Hooray for Coconut Day
Despite the fact that the coconut is a cash crop it is not so honoured. Coconut Day officially marks the end of the Monsoon so we actually offer coconuts into the sea to appease its stormy waves and ask its blessings for the new fishing season. Alas, this year like many before, the monsoons have been playing truant and the significance of Coconut Day was pretty much lost.
But that did not stop me, however, from indulging in my favourite past time which is cooking a special dish to mark this day. On Coconut Day we are supposed to make everything with Coconut – Coconut rice, coconut curry, coconut chutney and of course coconut sweet. Since coconut is used as a base in several sweets there are many options available but since I specially wanted to send some sweets over to Anna Shetty, I decided to make what she likes most rather than making what I like most.
So off I went to the market yesterday and found the fattest coconut at the stall. Hmmm ………..it had the sweetest water and the kernel was really thick so I was sure my coconut sweet would turn out well. And sure enough it did.
After finishing off the regular work for the day, I got down on the floor and sat astride the coconut grater much like my granny did and quickly grated off the coconut meat. After getting the pastry dough ready, I made the filling with freshly pounded green cardamom, sugar and strands of saffron. Then I rolled out each pastry one by one and assembled each coconut crescent. As each pastry fried gently in home made ghee, the house was filled with the divine aroma of saffron, cardamom and pure ghee………
I could barely contain my excitement as I made the first offering at the family shrine and waited for the verdict and was thrilled as I sensed the intense contentment as the family devoured each karanji, one by one gently biting into its crisp, flaky pastry to get at the sweet moistness of the filling inside. Thank God for Coconut Day!