Put the mint leaves, peppercorns, salt and sugar in a mortar, and pound to a paste. Add the chillies and garlic, and pound until well mixed. Scrape into a bowl, mix in the coconut and stir in lime juice to taste.
Omit the peppercorns, replace the garlic with one finely chopped shallot, add a tablespoon of ground almonds, and instead of just the mint, use a mixture of chopped fresh leaves, chosen from chives, coriander leaves, parsley, mint, watercress and rocket.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.