 3.1g; Sodium 125mg.